In times of great transition we see God’s hand guiding the circumstances and preparing people for what was to come. We see this to be true in the passing the mantle of God’s spokesperson (Prophet) from Elijah to Elisha. Elisha had a great example to follow in the prophet Elijah. He remained with Elijah until the last moments of his teacher’s life on earth. He was willing to follow and learn in order to gain power to do the work to which God had called him.
Both Elijah and Elisha concentrated their efforts on the particular needs of the people around them. The fiery Elijah confronted and exposed idolatry, helping to create an atmosphere where people could freely and publicly worship God. Elisha then moved in to demonstrate God’s powerful, yet caring, nature to all who came to him for help. He spent less time in conflict with evil and more in compassionate care of people. The Bible records 18 encounters between Elisha and needy people.
Elisha saw more in life than most people because he recognized that with God there was more to life. He knew that all we are and have come to us from God. The miracles that occurred during Elisha’s ministry put people in touch with the personal and all-powerful God. Elijah would have been proud of his replacement’s work.
We, too, have great examples to follow—both people in Scripture and those who have positively influenced our lives. We must resist the tendency to think about the limitations that our family background or environment create for us. Instead, we should ask God to use us for his purposes—perhaps, like Elijah, to take a stand against great wrongs or, like Elisha, to show compassion for the daily needs of those around us. Ask him to use you as only he can.
Strengths and accomplishments
- Was Elijah’s successor as a prophet of God
- Had a ministry that lasted over 50 years
- Had a major impact on four nations: Israel, Judah, Moab, and Aram
- Was a man of integrity who did not try to enrich himself at others’ expense
- Did many miracles to help those in need
Lessons from his life
- In God’s eyes, one measure of greatness is the willingness to serve the poor as well as the powerful
- An effective replacement not only learns from his master but also builds upon his master’s achievements
- Where: Prophesied to the northern kingdom
- Occupations: Farmer, prophet
- Relative: Father: Shaphat
- Contemporaries: Elijah, Ahab, Jezebel, Jehu
“When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.’ And Elisha replied, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor'” (2 Kings 2:9).
I hope that you can join us and learn some great life lessons from Elisha about faith, obedience and courage in times of massive life changes. May we be brave.