DayBreaks for 06/28/13 – The Sound of Falling Snow
1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT) – “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
When Elijah finally made it to the mountain of the Lord (Horeb, or Sinai) on his flight from Jezebel, God wants to speak with him, so He invites him to go stand outside of the cave where he’s been in hiding. A mighty windstorm, so severe that rocks were torn loose (“shattered” in other translations), swept the mountain. Now I’ve heard windstorms before, having lived in Florida where there are hurricanes, but I’ve never seen nor heard a wind so strong that it shattered rocks and tossed them about like paper! But that might have been what I would have expected of the Lord if he were to speak with me. But God wasn’t in the wind.
An earthquake followed the wind. Again, living in California, I’ve experienced a lot of earthquakes. I went to Haiti after that horrible earthquake and seen their power first hand. But God wasn’t in the might and strength of the earthquake, either.
A fire follows – but still no God.
Finally, there is the “…sound of a gentle whisper.” In the original languages, the word used for “a gentle whisper” is the word for the sound of falling snow. I lived in Maine and some of the most profound moments of my life occurred there when I went out onto the front porch during a snowfall in the woods and just listened. It was so very, very silent.
When I learned about the meaning of the original words here for “gentle whisper”, I was almost swept of my feet with the realization that when I ask God for some word of direction or guidance, I may need to be very, very quiet otherwise I won’t hear Him. Often, however, when I am desperate enough to seek His direction and a word from Him, my soul and mind and heart are racing and raging and my inner person is filled with noise. How can I expect to hear a gentle whisper? Doesn’t Scripture tell us to “Be still and know that I am God”? Aren’t we told that “The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him”?
I need to learn the discipline of silence. God could have been in the wind, the earthquake and/or the fire. But in this instance at least, He wasn’t. He was in the gentle whisper that one can only hear when we are listening that closely and have quieted our souls. God is not an obtrusive, bully that makes us hear Him. He invites us to hear Him, but we have to listen very closely. Why doesn’t He give us loud words? It might kill us. He is gentle, He is loving, He is longing for us to hear Him!
PRAYER: God, I want to hear Your voice and receive Your direction. Be still, oh my soul, that I can hear His gentle whisper. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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