11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake 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:
12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
14And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:11-14, King James Version)
Elijah was a man of great passion. He had high highs and low lows. To be fair, he had been through a great deal. He had to contend with things that most people wouldn’t begin to understand.
He did the Lord’s bidding, but he felt very alone. Indeed, he usually did work alone, but was there really no one else doing the work?
13Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? (1 Kings 18:13, King James Version)
Faithful Obadiah was busy doing a work as well. His work, in fact, was to protect others who were called by God. Therefore, Elijah was not alone, even though he felt as such. There were 101 more silently hiding out.
And, they weren’t all.
Apparently, Elijah did not know or had forgotten about these 7,000: Men (and probably women) who were silently keeping faithful to God.
No, Elijah was not alone. However, he was boisterous. He put on quite a show at Carmel – not that it was his idea or his doing, but he was in the middle of it nonetheless. Yes, Elijah got a lot of attention – noisy attention.
Rise Above the Noise
It is hard in the middle of noise to hear a still, small voice, isn’t it? Elijah had to flee alone in order to hear it.
Like Elijah, it is difficult to not feel down sometimes. The noise can get to us. In his case, Jezebel was noisily threatening to kill him. In our case, it might be a trial, a breaking of trust, an argument, the pulls of this noisy world or it can be a betrayal of one you trusted.
A very good friend reminded me of something recently. “You will notice who is being quiet,” she said.
But, who is not making noise? How many sides are there in this?
39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
~Mt 5:39-45 (NIV)
Something to think about.
There are some notable exceptions to those in the headlines.