Elijah’s little box.


What is the difference between the real God and all other gods?

Real God wants us in relationship with him.  All other gods are focused material world, small one nature and not the big picture.

  1. Only the thought of what Jesus did for us can bring our hearts to love God
    1. become a person who breaths grace not judgement

We can see it in the life of Elijah. 1 Kings 19:1-18

Timothy Keller June 30, 2016

3-01 The Still Small Voice.mp3


  1. Elijah, in “1 King 18:20-46”     but after that Elijah expected all to turn to God but they did not. Elijah was driven into terribly depression to the point of wanting to die. (1 King 19:4)
  2. In this case, how did God respond to Elijah’s depression?
    1. God sends an Angel.  The Angel cooks… “Arise and eat“, “touches him” and reflects his feelings “you are tired”
      1. God does NOT first say “fear not”, “i bring you good tidings”, “repent”, “do you want to talk about it?”
      2. God does NOT first assume it is a spiritual problem and say “you need to pray”, “this is a lack of faith”, go down troubleshooting list “have you prayed in faith”, “have you confessed all your known sin”, “have you claimed the promises”, “have you rebuked the devil”,  “have you pleaded the blood”  ,”have you thanked God”
      3. Elijah has a physical nature and Elijah lives in a physical world.  Sometimes you don’t need prayer, a lecture or a sermon.  Sometimes you just need a walk at the sea, a meal at a great restaurant and you just need to sleep in.
    2. HUMANS have:
      1. A physical nature – we need touch, we need food
      2. A relational nature – we need love
      3. A creative nature – we need art, music, poetry, a great book
      4. A spiritual nature – we need prayer
      5. A psychological/emotional nature – we need to rest, think and process emotions
  3. When God asks a question… it is NEVER to get information.  It is always to give information.
  4. A person’s world vision is revealed by how they respond to a persons depression/despondency.
  5. When a world vision reduces everything in the complexity of reality to just one aspect of our nature we will never successfully help people.
  6. God not only created body, soul and spirit… but he also redeems them all.
  7. People tend to try to put a god in a box.  They create a box (world vision) and they make their god fit into the box.  They strip away attributes that do not fit their world vision.  EVEN Elijah did this.  Elijah had a plan, an expectation of God under Elijah’s world vision and tried to put the REAL God in a box.  Here God is teaching Elijah a lesson.  Elijah’s view of sin and grace was too little.  He was trying please God in his works (jealousy).  Gospel says Elijah was more sinful than he could believe but also more saved that he could ever know.  Elijah was humbled.
  8. God gives different hearts different things from the richness of God’s glory.  By knowing many different christians we get to see the different ways that God works in people’s lives.  Each person goes to God and asks “show me yourself”:
    1. Moses gets a fire.
    2. Elijah gets a still small whisper
    3. Mary (about lazerus) gets tears from Jesus
    4. Martha (about service) gets a lecture from Jesus (I am the way the truth and the life)
  9. You can NEVER know God and have a decent picture of God without deep relationships with other Christians.  We simply do not have enough time on earth to personally experience every possibly life on earth.
  10. Elijah expected the spectacular to change the hearts of all people in the world.
    1. Elijah expected spectacular prayer to change hearts.
    2. Elijah expected dramatic arguments and dramtic answer to change hearts (like applogetics)
    3. Elijah expected dramatic Miracles to change hearts (1 Elijah vs 450 Baal prophets fire from heaven…)
    4. all these failed to penetrate the hearts of the people.  This depressed Elijah.  His god in a box failed.
  11. What did work?  What did change the hearts of the people?  God’s voice, God’s word, God’s spirit through his word.   A relationship with God.  Jesus said miracles will not change heart explicity in Luke 16:19-31.  Enough is provided already in the word of God.  No need to ask for miracles.
  12. The most important thing we get from this part of the bible is the message from God and Jesus that “if you want to know God, if you want to have your life changed, instead of looking for incredible mystical experiences or looking for science in the sky, go to the scripture and read the scripture like it is the voice of God calling you into relationship and respond with prayer so you know each other intimately.
  13. Why was Elijah not killed by the earthquake, wind and fire?  (Earthquake, wind and fire are symbols of judgement)  Because the rock took the earthquake, wind and fire (Jesus is the rock).  It/Jesus took the punishment for us so that we could hear God’s still small voice.  Judgement of God came down on Jesus so we could be made whole.


1 Kings 19:1-18

Elijah Flees Jezebel

19 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

The Lord Speaks to Elijah

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your 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 out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke 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 the sound of a low whisper.[a] 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”


Luke 16:27-31

27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers[a]—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

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