Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 15, 2015

a low Whisper

How incredible would it have been to be 1st person in this scene?  Elijah is on the run; he is running for his life.  He sweeps away to the desert and finds shade under a broom tree (yes, I just said that).  Elijah tells God, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:4b)  He falls asleep and is visited by an angel two different times.  The angel’s instructions both times is “Arise and eat.”  Elijah obeys and is given rest and nourishment enough to sustain him for forty days and nights on a forward journey to Mount Horeb.  This is miraculous enough a tale, but there’s more…

Elijah finds refuge in a cave on the side of the mountain.  He is out of sight and protected there.  Out of sight, that is, to all but God.  While in the cave, the voice of God speaks to Elijah.  God asks Elijah why he’s there.  It’s always interesting to me when God asks a question like that.  It’s obviously not for His own information, but rather for what the question and the answer works out or reveals in the heart and mind of the one being asked.

God answers Elijah’s answer with instructions to go out from the mouth of the cave, because He was about to pass by.  How incredible it would have been to have looked out the mouth of that cave the day God revealed Himself to Elijah.

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12 (ESV)

Can you even imagine experiencing the force of the wind that “tore the mountains” and broke rocks into pieces, to feel the earth shake in a manner befitting of God’s presence, to feel the intense heat of that fire?!  And then the low whisper … what must that have “felt” like?  When God is in something, I cannot help but believe that more than one sense was engaged.

And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
1 Kings 19:13 (ESV)

Elijah did not respond to the epic forces of wind, earth and fire, but the moment he heard the low whisper, He obeyed God’s instruction.  We needed to be told that God was not in those epic forces, but Elijah didn’t.  He knew the presence of his God.

This story is not unfamiliar.  I would guess you’ve read or heard it taught many times — God as a still, small voice.  I wonder if you or I would have responded as Elijah did.  Do we know the presence of our God?

I love how God asks Elijah the same question as he stands outside the mouth of the cave, and how Elijah does not hesitate to respond as he did the first time.  This was God knowing His child, and the child knowing his Father.  What an amazing truth God revealed to us all that day.  He is the low whisper, the still, small voice.  I have experienced God this way.  I have lived Elijah’s story (although not with the same detail).  I have felt and heard the still, small voice of God.  I hope that you have, too.  And if you haven’t, I pray that you seek Him and begin to know Him – know Him in a way that allows you to hear Him in the sound of a low whisper.



  1. We can “know about” the God of the wind, earthquake and fire, but the God of the whisper can only be “known”. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You……! 🙂

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