Prophet Elijah – An Epitome of Dedication to Work
(2 Kings 2: 9 &10, 1 Kings 19: 3, Col 3: 23, I Cor 10: 31)
Elijah was a committed prophet who took his calling very seriously. He was fiercely against the worship of false gods. He fought vehemently against the ones who despised Yahweh.
Elijah wanted to die as he had begun to believe that he was a failure. “I have had enough, Lord,” Elijah said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (I Kings 19:3). Elijah did not fully comprehend the LORD’s great plans for His life. But his disciple Elisha’s insistence for the double portion of Elijah’s powers prove that Elijah had done a great job - through his life.
Elijah was a great prophet who had served and accomplished many things for God. But he was frightened of queen Jezebel. He fled to Horeb and prayed to God, that it would be good if he died.
Elijah toiled hard to defend his faith (Yahwism). He passionately worked hard towards this cause.
Committed to Yahwism (1 Kings 17:1-18:46): Elijah prophesied to king Ahab about three years of drought. He always proved Yahweh as superior to anything else.
Resistance to the evil powers (1 Kings 19:1-21): Elijah had to leave the Kingdom because Queen Jezebel promoted the worship of false gods. But God led him, and he became emboldened to appoint the new king and the prophet.
Zero tolerance to injustice (1 Kings 21:1-29): When king Ahab desires the vineyard of Naboth, he is advised to acquire it deceitfully. So, he takes possession of the vineyard by murdering Naboth. Elijah prophesizes against king Ahab and queen Jezebel for the murder of Naboth.
Zealous for Yahweh (2 Kings 1): Prophet Elijah was very furious with Ahaziah as he worshipped Baal and not Yahweh during his sickness.
Elisha - Elijah’s disciple (2 Kings 2:1-18): Vs 9. Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. Elijah was carried to the skies in a chariot of fire. Elisha received Elijah’s cloak and a double share of Elijah’s spirit.
Elijah did not realize that he did a great job, all through, for the Lord. He stood strong against all those who opposed the LORD (Yahweh). Boldly, he preached God’s Word even in the midst of strong opposition. He did not falter to face powerful people when they were doing injustice to the common man.
Elijah was encouraged through Elisha's plea to God, ‘to bless him with a double portion of Elijah’s strength’ which reaffirms and proves that Elijah did a great job. A great exemplary job to be imitated and even doubled.
Elisha was greatly inspired by his guru (teacher) Elijah’s deeds throughout the land of Israel. Elisha, as a shishya (disciple), desired what Elijah had and wanted to continue the great work following in the footsteps of Elijah.
Elijah ministered among the people of Israel in various ways. He was completely dedicated and passionate in everything he did. But he became terrorized by the fears in front of him. He did not realize the hand of God upon his life.
When Elijah dedicated himself and his work, God took him up in the chariot of fire. Then Elisha was blessed with the two-fold strength of Elijah’s spirit.
Today, we need to set the right example as Apostle Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3,
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Let us strive to implant our dedication, our passion to serve God upon the lives of many who would witness us.
1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Colossians 3:23 reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Let each one of us recommit our lives for the work of the Lord, wholeheartedly as Elijah did and Elisha followed his guru to continue the good work and complete the race of faith.
God, we thank you for the vocation you have gifted us. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with passion, talents, and skills to carry on with the life you have graciously granted us. God do help us to enjoy whatever we do. Let it be joyful for us in every situation and not a burden. Bless us and our vocation as well. Do bless our families, the Church, our community, and the nation for which we strive for the better.
In Christ's Name, we pray. Amen!
Dr W S Annie is presently serving as Associate Professor of Theology at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.
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