Summary: Elisha's commitment and faith were so strong that by today's standards it might appear "Ridiculous." Part one of a series on Elisha.
Elisha, A Tale Of Ridiculous Faith, Week 1
Today, we are starting a series
on the life of the OT prophet named Elisha.
We're calling it: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith.
Don’t be confused, because
we did a series on the prophet Elijah not long ago,
but Elisha is a different prophet.
The goal of this series
is to allow God's word to build your faith,
to give you a ridiculous amount of faith.
Now, some of you are saying,
why are you saying faith is ridiculous?
Are you saying that faith is bad or funny?
No, we’re saying that faith is so good, its ridiculous.
How many of you notice that
nowadays there are a lot of words
that have opposite meanings?
They mean what they mean,
and they mean the opposite,
depending how you say it.
For example, "Bad" used to mean bad.
Now "bad" can mean good.
If it's like "that’s bad," that means its good.
"Sick" is the same thing.
If you say, "Oh, sick, you threw up on me,"
that means sick.
But if it's really cool, it's "sick," --- cool.
Ridiculous is the same way.
Ridiculous used to mean
outlandish in a bad way.
But now if the cake is really good, its ridiculous,
because its so good.
Well, Elisha’s faith is so good, its ridiculous.
And over the next few weeks,
as we look at the life of Elisha
I believe God is going to build ridiculous faith
in the good sort of way
into our lives.
Next week, we're going to look at a story
where Elisha asks some people
to dig some ditches in a valley
long before there's any sign of water.
And we’re going to see a faith-building principle in this story,
that God wants us to dream big,
but be willing to start small.
In the third week, we're going to look at
a widow who was desperate.
If any of you who are going through difficult times right now
and you wonder, "How am I going to make it?"
This poor lady was about to lose her two sons
and all she had to her name was a little jar of oil.
All she could see was what she didn't have
But God, through the prophet, Elijah,
shows her another faith-building principle,
that she already had everything that she needed,
to do everything God wanted her to do.
Today though, I want to show you how
huge faith starts with a ridiculous commitment.
So turn in your bibles to 1st King, chapter 19. [page 244]
and let's talk about who Elisha was,
But lets start with his boss, Elijah.
Some people get Elisha confused with Elijah.
Elijah came first,
He was the first of the great prophets,
and he did greater miracles than any prophet before him,
he kind of set the standard for OT prophets,
but then along comes Elisha
who was bold enough, and ridiculous enough,
to ask God for a double portion of Elijah's anointing.
And the amazing thing is, God said yes.
And as a result,
Elisha actually performed more recorded miracles
than Elijah or anyone else in the bible,
with the exception of Jesus.
Elisha lived during the 9th century B.C.
in a time when Israel was divided
into the northern kingdom,
and the southern kingdom of Judah.
Many people at that time
were worshiping the false god Baal
it was not a good time in Israel’s history.
What's interesting about Elisha,
is he had a very ordinary background.
Elisha wasn't the son of a priest,
he wasn't a great warrior like Samson or Gideon,
he wasn’t a great leader,
He didn’t live in Jerusalem with the kings,
nothing special about him,
And when we first see him,
he wasn't a spiritual giant,
He was an ordinary guy
living at home with his parents,
working on a farm.
And then God called him to do something incredible.
So lets read
1st Kings 9:19-21.
"So Elijah went from there and found Elisha, son of Shaphat. He was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen and he himself was driving the 12th 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 goodbye," 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 yolk
of oxen -- this is crazy -- and he slaughtered them. It gets even more ridiculous. He burned the plow and equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people and they ate it. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
It says Elisha was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen