The Call of Elisha

Jim Mead

READ : 1 Kings 19:15-21

“He . . . gave it to the people, and they ate.” (v. 21)

How would you feel if someone’s first words about you were the ones God used to describe Elisha: “Elisha shall kill”? That’s what God told Elijah on Mount Horeb, the first time Elisha’s name is mentioned in the Bible. Elijah’s prophetic protege would kill anyone from King Ahab’s dynasty who escaped judgment from Hazael or Jehu.

The startling thing about this prediction is the way Elisha actually began his ministry. Even before following his new teacher, he first blessed his family and fed other people. He put a stamp on his calling, a gracious foretaste of what would come. And it’s precisely the opposite of a killing spree! In fact, Elisha’s long career was marked not by violence or killing but rather by the continuous attempt to meet the needs of others.

What is our calling in life? What will be our legacy? The Bible teaches that our lives are in God’s hands, that as humans we have gifts to share and a work we claim as our own. But that doesn’t mean we are fatalistically locked into predetermined patterns or bound to live out a negative future. As God oversees his kingdom, we can step out in faith with a life-giving legacy all our own.


Grant, O Lord, that by your grace we would share life’s blessings with others.