The Call of Elisha
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:19-21 (NIV)
Our Sunday School class is completing a 16 week study on the life and work of Elijah. I especially enjoyed today’s lesson on God’s calling of Elisha. It was so encouraging to see once again that God calls ordinary men for His extraordinary purposes.
God had given Elijah the following instructions in 1 Kings 19:15-16, “The Lord said to him [Elijah], “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.”
When Elijah found Elisha he found him busy doing ordinary, physical, break out in a sweat work as he was driving a team of oxen and plowing a field. It is this ordinary man that God has Elijah to place his mantle onto and transfer the power and authority of his office as prophet.
We this all throughout Scripture. Samuel wanted to anoint David’s brother, Eliab, as king but the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
In Matthew 4, we see Jesus call Peter, Andrew, James and John – fisherman and make them His disciples. Peter, James, and John are considered the inner circle of the disciples. These fishermen were the closet to Jesus and Jesus did just what He told them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” We see Peter and John in Acts 3-4 as they are walking out their assignment as they heal a man, offer him Jesus, and preach and bring many to Christ. This is exciting because once again we see that God knows every man’s heart, His plan and purpose for each life, and that He executes his plan as He calls, appoints, and anoints.
The Scriptures tell us that the religious leaders were not happy or pleased but did draw the following conclusion, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).”
Be encouraged and excited, my brothers and sisters, God continues to use ordinary folk for the cause of Christ and to impact His Kingdom, to be the light of the world, shine as stars, to be His ambassadors of His love, grace, mercy, compassion, healing, provision, restoration, deliverance, and salvation. Just know that “The Lord’s eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
The LORD saw Elisha’s heart and sees every heart fully devoted and committed to Him. His supra-natural on our natural, for the glory of God, will have eternal results. May we be faithful to spend times with Jesus allowing Him to empower us by His Spirit and Word to be faithful in the specific assignments He gives us and as we go fish men. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).”
This image speaks…may God privilege us to be found useful for His Kingdom!