Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:8 through 20:22
God was almost ready for Elijah to retire, so he picked out his successor, Elisha (I know, it’s hard to keep these two straight).
Can you imagine having your name called out by God to replace the prophet Elijah?
…So Elijah grabbed the anointing oil and went to Elisha’s hometown and found him plowing a field with a team of oxen.
This is a very weird way to tell somebody they’re going to take your job but it really happened–Elijah threw his coat across Elisha’s shoulder and then walked away.
Throwing a prophet’s cloak around a person symbolized the passing of the power and authority of the office to that person. That Elisha realized the meaning of this act is obvious from his reaction. Immediately he started to abandon his former occupation and follow Elijah. Elijah gave him permission to say farewell to his family. The unusual reply, What have I done to you? is a saying meaning, ”Do as you please“ or ”What have I done to stop you?“ (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché, “It’s time to burn your bridges.” There were no bridges in Elisha’s day, so he burned his plow and slaughtered his oxen. This was a significant statement. It seemed from the twelve teams of oxen that Elisha’s family had a lot of land. To walk away so dramatically from his inheritance was a huge statement to his family and friends.
When it comes to serving the Lord, whether it was in Elisha’s day or 2013, most of us are hesitant to “burn our plows and slaughter our oxen.” We would rather live for the Lord “sometimes” and dabble in the things of the world “sometimes.”
The problem is, we want to have what Elisha had—an amazing anointing and used greatly by God—but we don’t want to do what Elisha did—go whole-hog as we say in the south, which come to think of it goes pretty well with slaughter you oxen!
Think about it…
Elijah didn’t require Elisha to make such a drastic display of commitment, but Elisha wanted Elijah and God to know that he was hungry for the Lord’s Spirit and His Anointing; which Elisha knew was given to very few in those days.
I’d say the Lord definitely chose a winner in Elisha.
In these tough times we need the Spirit of God resting on us everyday like Elijah’s coat did on Elisha’s back. We need to hear God say…
What do you need to stop, start, or change to move closer to God?
Get off the fence, slaughter your oxen, burn your plows and commit your life to the God who made you!
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me!
© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 20:23 through 22:9; 2 Chronicles 18:1-8