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Part 1 – The Background to the Prophet’s Ministry

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Studies in the Life of the Prophet Elisha

Part 1 – The Background to the Prophet’s Ministry 1 Kings 19

David Gooding

The whole of the Old Testament unites to tell us that there is salvation, but it is only in the living God.


The ministry of Elisha was marked by a most delightful display of God’s miracles of grace, as people were restored to life and rediscovered the great resources that they had; as Israel were blessed and delivered from their enemies; and as even Gentiles were brought under the grace of God. But the context of his ministry was that God had announced to Elijah the most sweeping judgment that Israel had ever experienced up to that time. It was against that background, where judgment had been pronounced and before it fell, that Elisha was commissioned to go and preach. Would you be surprised to find that that added an edge of urgency to his work and ministry?

That is very similar to our situation in this Christian age. Before the Lord Jesus went back to heaven he solemnly declared that there would come a day of severe and unparalleled judgment, preceding his coming in power and great glory. Should that not likewise add urgency to our proclamation of the gospel of God’s grace? We have the privilege and responsibility to proclaim a message of deliverance through faith in God’s son, who bore the judgement on our behalf. There is much then that we can learn from Elisha and the secret that lay behind his ministry, in order that we too by God’s grace may be miniature Elishas in our own day and generation.

Recorded in Apsley Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland in November 1980.

Length: 51 mins.

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