<IMG src="file:///C:/Documents and Settings/由紀子/Application Data/IBM/HomePage Builder Version 7/tmp/logo2.gif" width="370" height="41" border="0" alt="The geneaology of prophets">
7 Elisha(1)

In response to training of the Lord

TKings 19:15-21
Mark 6:45-52
T As a successor of Elijah

 We have watched Elijah as a first prophet of genealogy of prophets until the last time, but I will begin Elisha of the second prophet from this morning. At first, it is about his mission, and there is it, "And the Lord said to him, 'Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.'"(15-16). Before a little, Elijah was aimed at life by Israeli King Ahab and Jezebel, then, he lost courage and escaped to Mt. Sinai, but there, he heard a faint and thin voice of God, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"(19:12). There, we can hear a pity to Elijah crushed a prophet group and aimed at life by Jezebel, and became weak. It is a new encounter with the Lord.

 A point of this morning is the event that Elijah who had new life of faith is going to hope and it happened there. Elijah accuses to God who told him to whisper it kindly with these words, "The sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword."(19:14). If God told it in a big voice to roar such as lightning, Elijah would not be possible to put up his face before God and to expose all his hearts troubled, too. His mission as a prophet was to pray for recovery of faith to God and to remove that obstacle for Israeli people remote from God, mainly on Ahab and Jezebel. It is from the wish that have destroyed prophets of Baal (Chapter 18). God is very tender to Elijah, and He made Hazael to Aramic King, and Jehu to Israeli King, as a person fighting against Ahab and Jezebel. And He said to Elijah, "You shall anoint them.". It was the promise of God intervened in Israel which was said "The one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death." (18). And that promise became truth.

U For a few people who remain

 However, the north kingdom left the David royal families is still people of selection of God's promise, too. Their extinction was not joy at all for Elijah, he wanted to pick a bad bud of the people who were going to leave from God including Ahab and Jezebel. God knew such feeling of Elijah and said, "Yet, I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.". It was not clear how these 7,000 people were left, but north kingdom became extinct by Assyria aggression in BC 722, and the people who slightly stayed in Galilee district continued having consciousness as an Israeli in spite of being the mixture race, and the promise of God would point at it, I think. Then after 800 years, Paul says thus, "'I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.' In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice." (Romans 11:4-5), and Paul seems to watch the Christian who believed Jesus as persons of the remainder. It does not say only 7,000 people, but it is slightly a few people, and Elijah begins to have been caught as a prophet for that remaining people. It would be the hope of Elijah to keep faith to God.

 "So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, 'Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.' And he said to him, 'Go back again, for what have I done to you?' So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him."(19-21) As for a encounter of Elijah and Elisha, there is it in Verse 16, his hometown is Abel-meholah. It seemed to be the small village in Jordan ravine, but it was thought that he would be a son of rich farmer because he used 12 cows. Elijah came to look for a successor as it was said by God, and he found Elisha.

V In response to training of the Lord

 I have heard that "A horse must be pulled and a cow must be chased", but, it really met a law of nature that Elisha chased away 11 cows in front of him while he was plowing a field with farm machines and implements which can be accompanied by the twelfth cow, and it reminds us of the smart and skilled farmer. Therefore, when Elijah came in his field from the road, it seems that he was waiting for Elijah's words without the blame, as if there was some purpose. However, there is not the impression that Elijah told to him something. Perhaps he would understand Elijah's intention to make him a disciple of prophet, because the prophet who understands from clothes took off an overcoat, "A fur coat" as a symbol (UKings 1:8), and put it on him.

 Elijah has been going to pass by him, and it resembles an event of Jesus that was going to pass by a ship of disciples on foot over the sea of Galilee(Mark 6:48). The disciples did not understand it was Jesus. But, it would be a training of Jesus while wishing that they notice Him in such situation. In the case of Elijah, he did not try to invite Elisha by words, too. Because it was God Oneself who chose Elisha as a successor, and Elijah had only to hang his overcoat on him. The training as a prophet of Elisha would already begin.

 It has been said many times until now, but, we who believe Jesus are caught as a prophet for this present age. It does not mean to foresee the future, but it means that our sharp acumen is developed to the present age and the future, and we have been caught as the prophet who convey words of God. How do we convey it? It depends on the vision of the person who tells it. Faith to believe Jesus, it is not the one that can be talked in the formalized pattern like mathematics. Will not we need the training that Elisha took, too?

 Elisha met expectation of Elijah, and he caught up with Elijah which passed and said, "Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.". This resembles that one disciple said "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.", when Jesus worked day after day in Galilee without sleeping. Jesus said to him "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:22), and there were many people who learned strictness of following Jesus from there. However, Elijah adopted an attitude of detachment and said "Go back again, for what have I done to you?", and Elisha returned to his home hastily and slaughtered a cow and prepared for a luxurious meal and did the Last Supper with a family. I imagine this, it was his firm determination that he would never return to his home. He lived 50 years as a prophet, and did a lot of wonder that belongs to the miracle than Elijah. It seems to show that Elisha spent faithfully in training and a response from God.