After Elijah’s (God’s) great victory at Mt Carmel–where God sent fire from heaven–I think Elijah thought everything would change. All of Israel would return to the Lord after seeing such an incredible miracle.
But they didn’t.
After hearing that Jezebel had signed his death warrant, he ran and ran and ran, eventually finding his way to the same mountain where Moses had once sought and found God’s presence. God sent wind, an earthquake, and fire, but his presence wasn’t there.
And then a low whisper (the KJV’s “still small voice”). Elijah listened closely, and he heard the voice of God.
There’s a tendency in us all, I think, to want God to act in dramatic ways, to answer some specific prayer in a clear way, to perform some kind of faith-inducing sign. We think we know how God ought to act, and when he doesn’t we can find ourselves in despair.
Such was Elijah’s situation. God sent him three supernatural signs, but purposefully hid himself. And then Elijah found God in the spoken word.
We shouldn’t deny that God works in mysterious ways that are often unknown to us, but I think this story teaches us that usually we’ll simply find God in his word, in his low whisper. And we’ll be convinced–as Elijah was–that though we don’t always understand how and why, God continues to work in his own ways to accomplish his will.