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1st Kings 19:19-21


God said to Elijah the Prophet ... "And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 1st Kings 19:16 then 19-21


 A Preacher in his Study







Elijah was discouraged, stating it mildly.

He had even become suicidal! "But Elijah himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." 1st Kings 19:4

Now the Lord did several things to help the Prophet overcome his depression.


God allowed him time to rest, to sleep, thus relieving his physical exhaustion! "And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him ...."

He fed Elijah! Back to 1st Kings 19:5 ... "Behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat."

In fact, twice did God provide resting and eating times for this dear wearied Man of God.

Then God brought him to a holy place, to "Horeb, the mount of God." Sometimes it's good to get around someone or something God has mightily used in bygone days or years! A spiritual "retreat" atmosphere! Like Numbers 23:23 says: Look at  "what hath God wrought!"

Then, in 1st Kings 19:9, the Word of the Lord came to Elijah! "And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the Word of the LORD came to him." This always lifts spirits and strengthens downcast hearts, The Word of the Lord! The inspired, inerrant Bible!

Then God spoke! "In a still small voice!" When one hears the voice of God, even silently and inwardly, all is well! 1st Kings 19:12

Lastly, to the recuperating Elijah, the recovering patient, God gives several tasks to perform! Work to do! Getting one's eyes off himself and onto pressing duties often can be therapeutic! "And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room." 1st Kings 19:15-16

A lot of work to do, three things!

The last of these assignments is first on the list chronologically however! In three New Testament passages Jesus comments on God's order not necessarily being our natural order of doing things. "And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." Luke 13:30

Perhaps Elisha's call and anointing were far more important to God, obviously so, than these merely "political" issues!

Elijah needed companionship! Such would help him for becoming so discouraged ever again! God "hints" at that in 1st Kings 19:18. "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."

By the way, in turn Elisha will take care of the other two tasks assigned the old Prophet! I mean the issues dealing with Hazael and Jehu. I suspect the older Preacher gets spiritual credit when his younger protégée accomplishes a job anyway!

Quickly now, let's meet this new young Prophet.

Elijah, here's "Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet."

The name Elisha means "God is salvation" or "God is deliverance!" What a name!

"Shaphat," the preacher's Daddy's name, means "Judge." Or more accurately, "He has judged." Elisha may have grown up in a strict godly home where law, God's law, ruled supremely. Blessed in any young man whose Dad was loving enough to enforce the rules and regulations of the home!

And "Abelmeholah," a city in the tribal allotment of Issachar, just means a meadow or field ("Abel") of contrivance or design or weaving ("Mecholah"). Some say "meadow of dancing" or "meadow of a company of like-minded brethren." Incidentally, "Issachar" means "reward or payment or hire or remuneration!" God pays well for faithful service!

See here in Abelmeholah the antidote to discouragement. Joy and reward combine to provide great motivation to the people of God! Of our Lord it is even said: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Now ... we are ready to further investigate Elisha's Call to the ministry!

But tomorrow, Lord willing!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Oh! By the way, these same techniques might help you the next time you are "down!" Depression can attack any of us! The only Person Who ever lived totally free of discouragement was Jesus! Isaiah says so. He, speaking of the Servant of the Lord, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law." As you know, The "Servant of the Lord" is one of Isaiah's favorite Names for Jesus!

Never discouraged! That sounds just like our Lord!


And since He, the undiscouraged One, lives within each of us who is saved ... it can positively be declared that we will always have HOPE! Never hopeless!

Where does the Bible say that, Preacher Bagwell?

In Colossians 1:27, the Text I preached just last night: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."




The Prophet Elijah had just been commissioned to anoint a young man to the Ministry! God has even disclosed his name, Elisha. God had said to the older Preacher: "And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room." 1st Kings 19:16

The phrase "in thy room" is in Hebrew spelled "tachath" and fundamentally means "beneath" someone! Elisha is the junior Prophet, Elijah still the senior one! The "root" of the verb stem means "to be humbled!"

So ... Elijah obediently set out on his journey.

"So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat." 1st Kings 19:19

The verb "departed" is simply "yalak" and means "to go" or often just "to walk" somewhere.

Then the "finding" is unique here. "Found" translates "matzsa" and suggests "to meet" or "to encounter" someone often in a providential manner. "To hit upon" or "to light upon" or "to befall" captures the idea well. Sometimes this "finding" is deliberate, associated with searching ... at other times it is unplanned, coincidental even. When Bible words are used several different ways in Scripture, one must depend on the context of the Passage and the leading of the Holy Spirit to establish exact meaning.

What an inspired Book we have to study!

Whether Elijah knew much about Elisha remains in question ... BUT GOD KNEW THE YOUNG MAN AND HAD DEEMED HIM TO BE THE NEXT GREAT PROPHET IN ISRAEL!

The boy had been reared by a man named Shaphat, his father. The name means "judge" and emphasizes law and order! This youth had been reared in a home that obviously reverenced the Word of God, including its precepts and commandments!

What good preparation for the work of God!

These two men meeting in a rural farm field is surely a "divine encounter!" God has ordered things so!

Remember Psalm 37:23. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD." And indeed Elijah was a good man!

Eliezer, Abraham's servant, also illustrates this principle. He found a Bride for Isaac. How? He tells us himself. "I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren." Genesis 24:27

Think of the God ordained "meetings" that have occurred in Scripture! Paul and Barnabas! Peter and John! Aquila and Priscilla! Moses and Aaron! John the Baptist and Jesus! And even negatively, Pilate and Herod!

God knows how to make our paths cross with those He intends to use in our lives!

Now, think of Paul and Onesimus!

Thank God today for the precious saints He has brought into your life, especially that dear man of God!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Prophet Elijah was nearing the end of his earthly ministry. God had reserved the aging Prophet's final years for the training of his "preacher boy," the young Elisha of Abelmeholah.

Having found the prophet-to-be, Elijah noticed what the young man was doing. His "work" revealed much about his character. Verse 19 of 1st Kings 19 supplies the details: "Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth."

The participle "plowing" is represented by the Hebrew verb "charash" and means "to cut" or "to engrave" as well as "to plow." Once in the King James Text it is translated simply as "worker," 1st Kings 7:14.

Elisha was working, on a farm, in the daytime heat!

Often when God needs a man, He chooses a busy one! Such was the case with Paul and Moses and Peter and John and Matthew and nearly all the rest it seems! Well, Nathaniel was "sitting" under a fig tree! That's according to Jesus in John 1:48. But he's an exception!

Next notice that on this plot of land, undoubtedly a large one, twelve yoke of oxen were laboring! Elisha was associated with a group of plowmen, farm workers, men not afraid of physical exertion! Men laboring for the fruit of the land, future fruit! What good fellowship these twelve hopeful men would have had under the shed at lunch day after day.

And twelve yoke of oxen surely indicate the fact that Elisha's family was rather wealthy! Most Jewish farms did not possess that much livestock! If so, Elisha may have been reared in quite comfortable circumstances, much unlike his future life with that hairy and fiery Prophet of God, Elijah! But wealth or ease, if a factor, did not deter the young Preacher!

Then notice this fact: Elisha was "plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth." The young farm hand was at the last of the line! Eating the dust of eleven other teams of oxen, Elisha stayed faithful to his job, plowing straight rows and working until sunset! Here's a classic case of humility in shoe leather! What a great Preacher Elisha is going to be!

Now the Bible says more about plowing that one might imagine. Through plowing God teaches the principle of separation. "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together." That's Deuteronomy 22:10. A clean and an unclean animal just can't work together!

In Job 4:8 "plowing" pictures one's lifestyle! "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." These are the words of Eliphaz.

The idea of "plowing" being hard work, not for lazy men, is derived from numerous Bible Passages like Proverbs 20:4. "The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing." The "sluggard" is a slothful man.

And the Lord Jesus, in Luke 9:62, clearly teaches that one who starts a task ... should finish it! There He uses a ploughing metaphor. "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

"Plowing" Biblically can indicate some form of intimacy too. Samson accused his enemies, saying of his wife: "If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle." Judges 14:18

And Psalm 129:3, in an apparent reference to Jesus' sufferings on the Cross, says: "The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows."

Plowing is also a Bible picture of judgment and devastation: "Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest." Jeremiah 26:18

And since plowing certainly indicates hope for harvest, bountiful harvest, Hosea prophesies: "Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men." Hosea 10:13

A man's spiritual condition determines the quality of his work, at least in most instances. "An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin." Proverbs 21:4

And one of the greatest Parables Jesus ever spoke involved plowing. It begins: "But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?" Herein Jesus teaches doing one's best for the Lord!

Spiritually speaking, bright times are ahead for the plowmen of God! During the Kingdom days, the Millennium, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt." Amos 9:13

Yes, Elisha's plowing speaks volumes Biblically!

It also reveals to us much of what God needs to see in a future worker, a future Preacher!

From Paul the tentmaker to Ezekiel the Priest to John the fisherman to Matthew the accountant to Luke the physician to David the shepherd to Elisha the plowman ... God often goes to the local workplace to find His men, His future servants!

Lazy men need not worry!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today I want to analyze only one single clause from 1st King 19:19. The whole Paragraph we are studying, verses 19-21, constitute the "call" of Elisha to the Ministry! His impulse from God to be a Prophet! The point in time when, as Paul worded it, "necessity was laid upon him!" 1st Corinthians 9:16

That clause just reads: "... and Elijah passed by him."

That's all!

Elijah, on his way back from the Theophany at Horeb, "passes by" Elisha!

I'll have to be careful here because we all know this is not all that defines a "call" to preach! But it is, I do believe, a vital part of it! At least it definitely is here in Elisha's case.

"Passed by" is "abar" in Hebrew and means "to walk by or to march by or to just to go by" something or someone.

It appears that Elijah's mere presence, the power of the Spirit of God upon him, helped nudge Elisha toward God!

I know this. Some years after Elisha's death, when he was interred in his sepulcher, a dead body just touched his bones and powerful things happened! Read 2nd Kings 13:21 to learn more about the incident.

I am not here appealing to any kind of so-called "magic" either. I am just reporting to you what the Word of God says!

There is power and impact and glory in the very spirit of a true Man of God, one who walks with the Lord year in and year out and faithfully studies the Word day and night!

Timothy and Titus just needed to be with Paul, to be around him! And Paul's godliness and integrity and teaching bore great witness in the lives of those two younger Preachers!

Peter's persona, when imbued with the Holy Spirit, did the same thing for John Mark too it seems! Here's how Peter names Mark: "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son." "Marcus" here in 1st Peter 5:13 is Mark of course.

I still advise young Preachers yet today to get under the authority of a local Bible-believing separated godly Spirit-filled Pastor and watch and learn and spend time in his presence! Through that humble servant God can lead you and guide you and speak to you ... even regarding the preaching of the Word!

We all remember the great occasions in the New Testament when Jesus "passed by" someone! In Matthew 9:9 Jesus "passed" by Matthew ... who was never the same again! In Matthew 20:30 our Lord "passed by" two blind men ... who did not then stay blind for long! In Luke 19:1 Jesus "passed through" Jericho ... and we all remember what happened to Zacchaeus that day! Then again in John 9:1 Jesus "passed by" a man born blind ... who got that day not only physical sight restored, but spiritual sight too! Even we Christians today should rejoice that Jesus is now "passed into" the heavens! There Hebrews 4:14 tells us that He is our great High Priest, with all that involves on our behalf!

Thank God Elijah passed by Elisha one day ... and God did the rest!

Young men, listen to me!

Everyone else too!

Stay around the right kind of people!

Those saints who pass by each day ... influence you more than you realize.

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Prophet Elisha is about to be "called" to preach!

Anointed as a Prophet of God!

In an action loaded with symbolism, we are told that the older Prophet Elijah "passed by Elisha, and cast his mantle upon him." 1st Kings 19:19

The "mantle" fell upon Elisha!

I was amazed to learn that the Bible, Old Testament here since we are studying a Hebrew expression and since the New Testament doesn't contain the word at all, uses four different words for "mantle."

Here they are in brief.

Just before nailing a tent spike through his head, the Jewish woman Jael: "went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle." That's Judges 4:18. Here mantle is spelled "semiykah" and means a rug or a heavy covering designed to keep someone warm. By the way, Sisera was a dangerous enemy of Israel.

Secondly, Isaiah the Prophet, while describing the silly clothing of Jewish girls who had drifted away from God, wrote about their "changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins." Here in Isaiah 3:22 mantle is spelled "maatepheh" and means a piece of clothing that covers the body. Like a tunic or perhaps over the tunic.

Thirdly, Samuel always wore a mantle. His garment however is represented by an altogether different noun. "Meiyl" means a robe or a cloke or coat. Ezra is specifically said to wear one also, along with Job. "And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied." Ezra 9:3

But now when it comes to Elijah's mantle, things are different! Always of Elijah and only of Elijah ... until it falls upon Elisha ... mantle is spelled "addereth" and means "glory" or "splendor" or "magnificence" ... before coming to mean "an excellently crafted outer coat!"

Yes, Elijah's mantle was different!

Even grammatically so!

It somewhat reminds one of Joseph's coat of many colors, distinct and remarkable and symbolic! Although Joseph's garment was never specifically called a mantle.


In each of these following cases that "glory" word is used, the gloriously goodly cloke of Elijah: "And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?" 1st Kings 19:13

And our Text here today: "So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him." 1st Kings 19:19

Then "And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground." 2nd Kings 2:8

Now, even with Elijah gone to Heaven, Elisha "took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over." 2nd Kings 2:13-14

That mantle, so linked to the "glory" of holiness and the "glory" of separation and the "glory" of conviction and the "glory" of the Almighty God, fell upon the shoulders of Elisha and he was never the same again!

That explains why he responded as he did that day!

The majesty and wonder and thrill of the call to preach is divine!


Beyond words!

And when that mantel, sent from God to whomsoever He chooses in His divine Will, falls upon a man's shoulders ... get ready!

A life of excitement and purpose and meaning has just begun!

Something has just happened that changed Elisha's world ... forever!

Here's Paul's evaluation of the call to preach: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry." 1st Timothy 1:12

Praise the Lord!

No one within himself is worthy. Yet God in his grace still saves and fills and calls and uses men to proclaim His precious Truth, His Word!

What an honor!

Every Man of God reading here today knows what I mean!

Every truly God-called one!

Thank God today for Preachers, real Preachers!

Yesterday, even culturally in America, they were heroes!

Today they have been turned into villains by the devil and his worldly crowd!

But, get ready, tomorrow ... by which I mean soon ...  and then eternally thereafter, they will be heroes again! Respected as being among the wisest men who ever lived! That's because Jesus is coming again!

Preachers, doubly honored!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have been studying the Call to preach!

God's calling a man to proclaim His holy Word!

Let's notice what happened when young Elisha was called to the Prophetic Office.

The first thing he did after Elijah passed by, casting that great mantle of authority and power upon his shoulders, was to leave some things behind! Specifically, "And he left the oxen." 1st Kings 19:20

Some Preachers, even when genuinely called of God to preach the precious Word, refuse to abandon many things.

Especially material things, financial things.

Jobs hinder some.

Financial security others.

Retirement many also.

Not counting insurance and paid vacations and sick leave.

Sometimes good men will not follow the Lord completely because of the risk involved.

The insecurity of depending on people, a flock of sheep in one of God's little churches.

Such considerations kept the rich young ruler from even following Jesus!

Apparently Paul the Apostle knew of these dangers. He repeatedly warned his young Preachers to beware of the love of money!

And covetousness in any form.

Somehow Elisha overcame all that in one swift moment!

He just left those things behind!

Maybe he didn't like oxen! But, more than likely, He simply loved God more than he loved anything or anyone else!

What a testimony!

"And he left the oxen."

The verb for "leave" here is spelled "azab" and really means "to forsake or abandon!"

Also it's the first word of the verse. I mean in the Hebrew Text that the King James translators used. That means the Holy Spirit wanted to give this action great preeminence here.

Elisha LEFT the oxen ... and everything else too!

We are told in Luke 5:11 that the Disciples, those who were fishermen at least, "forsook all" and followed Jesus!

And Hebrews 11:27 says that Moses by faith "forsook" Egypt ... to follow the Lord!

Not even mentioning what Paul "forgot," counting it but loss!

But young Elisha, our subject for this study,  is certainly right there in the midst of these great heroes!

He forsook a comfortable lifestyle and all that goes with it ... to follow an unpopular and rough sounding Preacher named Elijah! Even more so ... to follow the God he loved so dearly!

Oxen, in Hebrew spelled "baqar," Scripturally include cattle and bulls, the bovine mammals. Most often they were used in farm work, pulling loads and plowing fields.

But these powerful "tractors" and "wagons" of Elisha's day had lost their luster. A young farmer has become a Preacher, according to God's perfect Will! He would never be the same again either!

The call of God meant more to him than any twelve yoke of oxen!

I believe it is best said this way: the love for God, Elisha's devotion and adoration of Jehovah, had displaced whatever love he had for anything else!

That's exactly how we Christians learn to overcome the world too! Our love for God, maybe even more ... His love for us, so thrills us and encourages us that the world looses every bit of its excitement and temptation!

Here it is New Testament style: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1st John 2:15

See! The love of the Father expels the love of the world!

Yes, if a man is really called ... beware! There's no telling what he might leave behind in his diligent pursuit of this new "direction" in his life!

The call to preach!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P.S. --- I do not mean to be critical in this Lesson today, not critical of any sincere Preacher who would love to be in God's Work full-time ... but has to work just to pay the bills! If the door to Pastor a Church has not opened, or if the Church you serve is too small to care for the Man of God financially ... no choice remains. God requires us to pay our bills and care for our families! Stay faithful, dear Preacher Brother! I know where you heart rests in this matter. You long to preach God's Word, study your Bible, love God's people, see souls saved and edify the Church ... with all your heart! May God bless you and your ministry is our prayer.




It may be a bad habit.

I need to study with you a whole verse of Scripture occasionally!

But for today it's just a clause, a good one and an inspired one though!

It's right out of 1st Kings 19:20.

When Elisha was "called" of God to the ministry, Elijah passing by and throwing his mantel over his shoulders ... "He left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?"

Notice this today ... the young Elisha "ran after Elijah."

That indicates eagerness, excitement, a willingness to follow God's Plan!

The Hebrew word used here to depict that running, "rutzs," is simply pronounced "roots" and  means "to speedily respond, to post, to run" and then 14 more times in the King James Bible, "to guard!"

The first time this verb is used in the Bible Abraham, upon seeing the Lord and two of His angels, runs from his tent door to meet them! See Genesis 18:2. Here's the prototype for eagerness to spend time with God!

The second use of "rutzs" is found in Genesis 24:17 where Abraham's servant ran to meet Rebekah, the future wife of his Master's Son!  Now here's eagerness to serve! Look ... it's like Master like servant here!

Abraham ran!

Eliezer ran!

And now in our Text ... Elijah ran!

Jonah ran away from God!

But Elijah ran toward the Man of God!

The Bride in Song of Solomon 1:4 ran after her Lover! Listen to her: "Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee."

The two Disciples, Peter and John, ran to the empty tomb Resurrection Morning! See John 20:4

Even the Word of God can run! "He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly." Psalm 147:15

Christian friend reading this page, are you eager to follow the Lord?

Dear Man of God, are you still excited about following the Lord Who called you?

One sure indicator that a young man has truly been touched of God, called to the Ministry, is his hunger for God. His ardent desire to follow Jesus!

Paul, in the spirit of running, said that he "pressed" toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. "Dioko" means "to pursue, to seek eagerly!"

A Preacher who does not want to preach? Who is not thrilled with the Ministry? Why, you had just as well talk about hot ice cream or a slow speedboat! Some things just don't go together!

Where are you going in such a hurry, Elisha?

He's heard the Call of God!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The "call" to preach!

We Bible believers have used that term for years.

Yet some today have merely considered the Ministry as a profession, a job, not a "calling" from God!

Let's study this concept Biblically.

The recently called Prophet Elisha certainly exhibited several sure signs of his sincerity and dedication to the Cause of the Lord God of Israel!

He immediately left all possessions behind, counting them but loss!

He eagerly pursued his new mentor, the seasoned Prophet Elijah, running after him!

Elisha next asked permission of the elder Statesman, revealing his submissive spirit!

Today let's examine the words I've capitalized: "And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother ...." 1st Kings 19:20

"Let me, I pray thee."

See, the line of authority has already been established!

In God's economy there is always a spiritual leader. That man is the Preacher, the Pastor, here the Prophet of God!

