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      "Tell me, I pray thee, All the great things that Elisha hath done." 2 Kings 8: 4.


      The ministries of Elijah and Elisha occupied the days of the family of Ahab, of the house of Omri; the time of the deepest corruption in the kingdom of the Ten Tribes. The testimony of the Lord about those times is this: "And Ahab, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord, above all that were before him."

      It was in those days that Hiel the Bethelite dared the arm of the Lord by rebuilding Jericho; an act which, affronting the truth and power of the Lord, looked with infidel boldness, and said, "Where is the God of judgment?" (Mal. 2: 17). For Ahab's days were days of man's proud provocation and temptation again.

      At such a time, just on the act of Hiel, Elijah is called out (1 Kings 16: 34; 1 Kings 17: 1). And in him, we see an entirely independent call of God, and energy of the Spirit. He is quite in the Lord's own hand. He does not belong to the Priesthood. He never seeks the Temple. He never consults established oracles, or walks orderly according to the statutes or ordinances of Israel. But the Lord takes him up, and fills him with light and power altogether His own, not reaching him by any prescribed channel at all.

      And so Elisha. He was independent of all that was already instituted in the land. The hand of the Lord uses him, the Spirit of God fills him, without respect to the Temple or the Priesthood.

      And we get the common, and yet most blessed instruction of Scripture, out of this--that when man had corrupted and righteously lost everything (as in Ahab, and in his times), the Lord finds occasion by that, to bring forth His own resources. Man's wilderness was Christ's storehouse (Matt. 14: 15-21).

      But though there is this common character and moral in the call of these two prophets (and indeed, in measure, of all the prophets), yet their ministries are, in detail, very distinct. Testimony against evil, and consequent suffering, mark the history of Elijah; power, and grace in using it for others, mark that of Elisha. Both are seen in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose shadows, of course, they were. In one aspect of His history on earth, we see the suffering, driven, persecuted witness; the world hating Him, because He testified that its works were evil; in another we see the powerful, gracious, ready friend of others, all that had sorrows or necessities getting healing and blessing from Him.

      More, too, than even this stands reflected in the histories of these prophets; for Elijah's sorrow here, and rejection by the world, ends in heaven; Elisha's power carries him ahead of all that might resist, and keeps him in constant honour and triumph on the earth. And these things foreshadow the heavenly and earthly things of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and King of Israel.

      I would now pass through the history of Elisha given to us in 2 Kings 2 - 13. I do so, however, only rapidly, though in this little journey noticing each detached scene in order, and seeking to draw forth something of the divine counsel, and the divine moral, having found it a scripture of great interest to my own soul.

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