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Elisha: Passing the Mantle (9 of 14)
Series: Kings on Parade
2 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 He was a bit withdrawn.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 times.
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 just builds a great desire and interest in your heart to do a particular ministry.
Here is ...
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