Elijah had been used of God to hold back rain from the land for over 3 years, because of their sins. He became a man on the run because of this and we can only imagine the stress he experienced during those years. There’s one statement in the Bible that seems to further complicate Elijah’s situation. Consider this. “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.”
According to the New Testament, this “After a long time” was actually 3 ½ years. The famine was 3 ½ years long. For 3 ½ years, the people apparently continued to sin, Elijah continued to hold on by faith, but God said nothing. God was apparently inactive, not speaking, even to His great servant Elijah. Have you ever been there? Has the silence of God in your life ever been eerily strong? In today’s sermon let us look at three things we can do when God is silent.
Text: 1 Kings 18:1
1. Silence is not an absence of action
A. Just because God is silent it doesn’t mean He is idle: (The intertestamental period: A 400 year gap between the ministry of Prophet Malachi and John the Baptist. God was quiet but preparing the world to receive His son, Galatians 4:4).
B. Seasoned Christians know that some of the biggest moves God has made in their life have come after a period of spiritual dryness; therefore stay very close to God and watch for His power to be displayed.
C. Application: An old proverb says “The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” When you’re at your lowest point, when all seems lost and all hope seems to be gone, have hope in God, because things can only get better from there on.
2. Confront known sins in your life
A. In OT times priests were mediators between God and Man. But when Eli’s sons sinned (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 1 Samuel 2:22) their relationship with God was severed and God stopped speaking to his people (1 Samuel 3:1).
B. Elijah didn’t sin but the Israelites were living in sin. Sin hinders man’s relationship with God.
C. Application: Don’t find excuses to justify your sin. Confront yourself, confess and turn back to God.
3. Continue to trust God
A. Although this situation had grown from bad to worse, Elijah did not disobey God. He obeyed him by faith.
B. Times of silence could be scary and requires more faith. (Not the faith that changes situations but the faith that obeys)
C. Application: We can’t have first hand experiences with God all the time. Continue to trust God and obey him. This will prepare you to receive from God when he breaks the silence some day. Resist temptation to complain, Backslide, get discouraged and crippled in faith permanently.
There are many great miracles. But the greatest miracle of them all is to figure out what to do during times when miracles are nowhere to be found. Are you ready?’
Image: Martin Gomel
Adopted from “7 actions for the times God is silent” By Ron Edmondson