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A Whispered Question

1 Kings 19:15-17 (NIV)
The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.

Conversations with God are interesting interactions. Elijah's hiding out in a cave. He hears the voice of God asking him what he's doing there. Elijah explains his situation. God responds by "passing by," and speaks to Elijah in a whisper. He hears again God asking him, "what are you doing here?" And Elijah gives the same response he did earlier. I feel like that happens to me; God asks me a question, twice, but I give the same answer. You'd think that if He repeats the question, we'd figure out we need to give a different answer. But I don't usually, and neither does Elijah in this situation. God gives Elijah an assignment.

The most interesting part to me is not the assignment to anoint kings. It's the directive God gives Elijah to find his own successor. First of all, who's want this job anyway? Elijah's hiding in a cave out of fear for his own life. Additionally, Elijah's in the "prime" of his career. I had never noticed before that in the "still, small voice," God gives assignments (e.g. Moses and the bush). To his credit, Elijah doesn't seek out the "glory" job first of finding kings. He went from there to find his successor Elisha.

My lessons for today:
- If God repeats the same question, I should give a different answer.
- When God whispers, it usually involves an assignment.
- Obedience is about finding successors before anointing kings.

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