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July 21 | I Kings 19:7-13


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Listen for God in a Whisper

by David Thompson

When I first read the passage for today's devotional, I had my doubts that the passage was the correct one. I went back to the assignment document where we get our scripture and sure enough it said 1 Kings 19:7-13. So I reread the text a few more times and as it sunk in, I saw some important points that those verses give us.


So beginning with verses 7-8, we hear of an angel that comes to Elijah and tells him to eat. Why? Because the Lord had a journey in mind for Elijah. God knew it was a long trek to Mt. Horeb (the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments). That is fine, but the text states that it was a 40-day and 40-night journey. The miraculous part of this was that he was commanded to eat the one meal and then hiked something like 200 miles through rough country without any further food. God had to be touching Elijah's body as no further food was required. This was similar to Moses and Jesus (Deuteronomy 9:9; Matthew 4:1-2). It was not coincidental that these three men would meet again in front of some of Jesus' disciples (Luke 9:28-36). This teaches us that God gives us what we need to accomplish His tasks.


It reminds me of a time when Christ sustained me (not as importantly as the three men above). I used to run three to four miles per day. I found that somewhere about the one mile mark, I was hit with the pain of running. Every step seemed terrible. I wanted to quit. But then something gave me the idea of how to overcome this daily problem. I pictured a painting of Jesus that hung in the basement of an old church. It is just a head shot taken at an angle. I would concentrate in my mind's eye every wrinkle in Jesus' face. I mentally traced the wrinkles with my fingers. I would look at His eyes, His nose and His mouth. I would continue running as I did this mental exercise. To my surprise (especially the first time), the pain of the run would pass and I was able to complete the miles ahead of me. Jesus helped me complete an otherwise difficult task.


The passage ends on an equally important point that we all should internalize. Elijah was in a cave even though the Lord told him to go out and show himself as the Lord was going to pass by. Then there was a powerful wind that caused much damage, then an earthquake and a fire. However Elijah stayed in the cave and waited. God was not in any of the three happenings. Then there was a gentle whisper and Elijah knew it was the Lord. He went out and listened.


Again like us in our prayer time, we are tempted to drift on to the busyness of the day, the bills that have to be paid and one hundred other things that take us away from listening to the Lord. The lesson here is that we need to quiet ourselves, perhaps picture that old picture of Jesus and be 100% in the presence of God. Our prayer lives will be more effective and we will hear at times the gentle whisper of the Lord.


PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for meeting us in our time of meditation on you. Give each person reading this devotional a special touch that allows us to do amazing things for you. Thank you for teaching me some valuable things in a set of verses that at first seemed like a mistake. In Christ's name, Amen!



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