The Unexpected God

Elijah finds God where he least expected. After winning the God contest on Mount Carmel and slaughtering 450 prophets of Baal, Elijah had run in terror from Jezebel, the queen of Israel, after she threatened to kill him. Hiding in the wilderness, exhausted and discouraged, God took care of him and saw to his needs for food and shelter. Finally, one day while Elijah was hiding in a cave, God told him, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” (2 Kings 19:11)

A powerful wind tore at the mountains, shattering rocks, but “the LORD was not in the wind.” After that, there was an earthquake, but “the LORD was not in the earthquake.” Then a fire roared around him, but “the LORD was not in the fire”

Then, after the fire was gone, there was a gentle whisper.

God had come at last. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah explained that he was alone, everyone had rejected God and everything that Elihah had preached. What was the point of going on? God told him not to be so gloomy: there were seven thousand people in Israel who remained faithful to Yahweh. Then God gave him his next job that he wanted him to do.

Where we expect to find God, how we expect God to behave, what we expect to see him accomplish, are often far removed from reality.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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