6/2/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Confession of sin

Confession of sin

I recently responded to the issue of confessing sin. Click here. One of us sinned greatly against a spouse and the question was should she tell him. I expressed the opinion that the woman (who is genuinely repentant and free from a reoccurrence) might consider it best not to tell him, depending on her intimate knowledge of her entire situation. The ideal situation would be that the sin never occurred but since it did it would be ideal if they could share the burden and enter more deeply into their relationship with Christ and one another despite it and even through it—learning from it and being shaped by it.

I think it irresponsible to advise someone we don't know to confess to another that we don't know something so serious while knowing absolutely nothing about the entire setting and the numerous people who would be affected.

Some thought that my remarks didn't take adultery seriously enough. Let me assure you that that was not my intention at all.

Some seemed to think that if she didn't confess to her husband she was living in violation of God's law. (Their speech was ambiguous and when pressed they wavered a bit.) Some thought that if she didn't confess to her husband that she was "living in pretence". Some said if she didn't confess to her husband that she was "hiding her sin". Some thought that if she didn't confess to him that she was "violating the nature of the marriage covenant, part of which is to promote openness". Some thought that she should confess to him or she'd "live in ever-deepening misery". Some thought that confession was part of repentance so that if she truly repented it would necessarily involve confession. Some thought that the scriptures plainly require that she confess so further discussion is unnecessary (compare James 5:16). And so forth.

Let's get something clear from the start: any behaviour, from a "mild flirtation" to full blown sexual intercourse (and all stages in between) is out of order. Any relationship that involves any of this is in that respect unhealthy and sinful.

I accept that there can be good-natured and innocent speech/activity that shouldn't be so categorised but making judgements in this area can be very tricky. Still, as one American judge famously and rightly remarked in another context, we may not be able to define "harmful" but we know it when we're doing it.

And yet, sometimes we're doing more than we know and what may be harmless in one setting and on any given day may be harmful in another and on another day. Laughingly and openly flirt with someone who's life is grand and no harm ensues. Do it with someone who is under life's whip and we might begin something tragic and sinful. Flirt and you may be able to dismiss it as nothing—certainly there was no sinister intent—while the vulnerable snatches at it and a slide begins.

When I was younger I was a drinker. I had a nephew I loved dearly—Billy. He and his family moved to Australia and many years later I met up with them on one of my trips there. Billy was a hard-drinker and a street-fighter. Poor thing, his life was pretty much a shambles. I think I asked him how it all got started and he said something I can't forget, "D'you know who gave me my first drink?" I told him no and he said, "You!" I got free from the booze and he never did. For good or ill, we do more than we know.

There's a difference between an habitual offender and a one-time offender. An habitual offender could easily be a desperate struggler against what it is he/she is offending in, so he/she isn't to be dismissed as heartless or uncaring. Nevertheless, if we know they're working havoc they must be stopped (where that's possible and to whatever degree that's possible)—the innocent need protection. Of course, in the area we're discussing, when evil occurs neither party is innocent (but there are family and friends and dependants that often suffer). Our help of and advice to an habitual offender will and should differ in many respects from how we will work with a one-time offender. Those that don't know this shouldn't offer advice in any shape or form.

There's "pretending" and pretending. There's "hiding" and hiding. Here's "John" and "Joan". They've been married twenty-two years, are devoted to each other and have raised three great kids. Sustained financial troubles, fear of unemployment, a period of domestic tension and a "fling" that last several months and is the cause of terrible guilt feelings. John is genuinely grieved, ends the nonsense and purposes no more of it. While the affair was ongoing his guilt led him to act toward her with more sensitivity and since he was now done with the wickedness his care for her is even more sensitive and deep than his pre-affair devotion. For multiple reasons, best known to him, he chooses for the present at least not to tell Joan about his sin.

It would be true to say that he's hiding his sin from her! But to say he's "hiding his sin" is a phrase that suggests hypocrisy and something sinister—it is almost the equivalent to saying he is not repentant over it; but John is deeply repentant over it. He's certainly "hiding" his sin from her in the sense that he has chosen not to disclose it—that's what hiding it means; but so much depends on why he chooses to hide it. If because he knows and loves her and fears that it would needlessly injure her if he told her, he hides it, it has nothing to do with impenitence. Others might think he is making a poor judgment call but what they cannot know and shouldn't claim to know is that he's "hiding" his sin for some sinister reason.

