This is another Elijah story that happened shortly after his triumph over the prophets of Baal with the help of God’s Consuming Fire. Queen Jezebel was not happy that all her prophets were dead, so she vowed to kill Elijah. When he heard of her threat, he fled into the dessert until he collapsed from thirst, hunger, and exhaustion. God sent angels to minister to him and strengthen him for his journey to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God.
When he arrived at the mountain, Elijah found a cave and hid there. Before long, God confronted him and asked what he was doing there, the implication being that he should have been out doing prophet stuff instead of hiding in a cave. As we are prone to do when we’re caught not doing what we’re supposed to, Elijah whined. “I did what You told me to do, but even Israel has turned again You. I’m the only one left, and they’re trying to kill me.”
When God had heard enough, He called Elijah on the carpet, or rather “to stand on the mount before the Lord.” The Scripture says that the Lord passed by and that there followed a huge wind, a destructive earthquake, and a devastating fire, but Elijah was not impressed because the Lord was not in those displays. Then, he heard a gentle whisper, and Elijah covered his face, because he knew he was in God’s presence. After that, God and Elijah had an attitude adjustment meeting during which God gave Elijah his marching orders. He was to go back and anoint a new king over Israel. He was also to appoint Elisha as his own successor. God said there would be retribution for those who had turned against Him, but He also promised to be merciful to the Israelites who had not bowed to Baal.
This is another one of those “above my pay grade” passages, but I’ll share what I’ve gleaned from my research. For one thing, God was demonstrating the fact that He can communicate with His people in any number of ways. However, several commentaries agree that the most important point about the story is that God’s appearance in the still small voice rather than the dramatic manifestations shows the difference between the ages of law and grace. The age of law began when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and ended when Jesus fulfilled the law through His sacrifice on the cross. The law was given in a manner that terrified the Israelites to the point that they begged Moses to talk to and listen to God for them. The Gospel, on the other hand, is offered in a gentle voice of love, grace and mercy as Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians:
7 So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:7-9
Throughout history, God has spoken to mankind in many ways–through natural phenomena, through His prophets, through the writers of Scripture, and through His Son.
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:1-2
More important than how God speaks is that, when He speaks, we hear and obey. In the present age, God speaks most clearly through the Bible. The more familiar we are with His Word, the more familiar we will be with His voice, and the more likely we will be to recognize Him. Another thing to remember is that sometimes He speaks in a gentle whisper, and we will only hear Him if we are silent and listening.
Some other names of God that being with the letter “G” are:
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 40:5
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14