God with us in knowing how to discern His voice in the whispers
George Methodist Church
Sunday 7th April 2019
8am and 10am
With Peter Veysie
Elijah is the key character of the last few chapters of 1 Kings.
There are powerful statements of God’s hand on the faithful.
Ch 17 Elijah challenges Ahab eye to eye, a famine comes but Elijah is fed by the ravens at the brook called Cherith.
The widow and son story – flour and oil multiply and the son is raised to life (after praying three times.)
Chapter 18 – Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a showdown through Obadiah (servant of the Lord – a common name – not the prophet).
The true God of Israel soundly defeated 450 Baal prophets and 400 Asherah prophets. A huge storm comes out of a cloud that is as big as a man’s fist and Elijah tucks his cloak in and with the power of the Lord runs ahead of Ahab’s chariot.
Chapter 19 shows that even the bravest prophets are still mortal and not immune from fear. Jezebel chases him and he runs for his life and is fed twice by an angel after almost giving up. (How often has this happened to you?)
The Lord speaks to Elijah in a still small voice (19:10 – 18) “Go back the way you came” God then tells him exactly what to do (remember, in the still, small voice).
Elisha is then called – burns everything – complete sacrifice and follows Elijah.
Double portion was asking to be heir – not a double blessing.
Ahab defeats Benhadad with the help of the prophet who tells him what to do. He does not kill the king and is challenged in a strange way by the prophet. (Ch 20:35 -43)
Chapter 21 is the stealing of Naboth’s vineyard under the supervision of Jezebel, and his death. Nothing good about this gal!!!
Elisha challenges Ahab, his heart changes, and so does God’s and it’s his sons who will feel the wrath of God.
1 Kings 19 New International Version (NIV)
Elijah Flees to Horeb
- In the whispers of God there is often another voice around!!!
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
- When we hear this voice it is difficult not to run away – Jesus in the desert led by the Spirit.
3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
We all do a lot better at listening when we have had something to eat.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there near his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
- When the Lord speaks it is normally pretty firm but loving – “What are you doing here?”
The Lord Appears to Elijah:
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn 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.”
- To hear the whisper of God we need to actively go out to seek His presence – He is there all the time but we sometimes just need to find a place to be more attentive.
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
- 5. It’s not always what you think it will be and so don’t go for the first thing that comes your way especially when it’s too obvious
– not in the furious wind, nor the earthquake, but in the whisper.
What are the whispers that we need to be hearing today?
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
- Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn 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.”
This is not what Elijah wanted to hear – go back the way you came!!! But if he hadn’t done this he would never have met his successor Elisha.
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
- The Call of Elisha
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
- When God whispers are we prepared to deny our own agenda take up our cross and follow Him?