Elijah is one of the great prophets and in this passage today, Jezebel has shaken Elijah to his core with her threat to kill him. As is typical, fatigue and discouragement follow such experiences. Elijah flees to Sinai – where God had met Moses…it was a sacred place. He had run for his life and arrived at the mountain alone and discouraged…full of self-pity. What do you do in such situations? Do you allow yourself to wallow in the pit of self-pity? Do you try to figure out the solution all by yourself? Or, do you, like Elijah – even in that state, know the sound of God’s presence in your life? Are you always looking for the bold and majestic forms of miracles or, are you listening for the miracle of the whisper that comes from God?
Like the broad stroke of a paint brush…Psalm 68 shows us Davids celebration of the victories he had gained over his enemies – victories gained through the blessing of God. He shows the goodness of God and what God has done in redeeming his chosen people. More importantly, he provides the continuing examples of God’s care for his people. Like the reading about Elijah, this Psalm reminds us to consider all God has done for us. Does the presence of God in your life create a sense of awe? Are you left breathless by his presence in your life? If you struggle in this area…many do, listen for the whisper.
In Romans 7, Paul is focused on one of his main points related to our belief in God. Over and over in his many writings to the churches, Paul says that law is not bad – the law was a gift from God to his people through Moses originally – a way to protect them from the pagan cultures around them. However, as is usually the case, the law can quickly become legalism. Paul was an expert at legalism before his conversion. Along that road to Damascus, Paul realized that God accepts sinners by grace alone – not lawful observance or legalism. But, there comes this basic problem that I’ll bet all of us would agree with…on my own I can try as hard as I’d like and yet sin is still present. The law exists to point out where I fall short but the law cannot redeem me and this is Paul’s message – our relationship with God through Jesus the Christ by the power and presence of his Holy Spirit has to be seen in a new light…a life in the grace of God.
Just like the whisper Elijah knew and heard and reinforced in the Psalm’s examples, Paul also reminds us of how we approach our relationship with God. Listen for God’s whisper of grace each day but I don’t think it is easy. We are trained by the world around us to look for big and bold answers. Are you listening for God’s whisper? Can you hear the sweet melody of Jesus’ voice through the noise around you? Step back from the chaos in your life and listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit.