Read: 1 Kings 19:9-18
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 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.
1 Kings 19:11-13
Jesus Encourages Us with His Word
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Come here, you little butterball!” Aunt Sharon reached out her hands and took pudgy little baby Tyler from his father. Tyler wasn’t about to have it, though. He didn’t recognize Aunt Sharon’s face, and he didn’t like it one bit. He couldn’t say any words, but he knew what to do when he was scared. He paused, took a deep breath, and with a red face burst into tears and a loud cry.
Tyler’s dad took his son back and did what he always does. He gently held him and whispered in his ear, “Shh! Tyler, it’ll be OK. Shh!” Instantly the tears stopped. Baby Tyler recognized his father’s voice and felt calm and safe. Everything was going to be alright.
It’s interesting how quickly children learn to recognize the voices and presence of their parents. Anytime they are lost or scared or in trouble, they learn to call out, “Dad? . . . Mom?” And as soon as they hear their parent’s voice and run into their arms, they feel better and safe.
The prophet Elijah was very afraid. A wicked queen was threatening to hurt him. It made him feel as if he was the only believer left in Israel. He was in danger, lonely, and afraid. So Elijah went to hide in a cave. That’s when God came to him. Now Elijah might have expected God to show his powerful presence in a mighty wind, an earthquake, or a fire. But surprisingly, God came to Elijah with a gentle whisper. The soothing and comforting words of God reminded Elijah that the Lord was with him and would help him.
Sometimes life makes us very afraid. We might be in danger or feel lonely or very afraid, just like Elijah. We might wonder, “Where is God’s presence? Why won’t God help me? Why won’t he show me his power?” But don’t be confused or look for him in the wrong places! Instead, listen for the gentle whisper of God’s voice. No, it’s not coming from your cell phone or speaking to you in a dream. God’s gentle voice can be heard loud and clear through his Word. In the Bible, God makes his power so clear to us. He created us! He cares for us! He saved us! In the Bible, God also makes his comforting promises clear to us. He always forgives us! He’s always with us! He will take us to be with him in heaven!
Listen to the gentle whisper of your heavenly Father. The Bible is where you will find comfort and safety in his encouraging words.
Heavenly Father, help me to listen to your voice as you comfort and encourage me in your Word. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Whose voice do you hear in the Bible?
- How does God want us to feel when we hear his voice?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Even though God always shows himself to be trustworthy, why do we become afraid so often?
- What Bible story or Bible verse is most comforting and encouraging to you? Why?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why doesn’t God show his power in amazing miracles today like he did in Bible times?
- How is a believer reading the Bible similar to a child being soothed by a parent’s voice? How is it different?
Hymn: CW 379:1,3 – Amazing Grace
Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.