1 Kings 19:11-21
And he said, Go forth, and stand on the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by…
I. THE TRUEST REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN IS A SIMPLE ONE. Whirlwind, earthquake, and fire did not seem to greatly move the prophet. The solitary voice, still and small, with nothing bewildering about it, invited attention to the speaker and the message. It is a mistake which men often make that they look more confidently for revelations of God in large things than in small. For illustrations of the workings of the Divine Providence, they take whole epochs of history. They use a system of numeration in which dynasties and nations are the digits. They trace the slow processes by which some monstrous wrong is at last brought to extinction, or some great truth is finally established in sovereignty, and they say, see how evidently God directs the affairs of the world. To our Lord, a dead sparrow by the roadside meant quite as much, for He said: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them falleth to the ground without your Father." It is not possible for all men to be profound students; but all men profoundly need that God should stand revealed to them, not after protracted investigation, and once or twice in a lifetime, but every day, and in each new emergency of experience; and just that is possible to them, because, to rightseeing men, God is discernible in items as well as aggregates.
II. THE TRUEST REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN IS AN INTELLIGIBLE ONE. The prophet on Horeb might have been in doubt as to the full significance of the wonders with which God prefaced His presence: the "still small voice," speaking in intelligible phrase, could not be misunderstood. It was entirely reasonable that, when the revelation assumed that form, the prophet should bow in reverence and recognise the true presence of God. That there is a manifestation of God in the physical universe is true, but the revelation of Him is largely incidental. There is no evidence that God built this fine frame of nature simply or mostly to instruct men as to His character and will. It has other uses. A house incidentally expresses the tastes and wishes of its builder; but it was not built for that purpose, but to provide a family with a home. And therefore, and further, the teachings of nature in regard to God are vague and general. The truest revelation of God in regard to His character and will, is His purposed revelation — the intelligible Scriptures, given for the sole end of making men wise spiritually.
III. THE TRUEST REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN IS OFTEN, IF NOT ALWAYS, A PERSONAL ONE. The whirlwind and earthquake and fire did not seem charged with any special message to the prophet; but the voice said, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" It was personality addressing personality, and the prophet recognised the words as proceeding out of the mouth of God.
IV. THE TRUEST REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN IS A PRACTICAL ONE. "What doest thou here, Elijah?" was the burden of the "still small voice." It was a charge that the prophet was away from duty, and an urgency for him to resume his deserted place. There is something of instruction in the Gospel, but more of incitement. It comes to sinful men, and says, Repent; to doubting men, and says, Believe; to serving men, and says, Run, strive, fight. There are no bowers of ease for idle men in this book; no cradles of inaction where they may rock and dream; no empty chambers where they may spin their gossamer webs of speculation. To every man, this Scripture comes with its call to immediate and earnest action.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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:
WEB: He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before Yahweh." Behold, Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake.