Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Elisha: God's Messenger of Grace

We have started reading in the evening again, and I SO enjoy it. Everyone is comfy and snuggled in bed as we read/sing/pray. It’s just a wonderful way to finish the day and prepare for the next.

In addition to our Bible reading, I’ve started reading Elisha: God’s Messenger of Grace by Mrs. Walton. It is one of the books I ordered as a result of a post on Godly, Uplifting Reading Material. The first chapter spoke of who Elisha was before the call of Elijah. I’m sharing the last few paragraphs below. I hope you are blessed by them.

Elisha’s heart was being tested. He must not look back even as he put his hand to the plow of serving the Lord. No one who does this is fit for the kingdom of God. The old prophet realized this fact, and he answered accordingly. Gravely he said to him, "Go back again: for what have I done to thee?" Why take leave of your family and friends to come with me? The choice lies in your own hands; I will not force you into the work. Go back to your plowing; why leave it? It is evidently a great sacrifice to you. You can remain as you are.

But Elisha has already made up his mind to choose the better part. He turns back to the oxen and servants. Taking the two oxen he was using, he kills them, lights a fire with the plowshare, and cooks them. Then he feasts his servants with the meat. Why does he do all this? He would have them know that the day of God’s call is one of joy, not sorrow. He kills the oxen, the very means of his living, that he might step out in faith to follow wholeheartedly the call of God. Then, leaving father, mother, servants, cattle, land and comfortable home, he sets out to follow the homeless wanderer.

Several thousand years have gone by since that sunny day when young Elisha received his call from God. Yet our God changes not. What He was then, He is now. What He sought then, He seeks now. What He did then, He still does now.

Is He calling you today just as he called Elisha? do you not hear His loving voice saying to you, "Follow Me?" Leave all and follow Christ. But remember, God seeks now just what He sought then; He seeks an undivided heart. He wants your all. If He tests your heart and asks, "Go back again: for what have I done to thee?’" what will your answer be?

Remember, too, that God is now just what He was then, the strength-giving God. He gave Elisha the power to obey that call. He will give the same power to you. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Yes, you can even leave all and follow Him.

Chapter 2 is titled "The Heir Becomes a Servant" and gives a beautiful picture of Elisha, forsaking his riches (he was the heir of an estate), his power (he was placed over his father’s many servants), and his comfort (a good home and every food and luxury available) in order to become the servant of Elijah. This is then paralleled with the picture of our Lord Jesus leaving his heavenly home -
Elisha did not know it, but this change in his life from master to servant was a picture of the great Coming One, the Christ, the Messiah! Elijah, his master, was like John the Baptist in so many ways. He dwelt in the wilderness, feeding on wild fruits and herbs, dressing in the skins of beasts, and preaching repentance to his nation. And, just as Elijah was the picture of John, so his successor, Elisha, tells us of our Lord Jesus Christ who left His home and place in heaven to come down into the world and become a servant.

I’ll stop there – but the humble beauty of this book in turning our eyes to those worthy examples in scripture who point us to our greatest example, the Lord Jesus himself, has been a blessing and touched my heart in a beautifully deep way.

Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah. 2 Kings 3:11

Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant. Philippians 2:5-7

. . . whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. John 12:26

(Originally published @