6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Elisha stayed faithful to his obscure assignment, nowhere near where other prophets hung out. But God saw his dedication. 330 miles away, God spoke his name to the greatest O.T. prophet. God hasn't forgotten you. Do your best too!


I KGS. 19:19-21



1. A farmer decided he knew as much as any doctor, so he opened a doctor’s office. He charged $500 a visit, but would give you $1,000 if he couldn’t cure you.

2. The town’s regular doctor decided to show him to be a fraud and collect several $1,000. He went to the farmer-doctor and said, “I’ve lost my taste. Can you cure me?”

3. The farmer said, “Nurse, give him 3 drops from that blue bottle.” The real doctor choked on the drops, “That’s gasoline!” “Congratulations! Your taste has been restored. That’ll be $500!”

4. The real Doctor paid, but decided to try another approach. “Doctor, I’ve lost my short-term memory; can you cure me?” “Sure. Nurse give him 3 drops from that little blue bottle.” “But I remember that that’s gasoline!” “Congratulations! Your memory is cured. That will be $500!”

5. Doctor paid, went home. He thought of one more that should stump him. “Doctor, I’ve lost my eyesight. Can you restore sight to the blind?” The farmer-doctor looked glum. “No, I can’t restore lost sight, so I have to pay you $1,000.”

6. The doctor said to himself, “At last I’ve beaten him!” The farmer-doctor said, “Hold out your hand so I can pay you” and he put a $50 bill in the doctor’s hand. The doctor shouted, “Hey! That’s only a $50 bill!” The farmer took it back. “Congratulations! Your eyesight has been restored! That will be $500!”


1. This morning we’re looking at Elijah the prophet. Elijah was the greatest prophet of the O.T., so volatile that he was called the “Prophet of Fire” because he called down fire on people.

2. But despite his fiery temperament, he let his environment – his backslidden nation – discourage him. He also became intimidated by the threats of Queen Jezebel. So he fled for his life, almost dying on the journey.

3. So he traveled approximately 300 miles on foot. After reaching Mt. Sinai/Horeb in Arabia, he experienced several supernatural signs connected with the manifestation of God’s presence.

4. First a tornado-like wind tore through the mountains ripping everything loose. Then an earthquake shook it, and huge rock formations came tumbling down.

5. Next a fire – representing that ‘God is a consuming fire’ – raged around the mountain. But Elijah knew these were manifestations and not God Himself.

6. At last Elijah heard the still small voice of God speaking to him – the words of today’s text. If we get quiet and wait on God, we too will hear God’s voice speaking to us.


The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you." Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?" So Elisha left him 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 attendant. 1 Kgs. 19:15-21.


1. It’s interesting that although Elijah was told to anoint two kings, that he didn’t do that first. Indeed, they’re not even mentioned in this chapter.

2. Because the prophet reflects God’s priority of importance. Earthly kings come and go and leave no lasting impression; but a man or woman of God ranks higher and is the focus of God’s purpose.

3. The title of today’s message is “Burn the Plow and Roast the Cow.” It’s a message about the kind of commitment God demands of us if we would be his servants.

4. Elijah had to travel 330 miles to reach Elisha. When he found him, he was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen.



1. Do you know what you get when you get a lazy man saved? A saved lazy man. Do you know what you get when you get a “go-getter” saved? A saved “go-getter!”

2. Owning 12 pairs of oxen was equivalent to you owning 24 cars! It’s obvious Elisha was ambitious and prosperous. It’s also obvious he was humble, for when he could be sitting back watching his 11 servants work, he was out there working too. Those who are physically ambitious – when they get saved – become those who are spiritually ambitious. God is looking for that trait!

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