We are looking at the SONS OF THE PROPHETS from BETHEL.
Last time we asked the question – “How does leadership get chosen in the Bible compared with how we choose leadership in our modern churches and ministries?”
Elijah was nearing his time of completing his time here on earth and it was time for the next MASTER PROPHET to be chosen.
Would God choose his successor from the SONS OF THE PROPHETS? Would this choice be from one of the aspiring preachers or prophets who had faithfully attended class every day and received good grades from his mentor?
Let’s see how God chose Elijah’s successor. We pick up the story with God speaking to Elijah (the current MASTER PROPHET) and instructing him to do his MASTER PROPHET tasks including anointing his successor.
1 Kings 19:15 Then the Lord said to him (Elijah): “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, ANOINT HAZAEL AS KING OVER SYRIA.
16 Also you shall ANOINT JEHU THE SON OF NIMSHI AS KING OVER ISRAEL.
And ELISHA THE SON OF SHAPHAT OF ABEL MEHOLAH YOU SHALL ANOINT AS PROPHET IN YOUR PLACE.
17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and WHOEVER ESCAPES THE SWORD OF JEHU, ELISHA WILL KILL.
Ok so how was Elisha chosen? Reputation? One of the SONS OF THE PROPHETS?
Board of directors? Elders? Congregation? Best man for the job? Great resume? Tons of experience?
Nope! None of the above. He was just chosen by God for God’s own reasoning.
It was Elijah’s job, not to question God’s choice, but rather to ANOINT Elisha.
How often have I seen boards make ludicrous decisions against God’s will when they supposedly choose ‘the right man for the job’ in leading their church.
What is it to ANOINT? Simply for one God chosen man to acknowledge that God has chosen this new man.
How did Elijah ANOINT Elisha as the next MASTER PROPHET?
By pouring anointing oil on his head like Samuel did to the next King David? No. God is not limited to using oil to anoint.
1 Kings19:19 So he (Elijah) departed from there, and FOUND ELISHA THE SON OF SHAPHAT, WHO WAS PLOUGHING WITH TWELVE YOKE OF OXEN before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and THREW HIS MANTLE ON HIM.
So this was how Elijah did it. He walked past and just did what God had said. He THREW HIS MANTLE on him. That was to say “ GOD HAS CHOSEN YOU AS THE NEXT MASTER PROPHET”
Elijah was very well known to everybody in these parts. They knew he was the MASTER PROPHET, who prophesied the word of God to kings and stopped the rain and started it again.
What do you think of God’s way of choosing leadership in the Bible?
Moses was selected AS A BABY to be set aside and placed in Pharaoh’s household to grow up there.
Joshua was selected by God as a faithful, unrelated servant of Moses.
Deborah was a mother and a grandmother.
Elisha was a farmer.
Isaiah was a wealthy priest.
Jeremiah was an insecure youth.
Amos was a sheep breeder from Tekoa.
John the Baptist was the son of a priest.
Paul the apostle was a zealot and a murderer and not a part of the 12 apostles.
None of these fit the normal description of people who we would choose to be the next great leader or prophet. Most church boards would NOT choose these people – but God did.
So how did Elisha respond to the calling to be the next MASTER PROPHET for the SONS Of THE PROPHETS in BETHEL? And how should we respond to such an obvious call from the Lord?
We’ll talk about that next time.