Can you believe it’s July already? Where has the time gone? We hope you are enjoying the lazy days of summer (with emphasis on the lazy, if possible).
My reading today consisted of the transition between Elijah and Elisha. (Was I the only one who got confused with the two “E” names when I first read about them?) Elijah was described as hairy, prone to mood swings and bold. Elisha on the other hand was bald (and sensitive about it), even-tempered and likes quiet.
Elisha was there when Elijah was taken by the chariots of fire. But before Elijah left Elisha asked for a double portion of his spirit – talk about boldness! Elijah performed amazing miracles during his ministry and it’s hard to imagine doing more but Elisha’s request was granted.
(Note:click on the title to go to the original website)
The purpose of the table that follows is not to detail every minutia of each prophet’s existence but rather to act as an index to what follows and the scripture that it is drawn from. The left column of the table details Elijah’s ministry and is listed in biblical order. The second column details a corresponding event in Elisha’s ministry when such exists. Those events in Elisha’s ministry only will then follow in their own Biblical order. The third column provides notes on why a given event was allocated to the row it is in.
|Elijah’s Ministry||Elisha’s Ministry||Comments|
|Prophecy of drought. 1Ki 17:1||Water for a thirsty army. 2Ki 3:16-20||Prophecies tied in to the divine provision of water.|
|Feeding by Ravens. 1Ki 17:4-7||Elisha makes the stew edible 2Ki 4:38-42||Food coming from an unlikely source|
|The widow of Zarephath – provision from flour and oil –1Ki 17:9-16||Elisha provides oil from a pitcher for a poor widow.2Ki 4:1-7||In both cases a widow is provided for using an existing pot of oil.|
|Widow’s son brought to life – 1Ki 17:17-24||Shunnammite’s son brought back to life. 2 Ki 4:23-37||Both times an only son, both times by stretching out.|
|Confrontation with the prophets of Baal 1Ki 18:17-42|
|Rain from a small cloud seen by servant. 1Ki 18:41:46||Elisha’s servant shown the power of God. 2Ki 6:15-17||In both cases the eyes of the prophets’ servants needed to be opened.|
|Fed by an angel. 1Ki 19:5-9||Elisha feeds a hundred from little 2 Ki 4:42-44||Food provided from a divine source|
|The still small voice 1Ki 19:7-14|
|Fire from heaven 2Ki 1:9-15||Elisha rebukes the children that insult him. 2Ki 2:23-25||Dealing with threat|
|Elijah is translated 2Ki 2:1-11||Elisha’s bones bring life 2 Ki 13:20-21||Power in death|
|Elisha heals the waters of Jericho 2Ki 19:19-22|
|Elisha heals a Syrian general 2Ki 5:1-19|
|Elisha attached leprosy to Gehazi 2Ki 5:20-27|
|Elisha makes an Ax head float. 2Ki 6:1-7|
|Elisha defeats Syrian army 2Ki 6:8-23|
|Elisha prophecies ending of siege of Samaria. 2Ki 7:1-20|
|Elisha predicts Syrian atrocities. 2 Ki 8:7-15|
|Elisha prophecies defeat of Syria. 2Ki 13:14-19|
I found a good analysis of these two prophets here.
The first thing to notice is that their key differences were suited to the different roles God wanted them to play in his plan. Elijah’s bold personality and dramatic miraculous deeds were needed to call the nation back to God from the brink of total apostasy. Elisha’s compassionate miracles for the common Israelite provided them a needed reminder of God’s faithfulness to them when they were faithful to him. Elijah and Elisha are examples of a wonderful truth taught all through the Bible: God has fashioned each of us for a unique role in his service.
The second lesson flows directly from the first lesson. Whose life was more successful: Elijah’s or Elisha’s? It’s clear that most who lived during Elijah’s life and afterward regarded him as more successful than Elisha. Throughout his life, Elisha lived in Elijah’s shadow. Was he then less successful? Elisha asked to receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and God granted his request. Elisha never had the kind of public fame Elijah had–but his life was successful in the only eyes that really matter–the eyes of God.
How do we handle comparisons? Do we view others as “competition” and aspire to achieve the same if not more than what they have done? There is nothing wrong with healthy competition. But we need to remember that we each have a unique gift.
I saw this on Pinterest.
The lesson we learn from Elijah and Elisha is this: Success is faithfully fulfilling God’s role for you–not how you compare to others or how much approval you get from others. (www.xenos.org)
God will use our talents according to His will. Don’t keep looking around to see how you are doing, look up and seek His favor. And as Elisha showed us, it’s okay to be bold and ask for a double portion of His Spirit. Who knows where He could take you?
[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]