The stage is set. The baton is about to be passed on. The mantle is about to be transferred. Elijah’s protégé, Elisha, the one who would go on to inherit a double portion of his mentor’s anointing, is about to enter the scene. The picture is one of the older prophet coming toward the end of his ministry, and of the younger prophet beginning his. And yet, you can’t help but notice the stark contrast in the condition, zeal, and faith level that both these prophets find themselves in. Let me paint you a scenario of what was happening.
Elijah is Fading
The great man of God Elijah had performed one of the most famous miracles in the Old Testament by calling down fire from heaven to prove that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is the One True God. Yet almost immediately, he is hightailing from Jezebel and finds himself hiding in the cave, wallowing in self-pity and despondency.
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.
(1 Kings 19:9-16 ESV)
Notice that the Lord had asked Elijah twice, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” This was sandwiched between a great demonstration of nature’s forces with the raging storm that tore up the mountains, broke the rocks, an earthquake, a fire, and then the sound of a whisper. The Lord was trying to get the prophet’s attention. Elijah was lost and low in depression. The Lord’s questions were not an indication that He was clueless about Elijah’s geographical location for surely He knew exactly where Elijah was. Rather, the Lord’s questions were unequivocally an attempt to speak into Elijah’s misplaced identity. You could almost hear the Lord say,
What are you doing here, you mighty man of God? Why are you wallowing in self-pity? You are a man of faith! You’ve seen my mighty power at work and now you’re afraid of Jezebel? You are better than that!
This took place on Mount Horeb, or more popularly known as Mount Sinai, the very mountain where the Lord encountered Moses in another dramatic theophany, complete with pyrotechnics and violent shaking of the mountain, and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Surely, in spite of his depressed state, Elijah was aware of the history of the event and the power of God that descended on that mountain. Now Elijah was experiencing the power of God on the same mountain. The point of God’s demonstration of the forces of nature is presumably that Elijah would answer the same question differently on the second occasion. Alas, his answer was the same…
I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:14)
Elijah was so deep in despair that he was unmoved by God’s dramatic attempt to get his attention and change his perspective. There is in fact a suggestion in the text that he does not particularly wish to understand what God is saying through these events. The man of God had always claimed to “stand before the Lord” (1 Kings 17:1; 18:15), but this time on Mount Horeb, in spite of God’s command in 19:11 to “go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord,” he apparently stays in the cave until the storm passes and he hears the whisper of the Lord. When he does go out, it is with his cloak over his face. It was difficult for him to see anything. Perhaps, at this point, he didn’t really care. He didn’t have the energy, the zeal, nor the passion. The man was depressed. He just wanted to hide in the cave.
The Elishas are Rising
Now let’s switch the reel and see what’s happening with Elijah’s protégé, Elisha.
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. (1 Kings 19:19-21 ESV)
The Double Portion Demands Fresh Allegiance!
Elijah’s apparent lack of enthusiasm and zeal for God’s plan stands in stark contrast to Elisha’s reaction. He immediately leaves his normal employment (much like the Peter, Andrew, James, and John when Jesus called them) to follow his new mentor, pausing only briefly to cut ties with his old life. He kisses his parents goodbye and is parting with his old means of sustenance (the yoke of oxen). By leaving home and his livelihood, Elisha is pledging his allegiance to the Lord completely. From this point on he does not turn back.
This is a prophetic picture and message I feel the Lord is speaking in this season, especially in America. The account of Elijah and Elisha above is a reflection of a change of guard, the passing on of mantle, a shifting of a new season. Remarkably, the names of the two prophets indicated the way that God’s plan had unfolded. Elijah has all but had his day—the day when it was established that “the Lord, he is God” (1 Kings 18:39), which is what Elijah’s name means. The new era of salvation belongs to Elisha, whose name means “God saves.”
Here are a few prophetic implications in this season:
- It is not time to hide in the cave and be indifferent. It is not time to set up home in the cave and get comfortable. We cannot afford to be snared by Jezebel’s intimidation. Give her an inch and she will wipe you out. God is up to something. We cannot lose hope or wallow in self-pity even if situations and conditions around us look bleak. The Lord is trying to get our attention. The Lord says, “Lean in and pay attention to My voice. You have been robed in as “The Great Prophetic Intercessory Army” of this season. You are my “7000” remnant of prophetic company I am raising up all across the earth (1 Kings19:18). Press in to wisdom and discernment. Rise up with courage and boldness! Declare the word of the Lord, “God saves!” He will come through for you and for this land!
- God is always doing something new. We may not immediately see or discern it. His ways are not our ways. We better believe He is still seated on the throne and He is not nervous about the current state of affairs. Even when things look bleak (just like Elijah’s condition), God always has a remnant ready to fulfil His purposes when He raised up Elisha. We are entering into a new season in America. We have seen the Lord do some amazing things in this country in the past but I feel the strong pull of the Spirit to prophesy and declare “The great salvation of the Lord is at hand!” We are to enter into a time of great intercession for this land for the coming change of guard because its impact will be felt globally.
- Elisha is a picture of the double portion and great acceleration. But the double portion also demands fresh allegiance. The Lord always has “more” for his people, but it demands that we part with worldly ways. Stop complaining, sulking, and wallowing in pity just because things aren’t what they are supposed to look like. Renew your covenant with the Lord, refresh your commitment and allegiance to Him. Put your faith in Him and watch what the Lord does! I prophesy great acceleration for the Body of Christ and I pray that you will dive into and join yourself with the Spirit’s momentum in this season!
Declare with me:
- I will come out of the cave. I refuse to be intimidated by the Spirit of Jezebel. I will take my stand and worship on the mountain of the Lord!
- I declare “The great salvation of the Lord is at hand! Elisha—God saves! I join in unity with the company of prophets and intercessors all across the earth. I add to the prayers of the saints contained in the bowls of incense in heaven. Your kingdom come, Your will be done!
- I pledge my allegiance to God afresh. I renew my commitment to Jesus and nothing will hold me back. Devil, take your filthy hands off God’s property. The blood of Jesus is against you and I will keep testifying of God’s goodness and power over my life! I join with the momentum of heaven and I ask you Lord to release the double portion over my life and over my land!
For His glory,