Friday of the Week Per Annum 10

I Kings 19.9,11-16; Psalm 26; Matthew 5.27-32

The Horeb to which Elijah journeyed was the mountain known as Sinai in the time of Moses, the place where God had revealed himself to his people [Exodus 19.9-25] and had given the Torah—the ‘teaching’—by which he had united himself to this people. [20.1-21]

Elijah had vindicated the claim of that God to be the only God of Israel. [20.2] But was there something in the zeal of this passionate prophet [cf James 5.17] that had burnt him out?  He fled Ahab’s domains and went to the southern kingdom of Judah in fear of his life.
[I Kings 19.3] But he also journeyed in search of his soul, journeyed to find renewal at the mountain of God. [19.8]

God revealed himself to Moses as I am. [Exodus 3.14] The four consonants (the tetragrammaton) of this mysterious name are not to be pronounced; the pious Jewish reader, to this day, substitutes ’the lord’ when he encounters them.  Numerous efforts have been made to form a pronounceable name from them.  But YHWH is perhaps just an onomatopoeia for the breath that animates all living things. [Genesis 2.7] ‘The sound of a gentle breeze’
[I Kings 19.12] Elijah describes it—and by that gentle rustling sound, the sound that had summoned Moses, Elijah found himself addressed, the disparate energies of his life harnessed for purposes beyond him and beyond his understanding.  Neither earthquake nor wind nor fire—not even the fire that had shown itself so dramatically on Mount Carmel—but the still, small voice of calm called and claimed Elijah and empowered him to speak God’s own word.

Posted in Daily Reflection.