1 King 19:19, “So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
God told Elijah to find and anoint Elisha to be his successor as a prophet. Doing as instructed, Elijah found Elisha, threw his cloak around him and walked away. We don’t know Elisha’s reaction or what he must have thought upon receiving the cloak. Yet we know Elisha understood its significance because after a while “Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah” and when he caught up to him Elisha said, “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye…and then I will come with you,” (v20) to which Elijah replied, “Go back...” “What have I done to you?”
What has he done? Elijah knows exactly what he did, he anointed his successor!
1 Kings 19: 21, “So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
There are a couple of things to note here. The first is that Elisha knew by following Elijah, he was not going back home. Slaughtering the oxen and burning his equipment to cook the meat marked Elisha’s break from his work as a farmer and the end of his vocation. Second, Elisha was from a wealthy family. To own twelve yoke of oxen signifies that his father Shaphat was a prosperous man. Giving up wealth without hesitation to follow Elijah was a step of faith and the beginning of the next phase of his life.
The beginning of Elisha’s story is an illustration that the cost to follow God is great but the cost of not following God is greater. Elisha left security for the unknown. He left everything of which he was familiar to move towards his destiny. All he had going for him at this point was faith in God under the guidance of a man he just met.
Ask yourself, what is your commitment to God? Is it immediate and complete like Elisha’s? What do you need to run away from in order to move towards your destiny?
Dear God, the word that comes from your mouth will not return to you void. By your word you will fulfill what you want and the purpose of your plan will be complete (Isaiah 55 v11). And because our steps are directed by you (Proverbs 20 v24), when we commit to you, you will establish our plans (Proverbs 16 v3). Lord, everything within us or around us that will hinder us from fulfilling our destinies, remove them now so that our destinies will be fulfilled.
In Jesus Name