Alone With God, The One Question We
Will All Be Asked...
There are some general statements that we can make about all people and
one of them is that sooner or later we will all be "alone with God". It doesn't matter who
you are, what you have, or even if you don't believe in God. Do you know what will happen?
Do you know what He will ask you? We will get the answer to those questions as we look at
the story of Elijah fleeing to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19).
Before we get into that, a little background on what was happening at
the time: Ahab became king of Israel and he married Jezebel the daughter of the king of the
Sidonians. She introduced Baal worship and Ahab went along with it even setting up a temple
and altar for Baal worship. Jezebel was searching out and killing the prophets of God.
During this time, Elijah became well known for being a bold prophet of God. He even went so
far as to hold a contest between himself and the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel. At that
time, he humiliated them and had them slaughtered by the crowd. After those events, Jezebel
made a death threat to Elijah and he fled into the desert area of Beersheba. When he was
tired, hungry, and depressed, the Lord sent an angel to strengthen him and tell him to go to
Mt. Horeb to meet with God. We pick up with the story as Elijah arrives at Mt Horeb:
(1 Kings 19:9 - 11a) Elijah slept in the cave the night he arrived and
received a vision or dream in which God told him to go to the mouth of the cave as He was
about to pass by. This cave was the same as the "cleft in the rock" in which Moses waited as
God passed by him in Ex. 33:22. We also remember that, while Moses was on the mountain
receiving the Commandments, the mountain rumbled and there was fire on top.
(1 Kings 19:11b - 13a) We see that there was wind, an earthquake, and
fire but God was not in any of them. After them came a "gentle whisper" which is where the
translation "still small voice" comes from and the concept of God speaking in a whisper to
The Hebrew words that are translated as "still small voice" are "qol
damah daqah" which is better translated as "voice of silence". We remember that Elijah is
alone in the desert and, if you have never been to a desert where you are alone, it is hard
to describe the silence that you can actually feel. So, basically, when the wind, fire, and
quaking had stopped (which by the way is what Elijah expected the presence of God to be
like) there was this silence that you could feel. Elijah, being a man of God, recognized
that this silence was God even though it was not what he expected and he went to the mouth
of the cave to meet with God. In this silence, the words "ma lekha po" were given to Elijah
by God. We do not know whether it was an actual whisper or whether God communicated them
directly to Elijah's spirit but, personally, I believe it was the latter. "ma lekha po" when
properly and literally translated means "who are you here" That was probably not what Elijah
was expecting to hear as we see in the next verse. (1 Kings 19:14)
That brings us to the heart of the matter and here is basically what
God was revealing to Elijah:
He had the recognition of the people as a "man of God" and, as people,
we like to have that but, in reality, that is just background noise in our relationship with
God. For you and me, we may have the public profile of a member of some local church and may
even be considered a leader but what really matters is the health of your personal
relationship with God. Many times, people confuse the two things and all the focus is put on
the public profile of a person. God's focus is much more personal.
So, what was revealed about Elijah in 1 Kings 19? When it got right
down to it he was a child of and recognized the voice of God even when it was not what he
expected. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said "My sheep listen to my voice;"
(John 10:27) I've got a little story that demonstrates this really well. A few years ago, I
went to Israel for the first time and I walked on The Jesus Trail from Nazareth to Cana.
Just outside of Nazareth, I saw what I thought was a very strange sight. I saw a shepherd
and a flock of sheep travelling and this modern shepherd had a iPhone that held his gaze as
he would go ahead of the sheep not even looking at them. Now and again, he would simply
utter a one word call to the sheep and they would immediately respond and get closer to him.
Most of the time he did not even look up from his phone. That sight really helped me to
understand the meaning of Jesus' words.
Whether you get some "alone time" with God now or wait until Judgment
Day, each of us will be asked the same question that was asked of Elijah: Ma lekha po? "Who
are you here" when it is just you and God.
Will your answer be that you are a child of God because of Jesus Christ
or will you try to come up with another answer. In Matthew
7:21 - 23, we see that there will be people that try to claim the relationship based
on their works instead of the work of Jesus on the cross. We also see that the result from
that answer is a one way ticket to hell.
Today, I urge you to seek in your heart the answer to Ma lekha po.
After you have settled the question in your own heart, I would also urge you to share the
same question with everyone that you care about and even people that you do not know. Would
you want them to have to come up with an answer on Judgment Day with eternity on the