Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29
READ: 1 Kings 19:15-21
15 And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?
21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
We can learn many lessons from the life and times of Elisha- the successor to the great Prophet Elijah. In the next few days, we shall consider some of these lessons, and we will start with ‘diligence’ today. For example, we see that Elisha- a prosperous farmer’s son, was working alongside his father’s employees when Elijah met him. He could have refrained from joining the workers, but he worked with them because he was a diligent man. To excel physically in your endeavors, you must be diligent (Proverbs 22:19); likewise, to excel spiritually, you must seek the Lord diligently (Hebrews 11:6).
Another lesson we can learn from Elisha is ‘good leadership’. As successful as he was, he was in the field with the hirelings, ploughing in his father’s farm (1 Kings 19:19). He was a leader by example- not a sit-at-home leader who issues commands while he himself would not lift a finger to do anything. To lead is to serve, according to the injunction of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 20:27. He was diligently doing his business when he received the call to the office of a prophet. Children of God should not be idling away in the name of a call that could be for a set time- they must be found busy doing legitimate business because the Lord does not call mediocre. Moreover, Elisha did not allow his call to becloud his obligation to honor his father before resuming at his divine post as a son of the prophet (1 kings 19:20). This conforms with the Scripture that says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12).
It is a dangerous thing to fail in honoring our parents under the guise of either a new-found faith or calling in the ministry. I will forever be grateful to God who gave me the opportunity to honor my mother while she was still alive and I received a lifetime blessing from her. Beloved, let us take note of these lessons as we continue to examine the life and times of Elisha the prophet.
Take time to study Prophet Elisha on your own and it will surprise you how many lessons the Holy Spirit will teach you.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: GENESIS 35-37.
HYMN 3: DEEPER, DEEPER IN THE LOVE OF JESUS.
1. Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2. Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3. Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
4. Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
5. Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.
We can help! All you need to do is enter your email ID and follow the instructions!