NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 18–19
— What are some steps you can take to prepare others for Kingdom work in the future?
— Why is a gospel community so important during seasons of despair?
— What is your plan for pursuing quiet communion with God on a daily basis?
Food for Thought:
Read 1 King 19:9-18 As Elijah stood before the Lord, the Lord “passed by,” and a great wind tore through the mountains (v. 11). Then there was an earthquake, and then a fire. But the Lord was not in these powerful displays. Instead, after the fire Elijah heard a “soft whisper” (v. 12).
Previously, God showed up with fire, consuming the drenched altar. People marveled. But here the emphasis is on God’s quiet ways. God often appears not in the spectacular but in the gentle whisper. Job 4:16 and Psalm 107:29 also refer to an almost silent sound, and the context of both passages is one of rest and refreshment in the midst of pain, distress and fear.
Let’s remember that God often works in quiet ways. Sometimes the fire seems to fall in corporate gatherings, but God is always working quietly through His written Word and by His Spirit in the hearts of His people. Seek the God of grace in the quiet place and listen to His Word.
However, we do not accomplish God’s mission alone as individuals. God demonstrated mercy here in that He kept dealing with Elijah and gave him a new assignment — to anoint some new leaders in the land. The defeat of Baal and his worshipers in Israel would not happen by Elijah alone, nor would it happen in his lifetime. Elijah’s job involved more than fighting well in the present; it also involved preparing others for the future.
Part of Elijah’s depression stemmed from his perception that he alone remained faithful to God in Israel (1 Kings 19:10, 14). But God corrected his misperception. Elijah wasn’t the only one left; God had preserved a remnant of people faithful to Him, 7,000 in fact.
God’s sovereign saving grace among humanity was a word of assurance to Elijah, and it should be a wonderful word of assurance to us as well (Romans 11:2-5). No matter how lonely you feel, Jesus has people, not just from Israel but also from the nations, who have been saved by grace through faith in His name.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject.