1 Kings 19:19-21

Talks for Growing Christians

The Call and Commission of the Prophet Elisha

1 Kings 19:19-21

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Lesson Number 40

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord calls busy people.
  2. There is a time to pass on the mantle.

Practical Application

  1. Burn your bridges behind you.


  1. Discuss God’s role and Elijah’s role in the commissioning of Elisha.
  2. How do we know that Elisha came from a wealthy family?
  3. When God wants a job done, He calls busy people. How does this relate to Elisha? What does this say to us?
  4. “There is a time to pass on the mantle.” What does this mean?
  5. We often hear the phrase, “Don’t burn your bridges behind you.” But here we are told, “Burn your bridges behind you.” Why? When is the latter phrase applicable?


  1. In the previous lesson, Elijah was recommissioned; now Elisha is commissioned. One of God’s first assignments after Elijah’s restoration was to anoint Elisha as the prophet who would take his place. Elijah retraced his footsteps from Mount Sinai to a place called Abel Meholah, and there he saw Elisha. He threw his mantle on Elisha, which meant that Elisha was to take Elijah’s place as prophet.
  2. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, which meant he would have eleven servants in front of him, each with a plowing team, and he would be the twelfth. It would be like having twelve tractors in a large field today, one behind the other, each with a hired driver.
  3. Elisha was not just sitting around doing nothing. He was directing a sizeable farm operation, but when he was called to serve the Lord, he responded immediately. People who are busy before their call will be busy after their call.
  4. Passing on the mantle means to pass your responsibilities on to someone who can take your place. In passing on the mantle, there should be a joy in teaching another to take your place. There should be no jealousy, bitterness, or reluctance when that time comes. It does not mean that you are no longer useful. The Lord has something else for you to do at that point.
  5. When it comes to committing to what God calls you to do, burn your bridges behind you. There should be no turning back, but 100% commitment. Elisha burned his equipment as a symbolic gesture that he was fully committed to the call of the Lord.


  1. Are you busy in your work? Has the Lord called you to be busy for Him? How have you responded?
  2. Have you been called to pass on the mantle? If so, have you done it with a good spirit and willingness of heart? Are you open to whatever the Lord has in mind for you, especially in the transitions of life?


  1. Have you burned the necessary bridges? Are you 100% committed to the Lord?

Key Verses

  • “Elijah passed by Elisha and threw his mantle on him.” 1 Kings 19:19
  • “Elisha arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” 1 Kings 19:21

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