(1 Kings 19:11-12) “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: (12) And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
God immediately began to give Elijah instructions for the long journey ahead. God’s first command was in (1 Kings 19:11a), “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” Then (1 Kings 19:11b-12) God revealed what He was not in (that is, He was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire); but, God did reveal Himself to Elijah in “…a still small voice.” In the next verse, (1 Kings 19:13) “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” After Elijah’s reply (1 Kings 19:11, 14), God began in (1 Kings 19:15-18) to give instructions on exactly what Elijah was to accomplish on his final mission for God.
First: To have the map for the journey, the servant must go and stand before the Lord, and not rely upon his own carnal reasoning (Prov. 3:5-6). The key here is the phrase, “…before the LORD.” The servant of God is pointed to his Creator, his Controller, his Consummator, to receive his final instructions for the journey. Up to this point, Elijah had been standing before his own fleshly reasoning; and this is the reason for his spirit of giving up. Since the servant of the Lord cannot see the future; he must rely upon God, and God’s Omniscience (all-knowing) (Rev. 1:8). Since the servant of God is to walk by faith and not by sight; he must depend upon the promises of God, and not on what he sees with his physical eye, or on what he hears from the lips of the enemy to decide his future pathway (Heb. 11:6; 13:5c). Since the servant of God knows the limitations of his physical body (2 Cor. 3:5); he must depend upon the power of God to perform the task given him by God in the servant’s calling (Phil. 4:13). Since the servant of God has suffered in the past by depending on the reasoning of his flesh; he must seek counsel from Almighty God, Who is the Planner, the Appointer, and the Performer in the believer’s life. Therefore, God once again is teaching all the children of God the only avenue of success is coming before God for instructions and for the provisions of power, peace and faith to have success as a servant of the Lord.
Second: God revealed to Elijah that He is a God of love and mercy. The God of wrath and judgment is depicted in “…a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: (12) And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire… and after the fire a still small voice.” The still small voice (or the gentle voice of mercy) is how God presented Himself to Elijah, the quitter; the giver-upper. God was showing that He could be in the destroying wind; or in the earthquake; or in the all-consuming fire – but not so, Elijah I am the God of love and mercy to my rebellious servant.
Let every servant of God know that God is a God of second chances. Hallelujah! God sees the end of our service for Him. God knows exactly how to deal with His servants. Whatever God does with His servants is right; however, God is going to work in His servants, (Phil. 2:13) “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Thank God, that God uses His mercy in dealing with his servants in causing them to carry out His appointments for them for His honor and glory, and for their reward. The fact is, without God’s love and mercy, no servant of God could fulfil his mission for God. The Apostle Paul explained this in (Php 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Praise His Holy Name for His “…still small voice.” Thank God that He is mindful of our human frailties. Thank God for His love, mercy, and grace in dealing with the servant’s rebellion, etc.
Thirdly: God always makes His instructions for the mission very, very plain. Elijah had no problem understanding God’s instructions for last mission for God. The revelation of (1 Kings 19:18) that there were seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal; nor had kissed him; to God’s servant, Elijah, formed the impetus, or the motive, or the fuel, for Elijah carrying out God’s final mission for Him. This revelation to Elijah allowed Elijah to know that his prior thinking – even his prior excuse to God of why he was running, and why he was in the cave hiding – was a lie of his flesh. He had been tricked by the carnal reasoning of his flesh. He learned that God had not failed; and His witness of His love, mercy, and grace had not failed; for he was only one of the many who were still standing in the gap for God, as a soldier in the army of God.
Servant of God, let it be established in your spirit, God’s Gospel of the Good news of Jesus Christ Has Not Failed in its purpose to the quickened sinner. You are not the only one left on the earth that loves God and His Word and His Ways. No, a thousand times no, God’s truth is marching on; and no devil, no servant of the devil, no lie of the devil, can stop the effect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Christ from the grave is proof positive that He is God; and He has defeated the devil (Heb. 2:14), death (Jn. 11:25, 41-44; 1 Cor. 15:1-28), and the grave (Lk. 24:6a; Rom. 1:4). And the Victory is Won, for He is within the Vail (Heb. 6:15-20). The Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot fail because God cannot fail. The Resurrection is the servant’s foundation, motive, and fuel to keep on keeping on serving God until God says it’s over, come home.
In closing, Reader, you must ask yourself, ‘Am I following the dictates of my flesh? or am I standing before the Lord awaiting my instructions for the day’s journey?’ Moses instructed Joshua the same truth as God revealed to Elijah:
(Joshua 1:6-8) “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. (7) Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Therefore, Reader, it is very plain – the servant of God is to go stand before God in His Written Word, and before God in Prayer, to know the instructions from God for the Journey.