As I’m reading through Deuteronomy and Galatians this morning (and, admittedly, in a grumpy mood because of Day Light Savings), and I see the organization of God for Israel, and I keep hearing “He is not a God of Chaos.” Admittedly, this has come from many conversations this week with various people as well, but as I’m reading and meditating and exploring this thought, it comes to my mind “He is still in the still, small voice.” Consider all that: in a time when there was a King in the Northern Kingdom (Israel, Judah was in the South), everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Elijah had just had victory over the 400 prophets of Baal, and Jezebel, the king’s wife, wanted to kill him. So where was he? Hiding in a cave, lamenting that he was the only one faithful (so he thought) to God in Israel. God told him to step outside the cave, and the chaos that ensued came about in a mighty wind, a great fire, and a great earthquake. God wasn’t found in these chaotic happenings. He was in the still, small voice. (1 Kings 19). God is still the God who says “Be Still and know I am God.”
In the storm, when Jesus fell asleep in the boat, the disciples cried out “Don’t you even care?” and He woke up, rebuked the wind and the waves, and then rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith (Mark 4:35-41. Jesus never operated in Chaos. When the crowds got big, He chose to move on, or offer teachings that caused many of them to leave. He wasn’t about the haste, or the sensation (Jairus daughter was dying, but He didn’t hurry to the house, [and, in fact, stopped to talk to a woman who was healed by her faith] Lazarus was dying, so He waited two more days, just to name a few examples). So why do we feel God is operating in our own Chaos?
God never operates from Chaos. From the beginning, He set all of creation in to order, and, though sin sews chaos in His good world, God is still in control, still sovereign, and still on the throne. He is not panicking, he is not worrying or wringing His hands. He is in control, always. And He commands us to do the same. Is peace lacking in your life? Maybe you’re not drawing as near to God as you think. Are you overwhelmed? Jesus says “come to Me and I will give you rest.” We are COMMANDED to enter in to His rest, even as we work, even as we toil, and He never calls us in to chaos, even though our circumstances may be chaotic. So stop paying attention to the wind, and the earthquake and the flames. Be still, and hear Him in the still, small voice.
1 Kings 19:9-12
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.