Where are you?

1 Kings:19:9 “At that place (Horeb) he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I’m presently taking an online course via Princeton Seminary and the class last week, in his lecture Dr. Olson brought up that God asks us questions. In Genesis Chapter 3, verse 9: “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” In Genesis Chapter 32, verse 27: “…”What is your name?” …” (There are oodles of other questions, I’m sure.)

How the person responses to God’s question is the key. I think there is a ton of stuff to think about in this. Do we respond openly, honestly? Do we respond guilty? Do we turn the question? Do we even know the answer? Because of course God knows what Elijah is doing in the cave, yes? Elijah, however, doesn’t seem to know what he is doing in this cave. “I’ve worked hard for you, Lord, and no one cares, and they want to kill me.” He could have said, “I’m scared and I’m hiding; help me.”

The amazing thing is that what God hears is “help me”. And in fact that is what He heard with Adam and Jacob, too. That is how God responds, even if the help seems a bit like tough love. Here’s some clothes, some new rules and you can’t live in the Garden anymore. But I am helping you. Jacob, you get a new name, because you have dishonored and twisted your old name, your old life, completely out of shape and it won’t work for you anymore. To Elijah He says, here’s a glimpse of me: I’m real, I’m here, I’m with you.

Thank you God for your scripture and your Word, amen.


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