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1 Kings 19

August 3, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Elijah left there and found Elisha son of Shaphat as he was plowing. Twelve teams of oxen were in front of him, and he was with the twelfth team. Elijah walked by him...”

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1 Kings 19

“Elijah left there and found Elisha son of Shaphat as he was plowing. Twelve teams of oxen were in front of him, and he was with the twelfth team. Elijah walked by him and threw his mantle over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran to follow Elijah, and said, ‘Please let me kiss my father and mother, and then, I will follow you.’ ‘Go on back,’ he replied, ‘for what have I done to you?’ So he turned back from following him, took the team of oxen, and slaughtered them. With the oxen’s wooden yoke and plow, he cooked the meal and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he left, followed Elijah, and served him.” 1 Kings 19:19-21 (HCSB)

Howard Hamer had just taken off in his homemade plane from the airfield in Chiloquin, a high desert town in Oregon. Almost immediately, the plane lost power, and Hamer decided to attempt a landing on the local 97 highway. Filiberto Corona Ambriz was minding his own business this particular Thursday. He was driving a flatbed truck north on 97. Unknowingly, he drove his flatbed truck under Hamer’s plane at the very moment the latter was trying to land on the highway. The two never saw each other, had never met until there was a bump, and a loud bang! The Propeller caught on the truck’s sleeper, and the plane’s nose remained there while the tail dropped down on the flatbed trailer. The “landing” was successful, and neither man was injured.

I bet that usually doesn’t happen to most truck drivers! Mr. Ambriz did not say, “You know, I bet while I’m driving north on 97 today, some plane will use my flatbed as an aircraft carrier. He was simply doing what truckers normally do, and, literally, out of the blue, a plane landed on his truck.

This is precisely how Elisha must have remembered this day. He was simply doing what farm boys must regularly do, in his case, plowing his father’s field. How could he have guessed that Elijah the Tishbite would come walking across the field and throw his mantle on him? Elisha knew what that meant, but he hardly anticipated it when he awoke that morning.

Others have been so surprised: Moses while tending to his father-in-law’s flocks. (Exodus 3:1-2) Matthew was in the middle of collecting taxes (Matthew 9:9). I know that was MY story. The day I bowed my heart to Jesus, I didn’t wake up and say, “You know, after breakfast and a vigorous workout, I think I might just surrender my life to Jesus and follow Him all of my days!” I didn’t have any idea what awaited me later that day. But God did.

The kingdom of God is not a seat-of-your-pants operation. The Lord disclosed His decision concerning Elisha at Horeb (v. 16). So, what appeared sudden to Elisha (and to us) was already settled with God. Yes, Elisha had a decision to make concerning God’s call. Scripture does not indicate that God directly influenced Elisha’s decision (even when sending Elijah), but the point is God KNEW! Suddenness is the wrapping paper in which opportunity often arrives, giving us a chance to choose what God already knows because He knows us, and He knows the future as if it were the past.

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