Bringing the Text to Life

Thunder in the Mountains, Silence in the Soul 1 Kings 19:9-14

God is both inside and outside - in the mountains and their thunder and in the quiet caves of our souls. To Moses God spoke through the mountains with a roar. To Elijah God spoke through the cave in a still small voice. God still speaks in various ways today.


The multifaceted nature of God's presence before human beings is demonstrated dramatically in this week's text from 1 Kings. While the redactors have taken tremendous pains to set up a correlation between Moses and Elijah, the experience of God is obviously profoundly different for this latter prophet. If we were to try and neatly dichotomize these differences, we might be tempted to conclude that there is a Torah of Moses and a Torah of Elijah - the Torah characterized by divine might and thundering mountains, and the Torah of the "still, small voice." But the text itself, with its convoluted, interwoven, interrupted narrative, testifies that God is both. Moses' experience of God was the genuine eternal truth about the Lord. Elijah's experience of God was the genuine, eternal truth about the Lord. God is both inside and outside - in the mountains and the thunder, and in the dark, quiet interior of our souls. To Moses, God spoke through the mountains with a roar; to Elijah, God spoke ...

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