October 28, 2011

No Turning Back

1 Kings 19:19-21

Elisha … burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate.
1 Kings 19:21


God has instructed Elijah to anoint his successor, Elisha. When they meet, Elisha is plowing on his family’s land. He is driving the twelfth pair among twelve yoke of oxen, which tells us that the family farm is large and prosperous.

As Elijah throws his cloak around Elisha, a decision must be made. Elisha’s family, his land, his wealth, and his future are in the balance.

Will he turn toward the assignment God is giving, or will he turn from God ?

Will Elisha serve God or himself?

When some people make commitments to God, they are half-hearted, or they hold back. In some ways they are lukewarm, and that limits their journey with God.

But there is nothing half-hearted about Elisha’s response. After he says goodbye to his family, he takes his oxen and slaughters them. He burns the plowing equipment. He has no need for a plow in this new calling he has received.

The combination of burning equipment and roasting oxen meat leads to a party where people gather for a farewell meal. Elisha shows to all his family and neighbors and especially to God that he is taking the road of not turning back. Elisha is “all in” for God.

Dear God, when I am tempted to be lukewarm for you and your ways, may your Spirit enflame my life more and more for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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