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Bible Pathways - May 1, 2005

  • 2016 May 01

May 1


Read II Kings 1 -- 3


In Today's Reading:


Death of Ahaziah, king of Israel; Elijah taken up by a whirlwind; Elisha takes Elijah's place; he purifies Jericho's water, then is mocked by children


Ten years before Elijah's departure in a "chariot of fire," the LORD said to him . . . Jehu . . . shall you anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha . . . you shall anoint to be prophet in your room (place). . . . So he departed thence, and found Elisha . . . 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 (I Kings 19:15-16,19) thereby designating Elisha to replace him as God's prophet.


At the time Elijah called Elisha to join him, it appears that Elisha was a prosperous young farmer. To accept Elijah's calling to be his servant would mean that Elisha would have to forsake his family and friends as well as financial securities. His friends probably thought that to be the servant of a prophet would be a lonely, menial occupation. But, Elisha knew that obeying God's Word provides the true values of life and leads us to spiritual trust and commitment to the Lord. So he immediately converted his plows into firewood. He . . . took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments (implements) of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered to him (19:21). Elisha's actions demonstrate that the key to one's usefulness in the Kingdom of God is to immediately respond to every opportunity to serve the Lord, regardless of how great or how insignificant the task may appear.


Just prior to Elijah's translation into heaven, Elisha again revealed his spiritual discernment and loyalty to God that qualified him to be Elijah's successor when Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here . . . for the LORD has sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said to him, As the LORD lives . . . I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel (II Kings 2:2). Elisha pledged his faithfulness with a vow and was determined to continue with Elijah on his journey from Gilgal to Bethel, on to Jericho, and then across the Jordan River (see 2:3-8).


As He did for Elisha, the Lord has used circumstances to place each of us where we are today in order to determine the sincerity of our commitment to Him. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be . . . stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).


Christ Revealed:


In the Lord taking up Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of the mantle — a symbol of the presence and power of God that remains with His faithful servants (II Kings 2:8-15). This is a foreshadowing of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers in Him, giving us power to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51-53; see also Acts 1 — 2).


Word Studies:


1:8 girt = bound; girdle of leather = leather belt or band around his waist; 2:19 naught = pollutted, bad; 2:24 tare = mauled or mangled them; 3:9 fetched a compass = circled around; made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him = burned him alive as a sacrifice to a god of Moab.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for our Military worldwide · The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer · Country: Tuvalu (11,000) nine islands in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: Tuvaluan and English · Religious freedom · 92% Protestant; 5% Baha'i; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to lead you in all that you do (Matthew 6:13).


Optional Reading: Romans 4


NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:22