Where is God?

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came 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 there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

8 thoughts on “Where is God?”

  1. I love the idea of God being in the gentle breeze. It just resonates with me that God is there but not easily noticed. Recently, a discussion in a school explored the possibility of using mobiles hung in the classroom so that it is noticable that the littlest bit of breeze will be seen in the swinging mobiles. One really needs to turn on one’s eyes to become aware of the presence of God.

    1. That’s a really beautiful idea! And I think would really remind people to look for God in the quieter times. It’s perhaps easier to turn to prayer in times of extremes, big changes, or disaster, but it’s good to be reminded to look to building that relationship in times of stillness.

  2. In the book of Kings Elijah is presented as the new Moses. Like Moses before him Elijah watches from a cave as Yahweh passes by. Wind, earthquake, fire appear again (Exodus 19) but this time Yahweh is not present in them. It seems clear from scholars that the Elijah story represents a transition from the spectacular theophanies witnessed by early Israel to the quiet transmission of the divine word to prophets. (Harper’s Biblical Commentary)

  3. This is a really interesting reading in that it turns some things on their heads-there is a language about God that recognises God in big, overwhelming events, and as someone who intervenes in human lives, particularly when humans fail. Some of that is used in the Old Testament and is about ‘fire and brimstone’. And yet this reading asks us to notice God in the breeze- such a beautiful image of something gentle, moving and wafting through our lives. In a world where so much of the noise and chatter is about ugliness, violence and behaviours that are profoundly disturbing, this reminder to notice God in the gentle breeze is potent.

  4. I am thinking of winds. Where do they come from? Some come from the heat below and push up. Some from currents in the oceans. Some from mountains and tunnels. Winds originate somewhere. There is a connectedness between this part of the world and others.

  5. God the almighty – certain to be in the enormous, the spectacular, the destructive or terrifying, indicative of great power. But God in the gentle breeze – what God is that? Much harder to comprehend such a God as able to help ME or anyone – is that not what we ask of God? But this God of gentle caress, like that of a breeze, brings Elijah from his safe place… How are we to understand this God, a God more likely to reside within, or ‘right by my side’, close enough to feel a gentle touch on our cheek than in the mighty storm or quake or wildfire. As mentioned above, such a turning point in thinking – but a perspective we still so often need reminding of…

  6. I feel the passage emphasises the idea that God’s presence can be found in unexpected and quiet moments rather than just in spectacular displays of power. The message might be that we need to keep our eyes and ears open to these quiet, unexpected moments where God is with us, especially in those times when we might feel alone. It’s the challenging times in our lives when we have to be especially attentive to God’s presence.

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