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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.

Ridiculous Commitment

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

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Tim Richards

commented on Jul 5, 2018

As a pastor I read sermons on the passage I'm dealing with each week. This message by Ken Ritz is one of the more exceptional. Great application & illustrations. Thanks Ken, I appreciate your excellent work. It spoke to me & parts of your message will be incorporated into this week's message.

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