Suppose he carries his secret for many months or longer, are we to say that he is living a life of pretence during that time? We need to be careful with our words! In what way would his life be a life of pretending? Is he pretending that he loves his wife? Is he pretending that in a healthy but very marked way he is catering to her needs as a woman and a wife and a mother and friend? If we knew that John was a lying and hypocritical rascal who felt no remorse or guilt, who stayed with Joan only because there were advantages he would lose if he walked off—if we knew that that was the case then we'd say he lives a life of pretence. But it would be sheer nonsense to say that because he has chosen for the present at least not to reveal his sin to his wife that his life is mere pretence.

Is he "pretending" that he has always been sexually faithful to Joan if he doesn't tell her of his sin? Here again, we need to be careful how we speak especially since we are dealing with actual cases—some we may know about and some we aren't aware of! Should we take the view that because Joan—without ever asking—believes he has been with no one else that John is pretending if he doesn't tell her? Is all silence pretence? Honesty and openness are virtues to be prized and pursued but are they to be worshiped? Do the virtues of compassion and considerateness ever come into play? Is withholding information always lying? And is refusing to tell always hypocrisy no matter what the reasons are for remaining silent?

What if Joan asks him one day? What if she never does? Yes, but what if she asks him one day? If she did, that would change the whole setting of the discussion we're having and so doesn't add anything useful to it! What if she asks him some day? Then he will need to find a way in truth to deal with her question! But that has nothing to do with the present discussion!

If he doesn't confess will he not live in ever-deepening misery? That's very possible but such situations are much more complex than the question might imply. There are those who fear so greatly that the confession of their sin would destroy innocent lives that the only thing that keeps their head above water is their not telling. It's too easy for those of us whose lives are filled with peace and joy to come to conclusions for others whose lives are anything but peaceful. In light of the full acceptance we enjoy with our families and friends we think that if we were to behave abominably we could confess it without life going to pieces. Maybe that's true; but if it's true it's because we know our situation and would act on that sure knowledge. It may even be presumptuous to think that what we know about ourselves is true of those about whom we know nothing and that the good advice we would give ourselves would be good advice for those who are complete strangers to us!

Again, there are some of us whose deep misery is the recurring fear that our shame and wickedness might become known. The depth of the shame is what keeps us silent so our not telling it to others is less misery than the misery we'd experience if others were to know. This kind of silence can easily be self-serving since our comfort can become the primary or even the sole motivation for our silence. If we know our silence is bought at the unquestionable expense of others we are not doing right in keeping silent. (Imagine, for example, my doing wrong and someone else getting the blame while I, knowing it and saying nothing, allow them to suffer.)

It might still be true that a wife will live in prolonged misery if she doesn't tell her husband. This would be an additional tragedy and not an unusual fruit of our sinfulness but at least it would mean that she takes her sin seriously. So, is that it, we're to encourage her to suffocate in her misery? Indeed not, we might well urge her to find a wise and God-centred counsellor before whom she could unburden her heart while she waits for the time when she believes she can tell her husband.

With my hand on my heart I say that I believe the sinner's peace of mind matters! But the sinner's peace of mind must not be made the primary thing that matters! Some of us live with guilt and the pain that comes from secret sin and we accept that under present circumstances that is part of the price of sin. It isn't for nothing that a proverb says the way of the sinner is hard. [Read of Arthur Dimmesdale in Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter.] If some poor guilty soul is bearing a burden that can't be removed except by placing horrendous burdens on others who are innocent he/she will have to weigh the options and ask for God's sustaining grace.

James 5:16 says we are to confess our sins to one another. Well, there's no arguing with James; but it isn't enough to quote James and move on as if by quoting him we've understood him. If I commit adultery with another man's wife I've sinned against him (and many others). Does James 5:16 require me to tell that husband? I've sinned against him as surely as I've sinned against my wife (and others) so does he have the right to know and should I make amends to him by confession? Does it matter if my co-sinner assures me with tears that my confession will "destroy him" and the children? If my co-sinner assures me that their marital union is more than a little shaky at present and that her sin and mine would be the last straw and if she urged me to remain silent until she and her husband were well over the fragile phase they were going through due to illness of the children, financial pressures or employment difficulties—this should be given very serious consideration when working with James 5:16.

