The devil shouts, but God whispers


We’ve been considering four vital mistakes made by the Old Testament prophet Elijah when his life was threatened by Queen Jezebel.

Elijah had run himself into the ground physically and emotionally. He isolated himself from others. He was focused on the negative rather than the positive things that were happening in his life, and he had apparently forgotten about God. But God was gracious and faithful. He met Elijah’s need, and he revealed himself in Elijah’s life.

Imagine you are there in the cave with Elijah when the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. 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. After the earthquake, there came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there came a gentle whisper. 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?’” — 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)

The earth shook, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. The wind howled, but the Lord was not in the wind. The fire raged, but the Lord was not in the fire. God did not show up in the remarkable. He came in the ordinary.

Why does God whisper when we’re hurting? Why doesn’t he speak up? Why doesn’t he shout when we’re afraid? Why so soft-spoken when we’re so overwhelmed? Why does he whisper?

He can whisper because he is so close. When someone whispers, you have to pay attention. I believe God wants us to get past all of the noise and listen to what he has to say. Maybe he whispers to draw us close.

The devil, on the other hand, has a big mouth. He shouts his lies at us. His voice is loud as he shouts condemnation. His accusations seem to cut through all of the noise in our lives saying, “You’ll never be enough. You will never measure up. You will never make it. You will always be alone.”

The devil shouts, but God whispers. He whispers because he is so close. If you listen, you will sense his presence, and he will reveal himself to you, too. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. You may email him at [email protected]. His weekly blog can be found at Send comments to [email protected].

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