Elisha was a mighty prophet in the Old Testament, successor of Elijah who was taken up into heaven.
Accounts of Elisha’s ministry to Israel a
Who was Elisha the Prophet?
Elisha the prophet is first introduced in 1 Kings 19:16 when the Lord tells Elijah to anoint Elisha to be his successor.
We are told that Elisha was the son of Shaphat and was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen (symbolism anyone?) when Elijah came up and placed his mantel on Elisha (again, symbolism of passing on the power and authority of the office of prophet to his eventual successor).
Elisha kills and cooks his oxen and feeds them to his community, using the wooden yokes as fuel for the fire, symbolizing his leaving his old life behind.
He then goes off and joins Elijah and becomes his servant.
Later on in 2 Kings, Elisha and the group known as the sons of the prophets realized that Elijah was about to be taken up into heaven.
Elisha insists on going with Elijah, and together they make the journey to the location where Elijah is to be taken up, with Elijah parting the Jordan River along the way.
Elisha witnesses Elijah’s ascension and takes up his mantel, literally and figuratively and is then the prophet of Israel.
He is recognized by the people as the prophet when he parts the waters of the Jordan as Elijah had done
Elisha’s Ministry as Prophet
As prophet, Elisha begins to teach the people and preform mighty miracles:
- He heals the springs of water in Jericho with salt (2 Kings 2:21-22)
- Taught children not to make fun of bald prophets (2 Kings 2:23-25)
- Multiplies the oil for the widow of one of the sons of the prophets (2 Kings 4:1-7)
- Promised a older couple a child and brought the child back to life when the young child died (2 King 4:8-37)
- Cures poisonous food (2 Kings 4:38-41)
- Multiplies food to feed a crowd and had leftovers (2 Kings 4:42-44)
- Tells Naaman the Syrian to wash in the Jordan River to cure him of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-15)
- Teaches his servant, Gehazi , that the works of God are not to be used to make money (2 Kings 5:20-27)
- Caused a much needed ax to float in the Jordan River (2 Kings 5:5-7)
- At one point a small army surrounded his home and town, and he caused them to be blinded and he led them and delivered them to the king of Israel. the army’s sight was restored and Elisha told the king to feed them and send them on their way. (2 Kings 6:13-28)
- Prophesizes a seven year famine (2 Kings 8:1)
- Indirectly anoints a new king over Israel (2 Kings 9:3)
- Elisha dies in 2 Kings 13:20
In the end, Eisha was the main prophet in Israel for over 65 years during the reigns of Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Joash.
Lessons We Can Learn From the Account of Elisha
There are several lessons that we can take from the account of Elisha in 2 Kings:
- God calls his prophets by revelation and gives them certain keys and authority to fulfill their calling.
- Prophets are the Lord’s representatives on earth and should be respected.
- Self-reliance-When Elisha multiplied the widows oil, he asked her to contribute to the miracle by seeing what she had to offer, and her offering was multiplied by the power of God to save her and her family.
- God is mindful to our inner most desires.
- Ordinary everyday people can help make big changes in other people’s lives.
- Miracles can come from everyday means and everyday circumstances.
- God is no respecter of persons.
- If it’s important to you, it is important to God.
- We are not alone when we follow Christ.
The scripture that stood out the most to me this week, and the inspiration for the coloring page is found in 2 Kings 6:16-17:
“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them…And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
In a world of tribulation and trials, it is important to know that when you follow God, you are never truly alone.
Free Elisha Coloring Page PDF
Download this fun coloring page for a great supplement in your bible study, primary class, or Come Follow Me lesson.