Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 19

God’s voice: a gentle whisper

1 Kings 19:12-13

Now, at last, God passed by Elijah. When God passed by Moses, Moses saw God’s glory – his splendid and wonderful beauty (Exodus 33:18-23 and 34:6).

We do not read that Elijah actually saw anything. However, when God passed by him, Elijah did hear something. In the desert called Sinai, where Horeb is, it is usually very quiet. It is possible to hear sounds from a great distance. Even in that situation, the voice that Elijah heard was extremely quiet. It was only a gentle whisper.

As a prophet, a holy man who received messages from God, Elijah had often heard God’s voice. He heard it, probably not with his ears, but by words that God spoke deep into his spirit. Perhaps Elijah had never before realised how gentle, but how powerful, God’s word could be. It was more powerful than the fire, or the wind, or when the earth shook under his feet.

That is also the way that God changes people’s hearts (see Malachi 4:5-6). They become aware, deep in their spirit, of God’s message to them (Hebrews 3:7-12). Or, they hear the public declaration of God’s word, and they believe it in their hearts (Romans 10:15-18). God’s word in their heart seems so gentle, but it is truly powerful.

Elijah heard that gentle whisper. At once, he knew that God was passing by (19:11). So, Elijah covered his face. To show respect to God on this most sacred occasion, Elijah chose not to look upon God’s glory. Instead, like a humble servant, he waited to hear what God would say to him.

Next part: Elijah repeats his prayer (1 Kings 19:14)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2024, Keith Simons.