Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18- God Is In The Whisper

June 18, 2011

Scripture Readings:
I Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23;
Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 17:14-15

And after the fire was the sound of a gentle whisper.
 ~I Kings 19:12

I Kings 19:1-21

People who work around children know an important secret.  If you want to get the attention of a large group of loud rambuncious kids, the best way is to speak softly.  Yelling above a crowd is nearly impossible and will only cause you to lose your voice.  I had a teacher once who had mastered the technique of getting the attention of the class by speaking in a near whisper.  We would all be chattering away when she would get up from her desk and begin to address the class very softly.  Eventually, everyone was shushing everyone else to be quiet so that they could hear what Mrs. Collins was saying.  Brilliant. Today, our brilliant God speaks to the prophet Elijah in a soft voice.  God is in the whisper.

As the story begins, Ahab reports to Jezebel that Elijah has killed the 400 prophets of Baal.  This is personal to Jezebel.  Her father had appointed those priests.  Jezebel sends word that she intends to kill Elijah.  Elijah is headed out for another wilderness experience.  After having such a marvelous mountaintop experience in the "who is really God" contest and then having to personally kill all of those priests, Elijah is worn out.  He is sick and tired of the fight.  As he lays down in the desert under the shade of a broom tree, Elijah contemplates facing this trial and decides it would be better to die.  He tells God that he has had enough.

Elijah is a similar character to Moses in the Bible.  He is also a shadow and type of Christ.  Let me list the similarities:
  • Elijah has arch enemies in Ahab and Jezebel who represent the world/Satan.  Moses had Pharaoh.  Jesus had Satan.
  • Elijah is prepared for forty days and forty nights in a wilderness experience to confront evil.  Moses is on Mt. Sinai forty days and forty nights.  Jesus is in the wilderness forty days and forty nights.
  • Elijah is ministered to by angels in the wilderness.  This is also true of Jesus.
  • Elijah zealously serves God and is plagued by having to deal with the rebellious Israelites, who turn their backs on God.  Moses did this, as did Jesus.
  • Elijah feels that he is totally alone in serving God.  Moses felt this after the golden calf incident.  Jesus felt this in the Garden of Gethsemane when his disciples deserted him.
  • Elijah covers his face in the presence of God.  Moses hid his face in the presence of God.
  • Elijah receives comfort from God in the form of getting others to help him in his ministry.  Moses received help from God in the form of having other men help him administer justice to the Israelites.  Jesus shared the responsibility of His earthly ministry with twelve disciples.
Please note that God allows Elijah to go through a wilderness experience for forty days and forty nights as a preparation for his soul.  Remember that the number forty in the Bible is used for preparation and renewal.  Elijah is prepared through trials. After his trial, Elijah tells God that he is the only person left in Israel who has not bowed a knee to Baal.  Rather than explaining right there to Elijah that he is wrong about this, God takes this opportunity, after the trial, to show Himself to Elijah.  Here are some interesting points.
  • God is not in the windstorm/tornado.
  • God is not in the earthquake.
  • God is not in the fire.
God comes to Elijah in a gentle whisper. I love this! Do you realize that God is not in the dramatic problems that you face?  He is not the earthquake or the tornado or the fire.  He is in the gentle whisper that is the solution to your dramatic problems. Elijah wraps his face in a cloak for this intimate talk with the Creator of the Universe.  God whispers to Elijah that He is not alone.  There are 7000 others in Israel who have not bowed to Baal.  God is going to provide helpers in Elijah's ministry.  Right away, God appoints Elisha to be Elijah's assistant.

What are the lessons to you and me in this story?  Here are some I have thought of:
  • God speaks softly and carries a big stick.  (hee hee.  I couldn't resist that.)
  • There is always a remnant of believers on earth.  Even if you feel alone, you're not.
  • God will meet us in our exhaustion and provide people to help us get through.
  • We need other believers to help us on this earth.
  • God intended for us to work together in order to do His will on earth.
  • Don't try to be a loner in life.
  • God is interested in the details of your life and mine.
  • Sometimes God has to beat us down into submission so that we can hear His still, small voice.
How do these lessons apply to your life?  Are you too busy running around to hear God's whisper?  Do you have ears to hear?

Acts 12:1-23

Speaking of trials, this chapter begins with James, the brother of John, being martyred by King Agrippa. This is the first apostle to die for Jesus. Peter is arrested by Agrippa.  Agrippa intends to have Peter killed at Passover just like Jesus.  The Church, who God has supplied to Peter to help him in his ministry, is praying like crazy!

Peter is rescued from prison by an angel of the Lord. He is like Moses, Elijah and Jesus in that an angel comes and ministers during a trial.  Notice that the prayers of the saints prompted this rescue.  We are all part of a symbiotic relationship with each other and God, spiritually.  We are tied and dependent on one another for the Holy Spirit to do His work on earth. God set up the system this way in order to experience intimacy with His creation.

Meanwhile, Herod Agrippa is angered by Peter's miraculous rescue and with the conversion of certain areas like Tyre and Sidon that have been converted to worshiping Jesus. These cities depended on King Agrippa for their food source and so they capitulate and shout that King Agrippa has the voice of a god, not a man.  Because Agrippa accepts this type of adulation, God strikes him down with worms and he dies.

Agrippa is to the Apostle Peter what Ahab and Jezebel were to Elijah.  God rescues us from Satan.  That is the point of these stories.  God can defeat the enemy of our souls.

Do you rely on the prayers of others to help you when you are experiencing trials?  How has God rescued you?

Psalm 136:1-26

Yes. God's faithful love endures forever. Try to read this psalm to God as a prayer. Verse 24 says that He saved us from our enemies.  This directly applies to what we studied today.

Proverbs 17:14-15

Try not to start quarrels.  It can produce a flood of problems.

What did you notice today as you read?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
© 2011


  1. I love that God is in the gentle whisper very much. And I also strongly believe that the prayers of other believers bring response from God and have seen it happen many times. As always, thank you for all of your insights.

    Tomorrow I turn 50 too. I'm very grateful to be spending this year in this study. :)

  2. I can really relate to God speaking softly to us in the midst of our life circumstances. This has been my experience.

    Happy Birthday to you, Ellen! It has been a privilege to study God's Word with you this year. We are both celebrating our year of jubilee! You comments and insights have been a blessing to me.

    Thank you.

  3. Thank you so very much. And your comments and insights have certainly been a blessing to me as well. This study is an important part of my day and I enjoy it very much. Studying God's Word seems to me the perfect way to celebrate one's year of jubilee. :)

  4. I want to hear God's whisper.

    Yes, I definitely rely on the prayers of others....all the time! :)

  5. I know after some of the storms in life that you have experienced, Terri, you probably heard His voice in a whisper. We often hear it in times of sorrow or need.

    It causes the peace that surpasses understanding.

  6. I have heard God's whisper especially in time of despair and need. I guess I should have said I love when I hear His whisper.