When James says "to one another" does he confine it only to husbands and wives confessing to each other? Does he confine it only to those we've immediately sinned against? Should we confess our sins congregationally (even if they are known only to one or two people)? An eldership I know of forbade a man to explicitly confess before the assembly that he had committed adultery with a sister in that church. Would James have been upset with those shepherds? If we think the shepherds were wise can they be wise if they have skated around James 5:16? The man wanted to confess, they forbade him, did that violate James 5:16? Why do you think they might have forbade him?

Who, exactly, is "one another"? And what are the circumstances James envisages? Are we sure that that section of James is speaking of what we might call "general confession"? Read it and see what you think.

I may take this up again.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website,theabidingword.com.



by Kyle Butt, M.A. ... Taking Cues from Nature’s Designer

apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1878


Taking Cues from Nature’s Designer

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

The field of biomimicry (copying biological systems) is beginning to see an influx in funds and research as scientists across the globe recognize its potential. In a recent article titled “Scientists Taking Cues From Nature,” Associated Press writer, Greg Bluestein, noted that many scientists are beginning to look to biomimicry to help them solve perplexing technological problems, such as helping bipedal robots to walk more fluidly and less robotically.
In the course of the article, Bluestein interviewed Marc Weissburg, the co-director of the new Georgia Tech’s Center for Biologically Inspired Design. In his comments, Weissburg suggested that evolution is responsible for the amazing abilities we find in the natural world. He stated: “If you think of organisms as products, all the bad ones have been recalled. Those that have survived evolved over millions of years” (Bluestein, 2006).
Weissburg also commented on the superior abilities that biological systems maintain compared to many of the ones humans have made. He said: “It really captures the imagination to show how much better organisms are at doing things. The natural world doesn’t waste energy, accumulate a large amount of toxins or produce more materials than it uses” (Bluestein, 2006).
But is seems that Weissburg, like many of his evolutionary colleagues, has missed the implication that follows from his line of work. If brilliant scientists spend decades of their lives attempting to identify and mimic superior design found in the natural world, then a conscious intellect—the Designer of nature—must maintain a superior intellect than the scientists who are attempting to mimic His systems.
Ironically, the very last sentence of Bluestein’s article is a quote from Weissburg saying: “Every organism is designed to solve a problem.” How can a person make such a statement and miss the fact that if every organism is “designed,” then that design demands a Designer? Weissburg is exactly right, every organism was designed to solve a problem. One of the main purposes for the intricate, complex organisms Weissburg and his fellow scientists are studying is to prove to such men that a superior Intellect does exist. All those who fail to make the proper connection between the magnificent world of nature and the Designer’s hand in the process will ultimately be “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

REFERENCE

Bluestein, Greg (2006), “Scientists Taking Cues From Nature,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060619/ap_on_hi_te/nurturing_nature;_ylt= AtCpSxfCdFaFLwCMytY1XoGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3cjE0b2MwBHNlYwM3Mzg-.

From Mark Copeland... Lessons From Antioch (Acts 11:19-30)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                   Lessons From Antioch (11:19-30)

INTRODUCTION

1. A wonderful example in New Testament times was the church in Antioch
   of Syria...
   b. Begun by disciples who had been in Jerusalem - Ac 11:19-21
   c. Where disciples of Christ were first called "Christians" - Ac 11:26

2. The church in Antioch of Syria would later...
   a. Serve as Paul's starting point for his three missionary journeys 
      - Ac 13:1-3
   b. Send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to resolve the issue of
      circumcision - Ac 15:1-2

[In our text for this lesson (Ac 11:19-30), we can glean from the church
in Antioch of Syria several things that are worthy of emulation.  Let's
start with...]

