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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Listen to God´s whisper

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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 15 July 2012

1 Kings 19
9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

11 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:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so,when Elijah heard it,that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

The story of Elijah is marvelous. If you read his history from beginning to end you will see his life was wonderful with great authority. Even though he was a man just like we but he lived in an amazing way. Go alone with God and ask Him to speak to you as you read his story.

As you read the history of Elijah you begin to grasp why God would not let him die the death of other people. God sent a chariot of fire to take him to heaven. It shows us that there was something very special about him.

Consider his prayers. Israel was ruled by a wicked king with no fear of God, and his wife was a terribly wicked woman and a murderer. They killed God's prophets and made Baal to be the only acceptable religion. Elijah prayed that God would withhold rain as punishment upon this king and nation, and it didn't rain for three and a half years.

When the king saw Elijah after that time the king accused him as the troubler of Israel, but Elijah corrected him and said that the king was the "troubler of Israel".

Elijah told the king to bring together all Baal's prophets to see whose God would answer by fire, and the king did so. No fire came down while the prophets of Baal prayed and cut themselves, until they gave up. Elijah mocked them and told them to shout louder for their God might be asleep and needs to be awoken.

Before Elijah prayed, he commanded that they dig a trench around his altar and poured water therein as well as on the offering and wood. Then he prayed and God answered by fire so that the sacrifice, wood and water, even the stones, were burned up.

When the fire came down all the people cried out, "the Lord is God".

This prophet had authority with God. He also commanded that all the prophets of Baal be killed. Elijah presumed that a great revival had started where Israel will turn to God.

Then he prayed that God would send rain, and as soon as his assistant reported a cloud like the fist of a hand he sent word to the king to go home quickly that the rain would not delay him.

Elijah thought that this would cause the king and royal household to repent. But when Jezebel heard what happened from her husband, she was furious and sent word to Elijah that he would be killed before the sun had set.

Elijah was deeply disappointed. He thought that everyone would repent, but he didn't reckon with the hardness of man's heart. If a person has hardened his heart it doesn't matter what sign the Lord does, that person would simply not listen but grow even worse. It reminds us of the rich man and Lazarus, where the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to warn his brothers that they would not come to hell too. But Abraham answered him that they have Moses and the prophets. If they listen not to them, neither will they listen even if someone should rise from the dead. This was shown to be true for when Jesus rose from the dead it made no difference to the hardened Pharisees and Saducees.

We find the same thing here in this matter of Elijah. Jezebel and her husband only grew worse when they saw God's miracles.

When Elijah heard the death sentence pronounced upon him, he fled and fell asleep under a tree. The Angel of the Lord awoke him and told him to eat and drink of the food set before him, and so he did and slept again.

He was so depressed that the people did not repent that he prayed that God would rather let him die.

(If God doesn't cause people to repent all our efforts are in vain.)

Again the Angel of the Lord awoke him to eat and drink so that he will have strength for the great journey that was ahead of him.
With the strength of that food he walked for 40 days till he reached the mount of God, Horeb.

There God asked him what he was doing there and he told the Lord how he was zealous for God, and thought that he was the only one left and they looked for him to kill him too. But God had answered him that he was not alone, for there were 7000 left that did not bow to Baal.

Notice that God's voice was a still small voice (or whisper). God was not in the powerful earthquake or the mighty wind that split the mountain, or the great fire.

God's small whisper is so soft that you're not sure that you've heard correctly. But Elijah heard it and recognized that God was in it and he bowed and worshiped. He didn't worship nature, but God alone.

There are many winds going aground in this world, where people put you under pressure to do certain things. There are those that would fall because of that. But don't listen to those other voices, but only listen to God.

Do you know God's voice? Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice".

When the pharisees told the apostles not to speak of Jesus they replied that they couldn't but speak of those things they have seen and heard. You can only speak with authority of the things you have experienced, seen and heard.

There are strange fires in this world by people claiming they are speaking as from God and even doing awesome miracles (also calling down fire from heaven, as the anti-christ will do). Will you be able to recognize that God is not in that?

Unless you know the small whisper of the voice of God, you will be influenced by other voices.

Learn therefore from the Lord Who said, "My sheep hear My voice". Those are His sheep that hear His voice. To hear His voice you must depart from all iniquity. You must be in tune with Him.





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