Bold New Hero –
Elisha was probably about 11 years old when, out of nowhere, a prophet of God named Elijah showed up at King Ahab’s palace and declared there would be no more rain in Israel until all the idol worshipping stopped.
Queen Jezebel loved her idols and when she heard about Elijah’s threat, she furiously vowed to kill Elijah. Well, that wicked woman could really scream! Elijah was new at being a prophet and he became frightened. So God sent him off to a quiet place to wait for the right time to bring the rains back.
Even though he was young then, Elisha remembered when he first heard what Elijah had done, mostly because the new prophet’s name was so similar to his own. At first, Elisha would play like he was a prophet himself. He would get a long stick and roam around his father’s large fields and rushing stream beds calling out to God to stop the rains until the Israelites stopped worshiping idols. Elisha loved God and the story of Elijah’s bold move to stop the rain inspired him. No one really liked King Ahab and his queen anyway; they were always acting mean and making Israel look like a weak and foolish nation. Still, everyone was too frightened to risk angering the royal pair.
Drying Up –
After a couple of months, Elisha saw his father’s fields dry up and blow away. The rushing streams dried up to just trickles, and then even the trickles dried up. Sometimes he would hear his parents whispering and knew they were trying to find ways to feed the family and the servants. His father was a wealthy man and sent gold off to neighboring countries for grain for the people and the livestock under his care. But what would happen if the streams and wells dried up and there was still no rain in sight?
Fishin’ The Dry Spell –
Elisha’s father would take him fishing at least once a week, just the two of them. Young Elisha always looked forward to that fun time with his dad. As the drought dragged on, Elisha’s father would sit on the dry stream bank, put his arm around his son’s shoulder, and tell glorious stories about the great miracles that Jehovah had worked for the children of Israel over the centuries.
Some were stories his grandfather had told his dad years before. Because God is always providing for His people, some of the stories were of new wonders the Lord had worked for neighbors and friends. Elisha’s father’s stories told on those quiet fishing trips filled them both with hope and the courage to go back and face the tough times at home. Elisha’s dad called it fishin’ the dry spells. Even empty-handed after a day searching for waters to fish, the two of them would be singing praises to God when they returned to the farm.
Healing The Land –
That was more than three years ago and now Elijah had returned to King Ahab and performed a great miracle to bring the rains back. The hearts of the people were turned back to God, and the land was healing. At 14, Elisha was no longer a boy. He was strong and tall and helped his father in the fields every day. Once the rains stopped, the two of them and their servants and helpers, would plant their first crop of grain in over three years. Grapes would be juiced, olives would be pressed into oil, and the whole land would soon buzz with life and health again. They would need several bountiful years to make up for the drought, and Elisha could taste the rich harvest in the air. His heart was light with joy as his strong hands waited for the rains to stop so he could farm the land.
With the rivers and streams flowing again, the fishing was good for Elisha and his father. Even so, whenever they had a calm moment, Elisha’s his mind would wonder after Elijah the prophet. Elisha continued to pray for a chance to meet the great prophet, maybe even follow in his footsteps leading people in the paths of righteousness. He knew it was silly. His place was with his father, behind a plow, providing for the many people that would be his responsibility when his father became too old to farm. Still, who could fish and not dream?
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 screento visit each challenge. You are on Page 1 now, so click on 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 for the challenges. You can do them in any order.