Raising Up and Training Spiritual Leaders
2 Kings 2
Early on God’s people saw the importance of planning for training of spiritual leaders and education of God’s people. These became known as “schools of the prophets.” Although not called this specifically, reference is made to them in Scripture when we see a large gathering of prophets referred as “sons of the prophets”.
These men would live together during the course of training and then be sent out to the cities of Israel and Judah to teach the Word of God with power. They would expose error and encourage contrition and repentance before God and obedience to His revealed Word. Sometimes, they would be used as God’s spokesmen to foretell events that would come upon the nation as a result to their apathy and disobedience.
We see in the passage before us the importance of Planning for Instruction, the value of Personal Influence and essentialness of Persistence in becoming both instructed and influential in God’s Word and Work.
- Importance of Planning for Influence
- Importance of Persistence in Pursuit
- Importance of Personal Influence
Planning for Influence
Schools were centers of education and training for men to use God’s Word and the gifts and talents He bestows to inspire the nation to worship and obedience.
· 1 Samuel 10:5
· 1 Chronicles 25:1
We see the use of the schools and the diversity of them in our text today. These were training centers for the study, exegisis and exposition of God’s Word. Those who went were trained to speak God’s Word to the people.
Sons of Prophets were those who had a special calling on their lives much like that of Pastors and Missionaries today. The calling was of God. He called them into that ministry and purpose. Yet these men would go to study under other known prophets and be educated and mentored by a teacher. In the case of Elijah and Elisha, this began in 1 Kings 19:19.
Persistence in Pursuit
Everywhere we turn we are inundated with the call for positive role models and mentors. This is something that is trendy today, but has been going on since the history of man. It is espcecially true in Scripture. Samuel was trained and mentored by Eli. He in turn trained others, Saul and David included. Elijah trained Elisha for service and ministry. In our passage, we see the determination and loyalty of Elisha to stay with his mentor and master.
If we are to learn and be used of God, we must plan to be focused and persistent in our pursuits. 1 Kings 19:19 shows, at the onset of their relationship, that Elisha had that tenacity of spirit to see it to the end. In our reading, three times Elijah tries to release Elisha to relax and stay back, but each time Elisha refuses. He wanted to be persistent and loyal, to plan to be a person of purpose and influence.
Elijah had been training and preparing Elisha for a life of service to God. His influence upon the younger charge was seen in the reply he gave to Elijah. The man of God had left his mark upon the life of Elisha, and Elisha wanted to be used of God in the same way. He requested a firstborn’s portion of influence and ministry.