Ratio Christi College Prep – Texas Hill Country Chapter

1 Kings 19:11–14. Standing on the mountainside outside his cave (cf. v. 9) Elijah witnessed what Moses had seen in those mountains centuries before (Ex. 19:16–18) and what he himself had seen on Mount Carmel only a few days earlier (1 Kings 18:38, 45), namely, a spectacular demonstration of the power of God, this time in wind, an earthquake, and fire. But on this occasion the Lord was not in any of these, that is, they were not His instruments of self-revelation.

Evidently some time later when Elijah was back in his cave (19:13) he heard the sound of a gentle whisper. Recognizing this as a revelation of God he pulled his cloak over part of his face, walked out to the mouth of the cave, and stood there waiting for God to act. God asked the same question He asked earlier (cf. v. 9): What are you doing here, Elijah? The prophet’s response was identical to his first reply (cf. v. 10), suggesting that even though he may have understood the point of God’s display of natural forces for his benefit he still felt the same way about himself.

The message God seems to have intended for Elijah is that whereas He had revealed Himself in spectacular demonstrations of His power in the past at Kerith, Zarephath, and Carmel, He would now use Elijah in gentler, less dramatic ways. These ways God proceeded to explain to His servant (vv. 15–18). God would deal with Elijah’s personal feelings about himself later in a gentle way too.[1]

In much the same way, Christian apologists today find themselves in position similar to that of Elijah. God has revealed Himself to us in many ways, yet it is often that “still small voice” that leads us further into our calling to defend the truth of the Christian faith.

Like Elijah, we sometimes feel alone, standing against a corrupt, godless society where persecution towards us abounds. Yet God informs us, just has He informed Elijah, there are many more waiting to take up the mantle (or cause) for the Kingdom. And like Elijah and his mentorship of Elisha, we are to mentor others and continue the calling of the Christian apologist.

[1] Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Kings. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 528–529). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.