I. HOW TO START A CHURCH

   A. CHURCHES CAN BEGIN IN VARIOUS WAYS...
      1. Paul started many churches through his missionary journeys -
         e.g., Ac 14:21
      2. Others start when a person or family moves to an area where 
         there is no church
      3. Sadly, today many churches begin as a result of division

   B. CHURCHES START BEST WHEN CHRISTIANS "SWARM"...
      1. Like bees swarming from one hive to begin another
      2. The church in Antioch began when disciples came from Jerusalem
         - Ac 11:19-20
      3. Today, "church plantings" most often succeed when several
         families begin a new work

[What is often needed to for more churches are not just more preachers,
but more families willing to be the nucleus of a new work, whether
locally or abroad.  From the church at Antioch, we can also learn...]

II. HOW TO BE A STRONG CHURCH

   A. MANY CHURCHES HAVE MEMBERS WHO PROFESS FAITH...
      1. They may love to assemble and express their faith in praise
      2. They may even confess their faith to friends and neighbors
      3. But sometimes their faith is not accompanied with true 
         repentance

   B. ANTIOCH WAS COMPOSED OF PENITENT BELIEVERS...
      1. They "believed and turned to the Lord" - Ac 11:21 
      2. They turned from sin, and turned to the Lord (an indication of 
         true repentance)
      3. More than mere confessors, they were true converts - e.g., 2Co 7:10-11

[A church made up of penitent believers who became such through "godly
sorrow" will be a strong, vibrant church.  From the church at Antioch,
we can learn...]

III. HOW TO BE A GROWING CHURCH

   A. BY PREACHING THE LORD JESUS...
      1. They were "preaching the Lord Jesus" - Ac 11:20
      2. Today, some preach the "church", almost to the exclusion of
         preaching "Christ"!
         a. Consider much of the evangelistic tools we sometimes use:
            1) Which stress "undenominational Christianity"
            2) Or focus on the "NT pattern for the church"
         b. What can be the result of such preaching?
            1) People may be converted to the idea of the church, rather
               than to the Lord Jesus!
            2) Extent of faithfulness may be limited to church related 
               activities (e.g., attendance)
      3. We need to be sure that we preach the Lord Jesus!
         a. In other words, proclaiming that Jesus is Lord - cf. Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36; 10:36
         b. The result of preaching Jesus as Lord?
            1) They will be faithful disciples in all things that Jesus
               taught - Mt 28:19-20
            2) People will then be converted to Christ, as well as to
               His church!

   B. WITH THE HAND OF THE LORD...
      1. At Antioch, "the hand of the Lord was with them" - Ac 11:21
      2. Without Divine help, we can never have the right kind of growth
         a. It is God who opens doors of opportunity - Col 4:3
         b. It is God who gives the increase - 1Co 3:5-7
      3. With God's help, we should expect growth
         a. That is the nature of the kingdom - Mt 13:31-33
         b. Where there is little or no growth, something is amiss!

   C. WITH THE AID OF TEACHERS...
      1. Like Barnabas, who encouraged them by word and example - Ac 11:22-24
      2. Like Saul, who together with Barnabas taught a great many
         people - Ac 11:25-26

[Preach Jesus as Lord, pray for God's helping hand, utilize those able
to teach, and a church will grow!  Finally, we learn from the church at
Antioch, when faced with an impending crisis...]

IV. HOW TO BE A GENEROUS CHURCH

   A. ACCORDING TO ABILITY...
      1. The prophet Agabus foretold of a famine to come upon the world
         - Ac 11:27-28
      2. The disciples gave according to their ability - Ac 11:29
      3. Which is all that God asks of any congregation - 1Co 16:2; 2Co 8:12-14

   B. WITH DETERMINATION... 
      1. To send relief to the brethren in Judea - Ac 11:29
      2. To send via trusted messengers (Barnabas and Saul) - Ac 11:30;
         cf. 1Co 16:3

CONCLUSION

1. The church at Antioch was where disciples of Christ were first called
   Christians - Ac 11:26; cf. Ac 26:28; 1Pe 4:16

