January 27, 2013
Posted by on
Elijah was discouraged. He had tried for years to remind the people of Israel from whence they had fallen. At first, the people of this northern kingdom had maintained a form of worship of Jahweh, but now they were openly worshipping Baal. What was the use of his efforts?
God called him to a meeting on Mount Horeb, way at the southern end of the kingdom of Judah. After forty days, Elijah arrived and immediately began to complain that he was the only true follower of God left in the apostate northern kingdom.
He waited in the cave for a message from God. There came manifestations of a mighty power: wind, earthquake and fire, but Elijah could not hear the voice of God in any of this noise and tumult. Then he heard a voice, in French it says a soft gentle murmur. The voice was so soft that Elijah could not understand what it was saying. But Elijah knew that voice! He went to the mouth of the cave to listen to what God would say.
God told him to go back, that he wasn’t alone, there were still seven thousand who did not worship Baal but were true to God. God told him that He wasn’t done yet with that northern kingdom, with their apostate temple at Bethel and their false priesthood. Elijah should anoint Elisha to carry on the work.
In the tenth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus speaks of Himself as the good shepherd, and says “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
There is a lot of noise around us, distracting noises, voices offering us temporary pleasures, voices promising much more than they can deliver. Among all that noise there is the soft, gentle voice of the Shepherd. Are we listening? Are we following?