Let me tell you something about current events. There was an earthquake in Haiti. A hurricane in Louisiana. It seems like fires break out everywhere all the time. And now there’s been another earthquake and a tsunami in Japan. Today I was listening (I love audio bibles btw. Shout out to @audiobible) to 1 Kings 19 and let me tell you what stood out to me.
“The Lord was not in the wind.”
“The Lord was not in the earthquake.”
“The Lord was not in the fire.”
Where was He in the midst of this insane and catastrophic maelstrom of natural disasters? “There was a voice. A soft whisper.” And that’s not the only time we see that’s the case. We see it repeated in Psalm 46 that starts off with an earthquake and then ends with the infamous admonition “Be still and know that I am God.”
Where am I going with this? I don’t care what is going on in the world, I don’t care what kind of natural disasters we’re experiencing and I don’t care if the LORD ordained for the people who died in those disasters to die – the Lord was not in the wind, not in the earthquake, and not in the fire. He’s in the cleanup crew. He’s whispering afterwards because now he has our attention and because now we’re listening.
I’m not saying that the Lord isn’t wrathful, I’m not saying He DIDN’T cause these things to happen because lets face it – I don’t know.
“We see as in a mirror dimly.” (Jesus, can I borrow that windex?)
But let me tell you what I do know for certain. “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” That whisper that comes after the mess, is mercy. It is grace. It is love and compassion, forgiveness and healing. It’s not “I told you that God would punish you.” It’s not vindication in a soft whisper, and it’s not revenge or wrath.
“Go back.” The Lord says in verse 15. “Go back the way you came and let me tell you how to fix things, and make them better.”
Now I’m sure there are problems with my hermeneutic here but please hear the heart behind this message.
Problems happen. Hurts and wounds and troubles happen. Whether it is inflicted by the Lord or by Satan, or by chance is unimportant as far as I’m concerned, because we are called to serve the nations, to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. We are to hear the soft whisper afterwards that tells us exactly what to do, to make things better.