2. For reasons we have considered, they are certainly worthy of our
   imitation! - cf. Php 3:17

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading June 2

Bible Reading  

June 2

The World English Bible



une 2
Ruth 1, 2

Rth 1:1 It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Rth 1:2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Rth 1:3 Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Rth 1:4 They took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they lived there about ten years.
Rth 1:5 Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.
Rth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread.
Rth 1:7 She went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Rth 1:8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house: Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me.
Rth 1:9 Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
Rth 1:10 They said to her, No, but we will return with you to your people.
Rth 1:11 Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Rth 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons;
Rth 1:13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? would you therefore stay from having husbands? nay, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh is gone forth against me.
Rth 1:14 They lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth joined with her.
Rth 1:15 She said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god: return after your sister-in-law.
Rth 1:16 Ruth said, "Don't entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God;
Rth 1:17 where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me."
Rth 1:18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking to her.
Rth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. It happened, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and the women said, Is this Naomi?
Rth 1:20 She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
Rth 1:21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, seeing Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
Rth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Rth 2:1 Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
Rth 2:2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor. She said to her, Go, my daughter.
Rth 2:3 She went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
Rth 2:4 Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, Yahweh be with you. They answered him, Yahweh bless you.
Rth 2:5 Then said Boaz to his servant who was set over the reapers, Whose young lady is this?
Rth 2:6 The servant who was set over the reapers answered, It is the Moabite lady who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
Rth 2:7 She said, Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves. So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, except that she stayed a little in the house.
Rth 2:8 Then said Boaz to Ruth, Don't you hear, my daughter? Don't go to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.
Rth 2:9 Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them: haven't I commanded the young men not to touch you? and when you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Rth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, seeing I am a foreigner?
Rth 2:11 Boaz answered her, It has fully been shown me, all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn't know before.
Rth 2:12 May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Rth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your handmaid, though I am not as one of your handmaidens.
Rth 2:14 At meal time Boaz said to her, Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar. She sat beside the reapers, and they reached her parched grain, and she ate, and was sufficed, and left of it.
Rth 2:15 When she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and don't reproach her.
Rth 2:16 Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it, and let her glean, and don't rebuke her.
Rth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
Rth 2:18 She took it up, and went into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth and gave to her that which she had left after she was sufficed.
Rth 2:19 Her mother-in-law said to her, Where have you gleaned today? and where have you worked? blessed be he who did take knowledge of you. She showed her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz.
Rth 2:20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of Yahweh, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. Naomi said to her, The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen.
Rth 2:21 Ruth the Moabitess said, Yes, he said to me, You shall stay close to my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
Rth 2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field.
Rth 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

From Gary... After the storm- then what?


http://www.957kjr.com/onair/luciana-bosio-45943/the-cello-cover-of-acdcs-thunderstruck-12093050/

Theatrics aside, this is an interesting composition.  It reminds me of a somewhat less sophisticated version of Mussorgsky's  Night on a bare mountain  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCEDfZgDPS8.  However, both do manage to convey the power of a storm and after all, that is the point- ISN'T IT???  But, after God's exhibition of power is over- then what???  This is how one famous prophet reacted...

1 Kings, Chapter 19
1Ki 19:1  Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
1Ki 19:2  Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time."
1Ki 19:3  And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
1Ki 19:4  But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers."
1Ki 19:5  He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, "Arise, eat."
1Ki 19:6  Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.
1Ki 19:7  The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, "Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you."
1Ki 19:8  So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
1Ki 19:9  Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1Ki 19:10  He said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
1Ki 19:11  So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking 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.
1Ki 19:12  After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
1Ki 19:13  When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1Ki 19:14  Then he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
1Ki 19:15  The LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;
1Ki 19:16  and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
1Ki 19:17  "It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.
1Ki 19:18  "Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."

After God's seeing God's power in 1 Kings, chapter 18, Elijah should have continued in doing God's bidding, but instead, cowered at the word of Jezebel (verse 2). He ran from her and longed to die, but God had other plans. He provided for the next step in Elijah's mission and encouraged him with the words "What are you doing here, Elijah?".  I especially like the passage that I emphasized in red, because Mussorgy's and AC-DC's musical compositions both remind me of the fury of a thunderstorm.  But, after one has seen God's power- Then what?  The answer has always been to keep seeking God and HIS WILL FOR YOUR LIFE!!!  And, oh, yes-  DO IT!!!