March 6, 2017

1 Kings 19:12, 13 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

So, what exactly did Elijah hear that caused him to pull his cloak over his face and go out and stand at the mouth of the cave? The above NIV version calls it “a gentle whisper.” Other versions call it “a sound of sheer silence” (NRSV), “the sound of a low whisper” (ESV), “a sound of a gentle blowing” (NASB), or, the one I first heard as a boy, “a still small voice” (KJV). One interlinear (word by word in between the lines) website I use says “voice of stillness thin.” Like much of the Bible, the narrative and description are sparse leaving space for the reader to fill in the empty edges. We know whatever it was it was in contrast to the wind and the earthquake and the fire. Maybe the gentle whisper was there all the time but couldn’t be heard above the noise of these others. Are there noises in your life that need to be silenced in order to hear what else might be heard? How will you try to make that happen this week?

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