Summary: Elisha was so determined to follow the plan of God for his life that he killed his cows and burned his plows completely doing away with his old life. Will you commit to the same?
From the Desk of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
DEAD COWS AND BURNT PLOWS
Intro: In our text Elijah fled in fear from the face of Jezebel after the episode of fire on the altar at Mount Carmel. Yet, the Lord ministered to him, and he journeyed with God. His first stop was in a field where Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. Elisha was to be the successor of Elijah, and Elijah cast the mantle on him representing this truth. Elisha killed the cows, burnt the plow stocks, and kissed his family goodbye as he journeyed on according to God’s will for his life. I want to preach tonight on DEAD COWS AND BURNT PLOWS. When Elisha left his old life, he destroyed all the remnants of his old life and totally surrendered to God. Let me give you a couple of examples from other passages, and we will return to our text to close out the sermon.
I. SAUL DEFEATED BUT DID NOT DESTROY: I SAM 15:9, “Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” God commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites. He was to kill all the people, the cattle, the beasts, and leave nothing. Amalek had mistreated the people of Israel for years, and this was the judgment of God on them. And Saul did defeat them, but he did not destroy them. Amalek is a type of the flesh. Notice Saul treated them the way many Christians treat the flesh:
A. HE TOOK THE KING ALIVE TO BRAG ABOUT IT. Many Christians want to tell everybody what great victory that they have. Be very cautious about bragging about your battle over the flesh. (I Cor 1:12)
B. HE KEPT THE BEST AND MOST VALUABLE THINGS FROM AMALEK. We have a tendency to get victory over the flesh but not want to discard things that are of value.
C. HE DESTROYED THE REFUSE UTTERLY. We want victory ultimately over the adverse consequences of sin, but if we keep the king and the other valuables from the flesh around, it will not be long until we will have the adverse consequences all over again.
BECAUSE HE REFUSED TO DO THE WILL OF GOD, GOD REJECTED HIM FROM BEING KING. YOU CAN LOSE YOUR BLESSINGS AND POSITION BECAUSE OF SIN.
II. PETER DEPARTED BUT DID NOT DESTROY: In Matthew 19:27 Peter said, “We have forsaken all, and followed thee.” and Matthew 4:19 says that he and Andrew did leave their nets to follow Jesus. Yet, after the resurrection of Christ in John 21, Peter decided to go fishing, and they did not have to get a boat ready before leaving! Peter departed the shores, dropped the nets, left the boat, but he did not destroy it. When doubt, discouragement, and trouble set in, he knew where to find his old life and he returned to it! He found, however, that he was not the fisherman that he was before!
III. ELISHA DESTROYED AND BECAME A DISCIPLE: our text. Notice:
A. Elisha Was a Man of Wealth in Land: v. 19, He had twelve yoke of oxen plowing; this indicates a considerable estate.
B. Elisha Was a Man of Work in the Field: v. 19, He was plowing with the twelfth of the yokes personally, and servants or kinsman were plowing with the remainder. He got personally involved in the work.
C. Elisha Was a Man Willing to Serve: v. 20, Without hesitation he followed after Elijah knowing what this casting of the mantle signified. His only request was that he would get to kiss his family goodbye. Elijah reminds Elisha that the call was from God and he was responsible to God how he responds to it! Ultimately, we all are responsible to God for what we do with his call and the work of his Spirit in our lives.
D. Elisha Was a Man Waving Farewell: v. 21, Farewell:
1. To Family
2. To Friends
3. To Familiarity
4. To Financial Security
5. Finally, killed the oxen and burnt the plow stocks representing that the old life was dead and destroyed that he would never return again.
Conclusion: Have you said your final farewell to sin? Have you killed your sacred cows and burnt the instruments? Have you utterly destroyed that fleshly desire? Have you burned those instruments of iniquity that rest in your past? Will you say a final farewell to that pet sin that too long has held you back?
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