Lord’s Library editors offer a short commentary on the still small voice Scripture spoken to the Prophet Elijah in the Bible.
The story of the still small voice that appeared to the prophet Elijah in the Bible holds great significance and offers insight into the nature of God’s communication. Found in 1 Kings 19:9-18, this encounter showcases the intimate manner in which God the Father speaks to His children:
“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for 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. And 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: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And 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? And 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. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”
Following the display of God’s power on Mount Carmel when Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, he faced threats from Queen Jezebel and fled into the wilderness. He sought refuge in a cave on Mount Horeb (Mount Sinai). It was here, amidst his weariness, that the Lord chose to commune with Elijah.
Still Small Voice Scripture
1 Kings 19:11-12 records the encounter: “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: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
The significance of the still small voice lies in its direct contrast to the preceding displays of natural disaster. Rather than manifesting in the grandeur of the wind, earthquake, or fire, God chose to communicate through Elijah’s conscience. This emphasized the need for Elijah to pray intently and discern the presence of God in solitude.
Still Small Voice Scripture: Meaning & Lessons
The encounter with the still small voice served as a pivotal moment for Elijah. After facing seemingly overwhelming opposition and feeling isolated, God met him in the solitude of the cave. Through the still small voice of conscience, God provided comfort, assurance, and renewed purpose to continue Elijah’s ministry.
The story of the still small voice also reminds us of the importance of encountering God in both small and unexpected ways. See, Elijah anticipated God’s presence in the displays of wind, earthquake, and fire, but God chose to speak through Elijah’s conscience instead. This challenges us to broaden our expectations and remain open to the ways in which God may choose to reveal Himself to us.
The story highlights the need for discernment and active listening in our spiritual journey. Amidst the clamor of life’s challenges and distractions, we must cultivate a receptive heart to hear the still small voice of God through our conscience.
All of this adds up to teach us to pay more close attention to our conscience and less attention to outside forces. Elijah’s recognition of the still small voice also demonstrated his willingness to listen and obey, setting an example for believers to approach God with humility and reverence.
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