How can we discourage violence from other faiths, when our own Holy Book contains scenes of barbarity?
Surprisingly, maybe, part of the answer to these questions and to the sense of deep sadness and horror we feel about Orlando and the murder of Jo Cox, is to be found in 1 Kings as well. Chapter 19 follows the story of Elijah and his conversation with God. In a pre-figuring of the story of Jesus in the wilderness, Elijah wanders and lies down to sleep. Then an angel wakes him up and says, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. Verse 11 picks up the story, "Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains," it says, "and breaking rocks in pieces 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; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
Surely God wasn't going to choose silence to reveal himself to Elijah? As so often in the Bible, God chooses to do something surprising and unexpected and to reveal himself in a way that wouldn't have been obvious. The translation which renders the voice of God as "sheer silence" might seem contradictory. How could Elijah hear God in the silence? Well, for century upon century, Christians from various strands of the Church have experienced God in the silence — some traditions specifically setting aside time to hear God's voice in the quiet.
Listening for that Still, Small Voice on Vimeo
Looking at some other translations of the same verse will help us too. We know that God wasn't in the fire, the earthquake or the storm. The Authorised version tells us instead that he was in the "still small voice. This is significant not only as an explanation of the way that God communicated with Elijah and the way that he may want to communicate with us today.
Still Small Voice
It says more than that — it's about the character of God. To interpret the violent passages of 1 Kings and other Old Testament scriptures correctly, we need to look through the lens of the New Testament and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
- The Reluctant God;
- Denslows MOTHER GOOSE (Nursery Rhymes and Children Picture Book Collection) Illustrated new lovely colorful pictures for childrens cartooning and drawing practice;
- Discouraged? Listen for the Still, Small Voice | Bonnie Lang Fitness.
- The Devils Interval!
- Listen to the “Still Small Voice” inside you – could it be God speaking? – Ladey Adey.
- How Much Does Culture Matter? (Cato Unbound Book 122006).
- The Exercises Volume One: Conversations.
Yet even here in the heart of some of these violent narratives we have verses which tell a different story. A story of the God who could have arrived in fire, wind and earthquake.
The Call of God
Instead, God spoke in a still, small voice of calm. For those of us who wrestle with the violent passages which surround this one, the idea of God communicating with the still small voice is an oasis. I myself aim for spending at least the first hour of my day in the Word and in prayer Matt. God is calling them to come to Him and seek Him and His kingdom first, and all the other things will be added to them.
Another thing you can do is pay attention to whom you ask for advice. Sometimes, if we are not careful, we give more weight to others advice than to what God speaks to us through our spirits. We are human, and I understand that, but we must first talk to God about our problem and be ready to listen for His solution. I remember times when my children asked for my advice and I poured all my wisdom into guiding them.
But then they turned to their friends as soon as our conversation was over, essentially discounting my advice. Sometimes, that was very frustrating to me.
If we are in Christ, on the inside of us we have an anointing that abides to guide and direct our lives. Suddenly you become aware of something that quickens you to do or speak a certain thing. Or you know that you need to go and forgive somebody for something that he or she did to you.
Or all of a sudden, you realize that you need to stop speaking certain things and be a more merciful and kind to people around you.
Then there are even times that we become aware of certain things even before you know what the Word says about them. He speaks into your spirit. Will you make a choice today to tune your ear to His still small voice within you and honor Him and thank Him for everything that He tells you to do and then be quick to obey?
I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He died on the cross and rose again from the dead so I might have a better life now and eternal life in heaven.