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Icons of the Bible: Elisha (God is Salvation) A Man of Righteousness and Faith

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Icons of the Bible: Elisha (God is Salvation) A Man of Righteousness and Faith
Icons of the Bible: Elisha (God is Salvation) A Man of Righteousness and Faith

Icons of the Bible

Who was Elisha in the Bible?

Elisha, whose name means "God is salvation," was the successor of Elijah in the office of the prophet in Israel (1 Kings 19:16, 19–21; 2 Kings 5:8). He was called to follow Elijah in 1 Kings 19:19, and he spent the next several years as the prophet’s protégé, until Elijah was taken into heaven. At that time, Elisha began his ministry, which lasted about 60 years, spanning the reigns of kings Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Joash.

The initial call of Elisha is instructive. After a mighty display of God’s power against the prophets of Baal and a return of the rain after a long drought, Queen Jezebel sought Elijah’s life. Afraid, the prophet fled. He was refreshed by an angel and prepared for a forty-day journey to Mount Horeb. There, Elijah confessed that he believed himself to be the only faithful prophet remaining. God told Elijah to go back home, anoint Hazael king of Aram, Jehu king of Israel, and Elisha to succeed him as prophet. God said, "Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu" (1 Kings 19:17). He also reassured Elijah that there were 7,000 remaining who had not bowed to Baal.

Elijah obeyed God’s word and found Elisha, who was plowing with a pair of oxen at the time. Elijah put his cloak around Elisha—a sign that Elijah’s responsibilities would fall on Elisha, and Elisha left his oxen and ran after the prophet. Elisha asked only to say goodbye to his family and then would return to Elijah. Elisha went back, slaughtered his oxen and burnt his equipment, gave the meat to the people, then followed Elijah as his servant. Elisha responded to the call immediately. He completely removed himself from his former life—essentially hosting a celebration and leaving himself no option to return to his oxen. Not only did Elisha leave his former life, he became a servant in his new life (1 Kings 19:21).." from the article: Who was Elisha in the Bible?

What Can We Learn from Elisha for Today?

God’s prophet Elisha found himself in this situation after giving valuable advice to Israel’s army. The King of Syria decided to take Elisha as a prisoner and sent an army to the city where the prophet was staying. Under the cover of darkness, the Syrian warriors surrounded the city.

When Elisha’s servant woke early in the morning to begin his usual routine, he found himself looking out over an army of Syrians. He cried out to his master in panic, saying, “What shall we do?”

We aren’t likely to have a physical army rise up against us like with the prophet Elisha, but we do have enemies in the form of spiritual powers that come and tempt us with impurity, worldly lusts and discouragement. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12.

When we feel that these spiritual enemies are closing in, tempting us to do what we know in our hearts is against God’s will, what do we give as a response? Do we feel overwhelmed and afraid like Elisha’s servant?." from the article: Elisha: The invisible army

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