Meet Elisha –
Elisha was a great prophet of God who lived about 900 years before Jesus was born. Elisha lived in the land that now makes up modern day Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon. The prophet Elisha is honored by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Of The Chosen People –
Elisha was a descendant of Abraham, one of the Chosen People of God. Great stories of his ancestors are all through the Bible. Getting to know Elisha means we have to understand some things about the Chosen People and about when and where Elisha lived. So here we go with a really quick history.
God called Moses to rescue the Children of Israel from 400 years of slavery in Egypt.
Since few had seen God work during all this time, the Israelites had no idea of the power and reality of their God. The ancient men told strange and vivid tales of HisStory, yet even they had not been alive in the days when:
- God called 75-year old Abram to pack up and move to a far away country
- At age 100, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham and his son Isaac was born
- God saved the young lad Isaac from being sacrificed alive
- Isaac’s son Jacob physically wrestled with God all night long, until dawn
- The sons of Jacob (who God re-named Israel) sold their brother Joseph into slavery
- God had other plans and turned the slave Joseph into ruler over all Egypt
God Rescues His Chosen People –
While it is true that the nation of Israel had an amazing heritage, if these tales were not just mere bedtime stories, why were they starving slaves in the same Egypt today? Their spirits were crushed by generations of slavery, their souls were fed only by wild tales of a God who appeared to have abandoned them.
Great Events were needed to lead the Children of Israel into their brilliant future. Great Events such as:
- Plagues upon the Egyptians until they agreed to pay their slaves to go free
- Parting of the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh’s pursuing army
- Spirit of God leading them in a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night
- God feeding them manna that fell from heaven six of every seven days
- Wandering in the desert for 40 years and never needing new shoes
Three months after fleeing Egypt, it was a timid and fearful nation that arrived at Mount Sinai, looming over the surrounding desert and wilderness. Yet God loved these wounded and weary descendants of Abraham, calling them His Chosen People. From high atop the mountain, shrouded in clouds and darkness, God spoke to the gathered nation and promised them He would be their Guardian, caring for them and watching over them. But the people were afraid. They begged God to stay hidden in the mountain and only speak to their leader, Moses. So the people kept their distance and Moses became a mediator between God and His chosen people.
Moses led the Israelites for 40 more years until they were finally allowed to enter the Promised Land. After Moses, the people were lead by Joshua, followed by other leaders, judges, and eventually kings. With each passing generation, God’s chosen people moved further and further from Him. Straying from their faith also brought conflicts among the people. The Israelites even had a civil war and were split into two different nations, Judah and Israel. Many of the kings were wicked and led the people astray. God often sent prophets to guide the people back to Him. When the kings repented and worked together with the prophets, the nations of Judah and Israel prospered and God’s people were blessed and happy. When the kings were wicked, the prophets were ignored or even killed.
Into these troublesome times we will travel to learn the stories of “Elisha’s Plow”.
Let’s have some fun with what we’ve learned. Today’s installment includes five (5) LevelUp! challenges. Use the PAGES link at the bottom of the screen to visit each challenge. You are on Page 1 now, so click on 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 to view the challenge pages. You can do them in any order.