Elijah was one of the inhabitants of Gilead. He was not a leader or prominent man. Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in Gilead. The Bible does not even tell us which tribe Elijah belonged to.
I Kings 17:1, “Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was one of the inhabitants of Gilead, . . .” Modern English Version
But Elijah “stood before the Lord.” He spent time with God and God spoke to him. After giving the message to Ahab, Elijah spent some time alone at the Kerith brook with only the ravens for his company, (see 1 Kings 17:2-7). But by the end of the chapter, he was “a man of God that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” God called him a prophet in 1 Kings 19:17.
Elisha was the son of a wealthy farmer. There were 12 teams plowing that one field. That must have been a pretty large field. Elisha’s dad was Shaphat, a prominent man listed in the Bible. Elisha asked to go kiss his father and mother goodbye. I’m sure he wanted to change into nicer clothes, wash off the sweat and grime from the field, and gather some provisions and money.
Elijah told him to forget it, (see 1 Kings 19:20). Elisha had to go just as he was: sweaty, dirty, in work clothes, with nothing. He killed the team, boiled the meat over the wood of the yoke and fed everyone. Then he left it all to minister to Elijah. He went from being a wealthy son to being a lowly servant.
What did I learn from these chapters?
- God uses nobodies.
- Our job is to spend time with Him.
- Then we are to say what He says; go where He sends, and do what He commands.
- We cannot clean up our act for God. He takes us just as we are.
- God does not need our money or possessions.
- He provides enough food for us to share with others.
- He requires us to humble ourselves.
- He requires us to serve others.
- But serving others is our training for our purpose in life.
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