Saturday, 28 April 2007

I am getting ordained this Sunday evening at Eastside Church in Hamilton, which is really exciting! So with this in mind I thought I'd write about the call of God...
Lets start off by looking at Scripture:

1KI 19:19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you."
"Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"

1KI 19:21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.
Let me put down some seed thoughts to get your mind whizzing:
  • God had chosen Elisha. Does this mean that even if Elisha wanted to run from this calling that he couldn't (Consider Jonah)?
  • What happened under the cloak? Have you had an experience like this?
  • Elisha was a successful hard working man. Why is it that people who really don't want to work and who really don't feel good at anything always think that ministry would be good for them?
  • When Elisha ran to Elijah, why did he say, 'What have I done to you?' Was he trying to put Elisha off? Was he testing Elisha's call?
  • What was the significance of Elisha sacrificing the pair of oxen and burning the plowing equipment?
  • If Elisha was to be a great prophet... why should he spend his time doing menial attending to Elijah... surely he could have been doing better things that washing his hands and feet, etc?
I look forward to your ponderings & questions on this passage

1 comment:

Catherine said...

So I'm still procrastinating ;-)...

I love the pasages about Elisha in Kings, mostly because they mark the beginning of a new chapter in my life when a certain young lady preached on this passage last year and then came over to me afterwards and placed her 'cloak' over me before walking off and leaving it to me to pursue her and find out just what she meant!

At the moment the biggest point of interest in this account to me is that Elisha was working before he was called. It seems to me that often those who are uncertain about where they are called to be are the ones who aren't doing anything. It is possible to be serving and still have no idea what God has in store, on the other hand I don't know of any examples of people who were doing nothing when they discovered their vocation.

For years as a teenager I tried to work out what I was going to do with my life. I discussed it with my parents and other important people inmy life, I cried about it, I stressed about it, I even occasionally prayed about it. I thought I finally worked out where I was going and then several years into University I found myself lost and questioning again. Finally I gave up and decided that instead of trying to work out where I was going I would learn as much as I could about God and do as much as I could for Him. A year into this I found myself under a cloak.

The cloak in the passage isn't just a cloak though - its a symbol. What happened under it? I think Elisha probably experienced a feeling of destiny calling, doors opening and new horizons appearing. I think he would have begun to see his life through Elijahs and God's eyes. What he saw and felt was so compelling he was able to immediately remove all his current encumbrances and follow this new path. Scary, hard, menial, but right.

Why attend Elijah? Its great training serving someone else's vision before being released into your own... good practice cos ultimately we are all serving God's vision and learning to submit to a tangible person teaches us the things we need in order to be able to submit to God's leadership later on (as well as now).

This is fun!