Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” vss. 12-13a

1 Kings 19:11-21

Huddled in his cave, Elijah waited for the Lord to make an appearance. First came a great wind, then an earthquake, and finally a great fire, but the Lord was not to be seen or heard. But then there was a sound of sheer silence! Elijah left the cave and the Lord came near. For centuries scholars have wrestled with that phrase, “a sound of sheer silence,” and have proposed a variety of translations. But while theologians have wondered, ordinary folks seem to get it. It’s an almost perfect description of what we’ve gotten in return when we’ve poured out our hearts to God. It’s not just that the Lord remains hidden, it’s that the silence is deafening! We want so badly to hear even a whisper in response to our prayers but instead there’s a big, fat nothing! We can even begin to wonder if God is only a product of our imaginations, a childhood fantasy that has no place in the reality of our maturity. It’s a lonely feeling, and we can imagine like Elijah that our faith has been futile, and then, after the storms and calamities of life have swept by, and the sound of nothing is at its peak, the Lord comes near! We are not alone.

Thought for the Day: What are the sounds of silence?


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