1 Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 17:14-15
Elisha Arose, Went After, and Ministered Unto Elijah
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: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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. – 1 Kings 19:15-21
There were so many stories that could have been highlighted in the few verses we read in 1 Kings today. Elijah got a message from Jezebel that sent him running to hide in the wilderness. There he sits under a Juniper tree and tells God he wants to die. Elijah falls asleep, and an angel of the Lord wakes him up and ministers to him. The angels gives him food to eat for the journey he is to go on. Then Elijah heads out and doesn’t eat for 40 days and nights. He ends up at Mt. Horeb (which some scholars say is Mt. Sinai – where Moses saw the Glory of God pass by).
At Mt. Horeb, he finds a cave for shelter and rest. There, God asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?” He tells God his problems. The Lord tells Elijah to stand on the mountain because HE is going to be out there. Before he goes, a mighty wind passes by (the Lord was not in the wind). Then an earthquake shakes the cave (the Lord was not in the earthquake). Then fire comes (the Lord was not there either). Finally, Elijah hears a voice no more than a whisper. The Bibles calls it a “still, small voice.” It is God. Elijah wraps his face in his cloak and goes out of the cave to the mountain. God asks Elijah again, “What are you doing here?” He once again tells God his problems.
The Lord tells Elijah to go back the way he came – to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha as the prophet that will take his place when he is gone. God assures Elisha that he isn’t alone that He has 7,000 people left that have not bowed down to Baal. Elisha goes back and passes Elisha as he is working. He puts his cloak on Elisha. Elisha understands what this means – that he is being called by God to go away and serve both Elijah and God.
Elisha asks first to say goodbye to his parents. He is given permission. He goes home, kills his flock and cooks it all, and feeds the people. Then Elisha arose, followed Elijah, and ministered to him (and God).
Whew!!!! There is a lot happening in these 21 verses. And in the end Elijah is ministered to by an angel, Elisha, and God Himself. Elijah thought he was alone. He was so scared and lonely that he felt ready to die, but he was never alone. Neither am I.
Because He Gave Not God the Glory
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. – Acts 12:20-23
His Mercy Endureth Forever
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. – Psalm 136:1
Leave Off Contention, Before it Be Meddled With
The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. – Proverbs 17:14
Contention – a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument; rivalry; competition
Meddle – to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern; interfere without right or propriety