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1 Kings 19:9–18 ‘And after the fire came a gentle whisper.’ (v12)

The prophets were human, as we see again today in the reading from 1 Kings. After traveling to the mountain, Elijah meets with God.

Twice he is asked what he’s doing in the cave, and both times he responds with a bit of petulance: ‘Hey Lord! I’ve done everything I could for You!

I’ve been super zealous, but Your people, they just won’t listen, and now I’m the only one left. The only one.’ God then sends a storm, an earthquake and a fire – but He isn’t in any of them.

Instead, He appears in the ‘gentle whisper’ (v12). In the quietness, Elijah hears what his next steps will be – the kings he will anoint and the prophet who will follow in his calling.

The Lord also reminds Elijah that he’s not the last man standing; God has reserved 7,000 ‘whose mouths have not kissed’ Baal (v18).

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The Lord corrects Elijah’s misconceptions but doesn’t take him out of service. He still has work to do: the commission he receives once he quiets himself and listens.

This, then, forms a key aspect of our lives with God – the willingness to humble ourselves while stilling the noise inside as we seek to hear God’s voice.

Because we’re fallible we won’t always hear correctly, but as we learn to discern and test what we sense God is saying, we’ll move forward with greater confidence.

One way to exercise discernment is to review our day before we go to sleep, asking God to show us when were the moments we moved towards Him, and when we moved away from Him. As we spend time praying this way, we’ll also mature in hearing His voice.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord God, You love to communicate with Your children. Thank You for ears to hear and a heart to receive. Speak to me today; I’m listening. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Commit to praying through the examen (the way of praying described above) today and this week.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 32:8–9; Jer. 33:2–3; John 8:43–47 & 10:27–29

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.