Elijah Anointed Elisha (pt.1)

Date: 15 April 2020

Text: 1 Kings 19:15-21

Key Lesson: Seek to prepare your children to serve.

God’s Instructions (v.15-18)
God could have left Elijah to die there in the cave, but He did not do that. The Lord is merciful. (Psalms 103:10, 14) “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

The Lord gave Elijah specific instructions.

§  He was to GO! He could sit here no longer. He must get busy.
§  He was to RETURN. He was to retrace his steps and go back to Israel. He was to go beyond Israel to the wilderness of Damascus. That was a long journey.
§  There he was to ANOINT Hazael to be king over Syria. Hazael was just a servant, yet God appointed him to be the next king. Syria was a Gentile nation, but the Lord is sovereign of the whole world. (Daniel 4:25) “… the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
§  His second assignment was to ANOINT Jehu as king over Israel.
§  Lastly, he was to ANOINT Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah as his successor.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Through these three men [Hazael, Jehu, Elisha] God would complete the purge of Baal worship that Elijah had begun. Actually Elijah did only the last of these three directly, but he did the other two indirectly through Elisha, his protégé.”[1] Elijah’s present focus was to be on mentoring a young man to take his place.

Warren Wiersbe wisely comments, “No one generation can do everything, but each generation must see to it that people in the next generation are called and trained and that the tools are made available for them to continue the work of the Lord. God was calling Elijah to stop weeping over the past and running away from the present. It was time for him to start preparing others for the future.”[2] That is good advice.

Elisha’s Home Preparation
Elijah first went to Abel Meholah to find Elisha. Abel Meholah is located in the fertile Jordan valley, not too far from the Brook Cherith. This was a farming community. The rains that quenched the parched ground some six weeks earlier enabled the farmers to begin preparing their fields for planting. The Lord directed Elijah right to the young man for whom he was looking. Elisha was the son of Shaphat was busy ploughing.

It is possible that Elisha’s father was wealthy and had 12 yoke of oxen, but that is not necessarily the case. In those days, farmers often worked together to plough their fields. This provided encouragement and fellowship. [Describe ploughing]

Elisha was one of the 7,000 whom God knew had not bowed to Baal. It appears that he came from a God-fearing family as his father and mother did not resist his call to become a prophet. He seems well acquainted with the things of the LORD even though he lived in Israel, which had drifted away from the LORD for about 90 years. Even his name, Elisha, means, “God is salvation.”

As we will soon see from his response to God’s call, Keathley notes, “Elisha had developed biblical values, priorities and eternal perspectives that had captured his heart which then controlled what he did with his life. … He was willing to be uprooted from his quiet, peaceful, and rural life with its financial security to follow the Lord.”[3] Every Christian parent should make it his goal to instil in his children a fear of God, a personal relationship with God, biblical values, biblical separation, biblical priorities, and a heart to serve the Lord. This will require the parents’ godly example, sacrificial time, careful mentoring, biblical discipline, and much prayer. Ponder Deuteronomy 6:5-9; Proverbs 6:20-23; 4:1-9; 2:1-6; 7:1-5.

The fact that he was in the field working hard when Elijah found him, speaks volumes of his character. He had learned from his youth the value of work. One of the best things parents can do for their children is to teach them to work hard, to finish the job, to do it well and not to quit until it is completed. Parents who give their children an easy life because they had to work hard while growing up, are making a huge mistake. Not only should parents teach their children to work, but also they should teach them as many work skills as possible. Ponder Proverbs 6:6-8.

[1] Walvoord/Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p. 529
[2] Wiersbe, Warren, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament History, p. 481
[3] Keathley, https://bible.org/seriespage/17-taking-your-mantle-1-kings-1919-21