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Elisha: Passing the Mantle (9 of 14)
Kings On Parade
II Kings 2
I have read to you the introductory verses of the
chapter which give us the transition between Elijah,
the fiery prophet of God, and Elisha, the young
protégé. The name, Elijah, mean the Lord Yahweh lives.
Elisha means God is salvation. You have a study in
contrast when you study these prophets of God. Elijah
was the fiery type. He is the one, who on the mount of
Carmel, confronted the prophets of Baal and called
down the fire of God upon the sacrifice. He was the
one that was filled with lightning. He was the one who
could call down fire or rain, which ever was needed.
On the other hand, his young successor, Elisha, seems
to be more of the gentle spirited kind. It reminds me
of the contrast between John the Baptist and the Lord
Jesus. You may remember that John the Baptist was the
fiery preacher in the wilderness. He was not much of a
social person. He was a bit withdrawn. The Lord Jesus
came and He was one who mixed and mingled with the
people. He felt quite at home in social gatherings.
People loved to be around Him.
God uses different personalities. God uses different
kinds of servants in different ways and at particular
The transition is going to be made. God is going to
call young Elisha to carry on the ministry which
Elijah had begun. We are told about the call of Elisha
back in chapter 19 of I Kings. Let's refresh our
memory and see the call of God on Elisha. Verse 19
says this. "So he (Elijah) 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."
Here was Elisha out in the field working. He was a
busy man. He was involved in something when the call
of God came upon his life. The ministry is no place
for lazy people. It's hard work serving the Lord. It's
hard work being in the ministry of the Lord. God has
called us to work and to serve Him with the very best
we have. So most often God calls busy people. Here was
Elisha, plowing and Elijah took off his mantle (kind
of like an overcoat or cape) and cast that mantle on
him. That was a symbolic way of saying, "God is
calling you into service."
You would do well sometime to study the Bible accounts
of how people were called into the service of the
Lord. Very often I talk to young men or young ladies
who come to me and feel that God has called them in
some special way. Very frequently they will say to me,
"How did God call you?" I try to share with them my
call. But the thing that has been so interesting and
noticeable to me through the years is that God calls
in different kinds of ways. No two seem to be the
same. There is no pattern necessarily. Sometimes God
calls in circumstances. Sometimes God uses people to
call you into God's work. Sometimes God ...
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