God's Man for Every Generation
So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. ~1 Kings 19:19
Among the many topics the Bible addresses, one of the important ones is leadership succession. Leadership succession is when the leader of a ministry carefully selects and develops his eventual replacement. Leadership succession is critical for making sure the ministry continues to move forward for many years to come. In our devotion this morning, we see how Elisha is selected for his preparation to be Elijah’s successor.
We see Elisha, the son.
“Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.” Elisha was the son of a man named Shaphat. The passage implies to us that Shaphat was a large landowner with many crops that he grew. Elisha was part of this family business. Elisha demonstrated that he was a devoted son. He loved his father and mother. He was also a diligent son. He worked in the family business and held a place of responsibility. Strong parental guidance and a stable, loving family are great contributors for God to call a young man into the work of God.
We see Elisha, the servant.
We see Elisha plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, with him being behind the twelfth oxen. Elisha was working hard when Elijah called him. In II Kings 3:11, he is described as the man who poured water on the hands of Elijah. God uses men who work hard. There is no place in the ministry for someone who is lazy or who only does the minimum. Hard work gave him endurance and the desire to do more. His diligence testifies to the proverb that says, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule.”
We see Elisha and his surrender.