The Study and the Pulpit
1 Kings 19:11-21
And he said, Go forth, and stand on the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by…
We may learn from this incident:
I. THAT MEN ARE NOT BROUGHT TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD MERELY BY OUTWARD MANIFESTATIONS OF POWER OR GREATNESS. Elijah needed this lesson. He looked to the appearance on Carmel to bring the Israelites to renounce their idolatry, and to bow to the authority of Jehovah; and because they did not he was disappointed, and his heart failed him. By what he saw at Horeb he would be convinced that outward demonstrations of power or glory were not sufficient to lead men to repentance. Our Lord, in the days of His flesh, constantly met with those who sought signs and wonders as the only means of producing faith. And the same feeling is still shown by men in the importance they attach to some outward circumstances for producing repentance — calamity, bereavement, affliction.
II. THAT OUTWARD CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE HELPFUL IN BRINGING MEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD. While some depend too much upon the outward and circumstantial, others go to the opposite extreme, and ignore them altogether in the work of God, whereas they have a place in that work. Calamity or affliction may not produce repentance, but they tend to subdue the spirit, and make it more susceptible to the work of God. They break up the fallow ground, and prepare it for the seed of truth.
III. THAT TRUE REPENTANCE IS PRODUCED BY THE VOICE OF GOD. It was when Elijah heard the "still small voice" that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood at the entrance of the cave.
IV. THAT CHRISTIAN WORK IS NEEDFUL TO SPIRITUAL HEALTH. Elijah was commanded to return to the wilderness of Damascus, and to do the work assigned him. He obeyed, and we never read of him wandering away again. Many Christians get low-spirited, and wander into forbidden paths, because of inactivity. Earnest work for God would restore and preserve them.
(The Study and the Pulpit.)
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.