And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent 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 a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The story of Elijah’s experience at Mount Horeb after fleeing from Ahab and Jezebel gives rise to some of the strangest interpretations. Some people think that whatever the weakest voice is, that is the voice of God.
I think the expression “still small voice” is a metonymy. The voice is not called still and small in the sense that it is weak, but in the sense that one can hear it only in interior silence.
With the distractions of the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, Elijah found it difficult to find interior silence even in the desert. Besides all those, we have the iPod, the YouTube, and the all-consuming job. One wonders what we are trying to drown out.