Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gentle Whisper

When God defeated the prophets of Baal through his prophet Elijah, Elijah must have been elated beyond all imagination. But, when Jezebel put out a contract on him he ran from one end of the country to the other. He went to a cave on Mt. Sinai. God met him there and asked him what was the matter. Here is his answer: "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."

The victory over Baal's prophets is forgotten. Elijah's focus is consumed by Jezebel's threat. He has run from one end of the country to the other to escape and to seek understanding. He is overwhelmed. God puts on quite a show for Elijah. He sends storms and earthquakes, followed by a gentle whisper. Then he asks him again to tell him what is the matter. Elijah's answer was the same as before. God does not explain to Elijah the significance or meaning of all that is happening. Instead he gives him a "to do" list which must have been routine for a prophet of God. He says in effect, "Ok, Elijah, remember who you are and get back to doing what you do. Rejoin me in my work."

If Elijah was overwhelmed, why should we be surprised when we are? If Elijah (and Job) did not get the explanation he was looking for, why should we expect to? God's message to us is the same as to Elijah: "Remember who you are (Am Segula - 'My treasured possession') and rejoin me in my work."

Be good to yourself.