Elisha is Anointed; Ahab defeats Syria (1 Kings 19:19 – 20:22)

Elijah has just been challenged and encouraged by God to get back to the cause and enlist othes to join with him.  He leaves the cave where God spoke to him and finds Elisha, who was plowing, and threw his mantle on him.  Elisha asks for permission to tell his family goodbye, and slaughers the oxen with which he was plowing for a feast.  They ate, and Elisha follows Elijah.  Step one of God’s plan is enacted, Elisha has followed Elijah.

God had also included Syria in his plans.  The king of Syria, Ben-Hadad, made an alliance with thirty-two kings, and was preparing for battle against Israel.  They attacked Samaria, and Ben-Hadad sent a taunting message to Ahab, claiming his riches, wives, and children.  Ahab initially consented, but when Ben-Hadad insisted that he give even more, Ahab went to his elders, and they encouraged him to stand up against Syria and their king.  When Ahab sent word that he would not consent to the second command, Ben-Hadad threatened to level Samaria.  Ahab sent word to Ben-Hadad that it is not he who starts the fight, but the one who ends it that should boast.  Ben-Hadad immediately. got ready to attack Samaria.  A prophet approached Ahab, and told them that he would defeat Ben-Hadad by the hands of the young leaders of the provinces.  He gathered them and they numbered two hundred and thirty-two, and then seven thousand of the people of Israel followed them.  The young leaders went to the Syrian command post and defeated their army, and Ahab and the rest killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.  Then another prophet came to Ahab and told them that the king of Syria would be back in the spring of the year.

In this story, we see the plan of God begin to unfold.  After Elijah called Elisha to follow him, Ahab and Syria begin a conflict that will eventually make it possible for Elijah to then anoint new kings over Israel and Syria.  When God calls you, He will also prepare the way before you.  How does God call us with such great precision?  Because He has already existed in tomorrow, and He knows what is waiting for us there.  Trust Him!

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