Summary: The beginning of Elisha’s solo ministry provides some insights into the mistakes that many of us make early in our walk with God.
- vv. 23-25.
- This is simply a problem passage. It’s very difficult to explain - it seems so unnecessary and unbecoming to a prophet, especially when you compare Jesus’ statements on forgiveness.
- How do we make sense of it?
KEY THOUGHT: God works through imperfect people.
- The tendency is to come to the Scripture with the thought that everything that a follower of God does has to be justified as approved by God, but, when you think about it, there are lots of things that God’s king or God’s prophet or God’s chosen one did that are most certainly not approved by God.
- Just because Elisha was a prophet doesn’t mean that his every action bears God’s stamp of approval. In fact, Elisha shows some early missteps.
ELISHA GETS OFF TO A SHAKY START:
- vv. 11-12 - the torch is passed.
1. v. 14 - A solid step - a miracle.
2. v. 17 - A stumbling step - a lack of confidence.
3. v. 22 - A solid step - a miracle.
4. v. 24 - A stumbling step - an abuse of his power.
- as he comes out of the gate, there’s some solid steps and some stumbling steps. That kind of sounds like us, doesn’t it?
- usually for a new believer, there’s great enthusiasm but not always enough wisdom to know the right way to handle certain situations.
- Elisha here shows some promise, but also makes some mistakes.
THE BIG QUESTION: If Elisha Stumbles So Quickly, Why Does God Choose Him As Elijah’s Successor?
- Earlier in this chapter there are a couple of things about Elisha that really stand out and that I think give us quite a bit of insight into why God chose him.
1. Dedication - “I will not leave you!”
- vv. 2, 4, 6.
- Three times Elijah tells Elisha to stay behind and three times he gets an emphatic response.
- How often do we see Christians who will pray once and give up? How often do we see Christians who will pursue a vision until they run into the first wall and then they say, “Well, I guess it must not have been God’s will after all.”
2. Expectation - “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
- v. 9.
- This is not for selfish ambition or to elevate his own name - he just wants to be used mightily by God.
- How many of us are expecting God to do mighty things through our lives? Not because we’re great, but because we serve a great God.
- Maybe you’ve stumbled out of the gate. Maybe you’ve gotten off to a shaky start, but there’s good news:
a. God uses imperfect people,
b. God knows you’re going to make some mis-steps,
c. God has chosen you anyway to do great things.
- Do you have the dedication? Do you have the expectation?