He was a hard working man and going about his own business when he met Elijah. There was something striking about Elijah that got his attention and he paused in his stride. What happened next blew his mind! As Elijah walked up to him, Elisha felt something around his shoulders.
In awe, he realized it was Elijah’s cloak! The significance of this action was not lost on Elisha and immediately, he ran after Elijah requesting permission to go and say goodbye to his family. Elijah nonchalantly asked him to go and do what he needed to do. (1 Kings 19: 19-20)
From Elijah’s response, one could deduce that Elijah was a man of little patience with divided attention. You are either ready to do the Lord’s bidding as soon as the Lord requires or you weren’t the man for the job. In Luke 9:59, Jesus told a man, “Follow me”. The man responded, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father”. Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their dead but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60)
Elisha picks up the signal from Elijah’s response and immediately sacrifices his oxen, distributing to his men and destroying his plowing instruments. (1 Kings 19: 20)
From Elisha's action, I see a man of implicit obedience. God called him and he did not hesitate to heed the call. We do not know much about him before he met Elijah but it was obvious that he was a humble and a very industrious man. He must have been a man who feared and served the God of Israel.
Burning his working tools was a sign that he had given himself completely into the service of God and trusting that God would meet his need. How many of us, including ministers and pastors are totally dependent on God for our needs to be met?
Recently an old school mate of mine was discussing about the state of the Christian church and how many churches were putting financial burdens on their members. He said, “If God were to give me the authority to review the Bible, the first verse I would remove from the scriptures would be Malachi 3:10.” According to him, “This would be the acid test for many church leaders who depend so much on the tithes of their members”
When it was time for Elijah to be taken away, Elisha stuck stubbornly to Elijah. He refused to be distracted by the voices of the sons of the prophets and even by the appeal of Elijah himself to remain in Gilgal while he continued to Jericho. (2 Kings 2: 1-4)
We do not know why Elijah tried to discourage him from accompanying him. Was this a test of his commitment? I really do not know but one thing was certain, Elisha was not a man easily distracted from his aim. He knew that he had a calling from God and his request to Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, showed the character of a man who knew the enormity of what God was calling him to do and making sure that he obtained the tools to do an excellent job.
Elisha was a man of obedience; he was also a man of faith. These two characteristics are greatly lacking in our day and God is looking for Elishas who would be willing to completely serve him and depend on him wholeheartedly for their needs as they seek to do His will without being distracted by the affairs of this world.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader, Home Group Leader and Bible Teacher in his local church. He also speaks at invited events. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org