Tag Archives: the book of 1 Kings

“So Elisha left him [Elijah] 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 servant.”  (I Kings 19:21, NIV)

Talk about burning bridges — with style!

As disciples of Jesus, when we are committed to Him, nothing/no one else matters; but it doesn’t give us license to be disrespectful or ungracious to others.

When Elisha received from God the call to become Elijah’s successor,  Elisha asked for permission from Elijah to properly bid farewell to his mother and father (verse 20).  That was the respectful thing to do.

Elisha then sacrificed the implements of his former life (the plowing equipment and the oxen) and from them hosted a huge “barbecue” for his neighbors.  That was the gracious thing to do.

We may not be able to choose our “calling,” but we are able to choose how we depart.  Let us strive to be respectful and gracious in all that we do.  – Luther

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“There he went into a cave and spent the night.  And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”  (I Kings 19:9, NIV)

When our daily agenda is full of commitments — including urgent matters that appear, uninvited, in the line-up — we need to consider the question that came from God to the prophet Elijah when Elijah was hiding in a cave in fear of Queen Jezebel, who had sworn to kill him within 24 hours: “What are you doing here?”

Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, is thought to have said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  Yet, it is very difficult for most people to look critically at where they are in life; and the paths they’ve taken to arrive at that point.

Had Elijah closely examined his personal history and, more importantly, the presence of God in his personal history; and the deliverance of Elijah by the hand of God against impossible odds; Elijah may still have been in the cave, but he would not have been there in mortal fear of Jezebel, and of the mind that God had abandoned him.

Take the time — and the courage — to spend five minutes in self-examination.  Answer the question: “What are you doing here?”  It is the only sure way to keep in step with the cadence of God for your life.  – Luther

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