Tag Archives: Elijah

Why Are You Here? #adventbookclub – Day 13

and he spent the night there in a cave.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

While Elijah was on Mount Sinai, the Lord asked, “Elijah, why are you here?”

10 He answered, “Lord God All-Powerful, I’ve always done my best to obey you. But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!”

11 “Go out and stand on the mountain,” the Lord replied. “I want you to see me when I pass by.”

By Ludovic Bertron from New York City, Usa

All at once, a strong wind shook the mountain and shattered the rocks. But the Lord was not in the wind. Next, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

12 Then there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.

Finally, there was a gentle breeze,13 and when Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave.

The Lord asked, “Elijah, why are you here?”

14 Elijah answered, “Lord God All-Powerful, I’ve always done my best to obey you. But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!”

15 The Lord said:

Elijah, you can go back to the desert near Damascus. And when you get there, appoint Hazael to be king of Syria. 16 Then appoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat to take your place as my prophet.

17 Hazael will start killing the people who worship Baal. Jehu will kill those who escape from Hazael, and Elisha will kill those who escape from Jehu.

18 But seven thousand Israelites have refused to worship Baal, and they will live.

Why are you here?
What are you looking for?

Do you think I am in the wind?
Rushing,
bending,
uprooting,
blowing things where they don’t want to go?

Do you think I am in the earthquake,
shaking,
breaking,
tearing apart?

Do you think I am in the fire?
Destroying,
charring,
burning?

I am in none of these.
Not for you today.

I am in the gentle breeze,
the soft whisper,
the quiet voice.

Why are you here?
What are you running from?
What do you want to see?

If you’re looking for me,
don’t miss me.
Don’t look for me
only in the spectacular,
the noisy,
the forceful.
My power is just as much
in the stillness,
the quiet voice,
the gentle whisper.

Don’t run away.
Don’t be afraid.
I haven’t abandoned you.
I haven’t finished yet.

Peace Be Still

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

 

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It’s Your Fault

I’m sure we’ve all at one time or another been unfairly blamed for something that has gone wrong with someone else.

Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

1 Kings 17:17-24

Elijah Brings a Boy Back to Life

17 Several days later, the son of the woman who owned the house got sick, and he kept getting worse, until finally he died.

18 The woman shouted at Elijah, “What have I done to you? I thought you were God’s prophet. Did you come here to cause the death of my son as a reminder that I’ve sinned against God?”

19 “Bring me your son,” Elijah said. Then he took the boy from her arms and carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying. Elijah laid the boy on his bed 20 and prayed, “Lord God, why did you do such a terrible thing to this woman? She’s letting me stay here, and now you’ve let her son die.” 21 Elijah stretched himself out over the boy three times, while praying, “Lord God, bring this boy back to life!”

22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer, and the boy started breathing again. 23 Elijah picked him up and carried him downstairs. He gave the boy to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive.”

24 “You are God’s prophet!” the woman replied. “Now I know that you really do speak for the Lord.”

This passage gives us an interesting journey into Old Testament beliefs about the cause and effects of death.

Elijah was staying with this widow in Zarephath, had indeed saved her and her son from certain starvation, yet when her son becomes ill and dies, she blames Elijah.

Of course we are familiar with searching for a reason for illness.  If we are unwell, we go to the doctors and expect them to tell us what is wrong, why we feel so poorly – and what they are going to do about it.  We are used to medical science being able to explain our ills, and become very uncomfortable if the answer is a genuine, ‘we don’t know why’.  So perhaps we can understand this woman looking for a reason for why her son has become ill – if not agree with the conclusion she reaches.

She concludes that her son’s illness is to remind her, if not punish her for her sin.  That may seem like an antiquated belief to us, but is it any different to the question we often hear,

What have I done to deserve this?

The implication being that there is a cause and effect of illness.  Well of course there is, but it is more to do with bacteria, genetics and pathology – not related to the good or otherwise we have done in life.  People getting ill and dying is a fact of life – totally unconnected to their morality.  They have done nothing to deserve it.

Elijah proves to her that this is not the case.  He prays, the son starts breathing again and is restored to his mother.

The collection of stories in these chapters are about Elijah being proven to be God’s prophet and being able to do God’s work – not any theology of sickness and death, and that is how we must treat them.

Is the death of a child any prove or consequence of a mothers sin?  Emphatically not.

Does God speak in and through his people? Certainly yes.

Thank you Lord
that illness and disease
are not punishment
or judgement,
that that is not the kind of God you are.

Thank you
that you are a God of love and faithfulness.

Thank you
that though others may seek to blame us
or you
that is not the case.

Thank you,
that in all our questions,
our misunderstandings,
our failure to grasp your ways,
you continue to speak
and to work,
in us
and through us