Creating a Spiritual Legacy
Following on from the post ‘In God’s presence’ where we were introduced to Elijah and Elisha, Peter takes a look at the legacy Elijah left through his investment in Elisha.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when you realise that you can no longer do what you once did! This may come as a crisis or gradually. For Elijah, I suggest it came in the crisis of Jezebel’s threat which highlighted and emphasised his profound sense of loneliness and isolation “I alone am left, and they’re looking to take my life.” (1Kings 19.14)
God’s Plan (1Kings 19.15-18)
Elijah was instructed to anoint three people: “…Hazael as king over Syria, … Jehu … as king over Israel,” these will complete the punishment against idolatry, “… and Elisha as prophet in your place.” (19.15-16)
It is intriguing that the first person anointed was Elisha whilst there is no record of Elijah ever meeting Hazael or Jehu, and it falls to Elisha to anoint Jehu (2Kings 9.1-13).
With the contest on Carmel, the national declaration – “The Lord he is God!” (1Kings 19.39) and the national return to worship the LORD, Elijah, had fulfilled his commission.
A New Era
The new era of salvation belongs to Elisha whose name means “God saves”’ (ESV note 1Kings 19.19)
Elisha (1Kings 19.19) who has been Elijah’s attendant, for an estimated six years, is being told “… the Lord is going to take your master from you today…” (2Kings 2.1-14) He shows a determination to continue with Elijah right to the end so that he can gain the double portion of blessing he has requested. (2.9-10)
A double portion in the Old Testament referred to the birth-right received by the firstborn son. (Deut. 21.17; see also 1Sam 1.5; Isaiah 61.7; Job 41.10).
Elisha became the prophet/leader of Israel succeeding Elijah and it is interesting that 14 miracles are recorded for Elijah and 28 for Elisha.
It’s an inevitable fact of life that we must each give way to the following generation at some point.
“It’s not how you start but how you finish” is a common motivational statement but the immediate effect of our presence with others day by day is equally important.
Is my presence an encouragement and a blessing or a problem? Like Mary (Jn 12.3) what aroma do we carry and leave behind?
Paul wrote to Timothy “my beloved and faithful child in the Lord” (1Cor. 4.17) “fan into flames the (spiritual) gift of God which is in you…”(2Tim 1.6-7). The encouragement was to press in further to fully develop the gifting he had already received.
The Promise (Romans 4.19-21)
Abraham (Gen 17.3-5) chose to believe God’s word (Gen 15.2-6) even when it was hopeless and impossible. (Romans 4.19-21) Despite the impossibility, his faith grew (v20) into unshakeable conviction (v21).
Abraham had a vision which empowered and continuously re-energised him throughout his life. He was so convinced of the certain outcome for God’s promise that Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac as an offering in faith of a resurrection. (Heb. 11.17-19).
Such awesome faith was passed on to future generations in Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph (Heb. 11.20-22)
Faith like Abraham’s is always going further, reaching beyond our present capacity to believe and extend our experience, to encapsulate something more of God’s immensity!
Thought to ponder
Inevitably we are each imparting something to our contacts, friends, and family. Eccl.11.1 advises us to be generous “for it will flow back to you later’. (NLT study Bible) (see also Prov. 19.17; Matt 10.42; 2Cor 9.8; Gal 6.9,10; Heb. 6.10)
Who has God put on your heart to invest your time and wisdom into for their future?
Video: Days of Elijah
Thank you Peter