Today we commemorate the prophet Elijah. Elijah, whose name means “My God is Yahweh [the LORD],” prophesied in the Northern Kingdom of Israel primarily during the reign of Ahab (874–853 BC). Our devotion comes from A Year in the Old Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year.
“The LORD is my portion” (Psalm 119:57); He is my life and my salvation. “The LORD is my portion”; He has opened His hand to sustain and keep me. “The LORD is my portion”; there is no one like Him, not one! When the Word of the LORD comes, the response is, “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:10). So Samuel replied when the LORD called. “Speak, for your servant hears.”
So, too, do we respond when the Word of the LORD is heard, but are we ready to hear His Holy Word? Can we relate and respond to the truth and purity of His speech? Can we cling fast to His promises and walk in His calling? The Word of the LORD comes; can we hear it?
We have allowed too many other words to fill our ears. Our hearts have been tainted with the poisoned rhetoric of the world. Our attention has been diverted to words without meaning and speech without wisdom. So many voices, so many cries, and we are distracted into deadly places. We are convinced that the words in the night are worthy to be heard and followed even though they run counter to the Word of the LORD. So many words, so many voices, so many crying out for our loyalty, calling upon us to follow, to commit our ways to their ways, but they are not the Word of the LORD!
“Speak, for Your servant hears.” LORD, You are my portion! Speak Your Word so that I may hear and follow and be blessed. You have not promised an easy road or a smooth path, but You have assured me that You are with us. You have not promised a way out of the turmoil and trouble of this world, but You have promised a way through. Even Elijah prayed to be rescued out of trouble, but Your Word in a still, small voice assured him not of a way out but of a way through. So we, too, seek to hear Your voice, to hear Your Word, and to follow. When we consider our earthly paths and worldly ways, we hear Your voice and turn our feet toward You. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Many are the snares endured by the righteous. Many are the traps laid to catch the children of God. The net is spread out by the ungodly so that we might step in and be taken. O LORD, speak Your Word, guide our feet, and light our path. Do not let us stumble and fall; hold us upright by the strong and steady hands of our Savior and Redeemer. Wash us clean with water and blood and keep us steadfast in Your Word. Though the cords of the wicked seek to ensnare us, keep us safe by the power of Christ and the Holy Word. Let us hear Your voice; teach us Your statutes. Grant us Your favor and give us Your peace. O LORD, speak Your Word, for Your servant hears!
Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Elijah, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Devotional reading and prayer are adapted from A Year in the Old Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, pages 248–49 © 2012 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.