Proof needed?

Paul, in Hebrews 13:7, writes: "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." To "follow" someone's faith is to respectfully yield to their example and counsel, to obey them!

But, in ever yet clearer terms, Hebrews 13:17 teaches: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." Nothing has to be said after that! It explains itself!

Elisha asks Elijah if he can quickly do something.

The term "let me" is actually a part of the "kiss" verb later in the verse. But our King James translators, being led of the Lord and already having a sense of Elisha's meek character, emphasized here his willingness to ask permission of the older Elijah.

A young preacher-boy, a "Timothy" or "Titus" type, who will not quietly and willingly follow His "Paul" ... is likely NOT real preacher material. This is a critical point!

Rebellious leaders fit into the "Korah" category!

Or the "Diotrephes" mold!

Maybe even more like "Gehazi!"

Notice the expression, "I pray thee," which is just "na" in Hebrew and means "please." Or, more fully: "I ask" or "I pray" or "I plead." It is here, as usual, added to the end of the "let me kiss" verb.

The lesson today: humility.

Willingness to immediately obey!

To follow the leader!

Elisha only wants to properly say "goodbye" to his Father and Mother.

Some Preacher is reading here today who is under a Pastor's authority ... and has become dissatisfied or grieved or rebellious at the Man of God, your leader.

Get right!

Get right with God ... then get right with your Preacher!

Even if he is wrong on some minor issue ... God must lead him in the right path. You must pray.

Now if he is wrong on a major issue, the thing you probably need to do is GET OUT of that place and find another Preacher, one who stays true to God's Word!

Either way, do not get bitter!

Elisha had it right!

He asked ... "let me I pray thee" ... before he did anything!


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The just-called and perhaps not yet anointed Prophet Elisha had but one request of his mentor, the older Prophet Elijah.

Once that great mantle fell upon his shoulders, Elisha was one of the most serious minded Men of God in all Scripture.

"Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee," were his words. 1st Kings 19:20

The verb "kiss" is spelled "nashaq." Its parent word is "nasaq" which means "to catch fire" or "to kindle!" It later came to mean "to join together" or "to touch together," hence the idea of kissing was developed.

The very idea of kissing one's Father and Mother suggests that Elisha was reared in a good family, a loving and affirming one!

Note also that his Parents apparently had no objection to his following the Lord's Will, none at all! Dad was losing a farm worker, a plowman par excellence! Yet God was gaining a great Prophet!

Blessed is the Preacher whose Mom and Dad encourage him in the ministry. Back when my Parents were alive they always said kind things to me and Sister Norma about remaining faithful in the work of the Lord! They were among our greatest prayer warriors!

Elisha let no one stand in his way!

He's going to become a servant to the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... and a helper to the Prophet Elisha, his leader.

See also that Dad is mentioned first, then Mom. In a day of role reversals and rebellion against God's ordained order, especially in the family, it is refreshing to observe how the Bible again gets it right! It always does! It contains no errors! Dad is the home's spiritual leader and Mom is the responder.

Apparently also this is not a divorced family! This is not a "My Dad and his Wife" kind of situation. Or a "My Mom and her Husband" thing.  Elisha plainly says "my father and my mother." Parents, keep your home together! The children often are the ones who suffer most when parents separate or become unfaithful to each other.

Then, after a presumed yet unrecorded time of parting, Elisha is ready to go! He has promised to "follow" Elijah. "Yalak" is the verb used here and means "to walk, to depart, to go, to follow or to carry."

Next Elisha has uttered a promise.

"I will follow thee."

This is a promise He kept too!

Even when Elijah encouraged Elisha to "tarry here, I pray thee," the younger Prophet responded "As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." This scenario happened three times on Elijah's last day on earth!

Elisha had determination!

He had loyalty!

He had a hunger for the Spirit of God!

He wanted that "double portion" that belonged to the firstborn son ... and was going to persevere until he enjoyed such manifold blessings!

I am constantly amazed at the durability and fortitude and stamina of true Men of God!

They won't quit!

They won't stop!

They won't even retreat!

Remember that in the prophecy of Isaiah Jesus says: "Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." He was not going to swerve one way or the other! See Isaiah 50:4.

Like a flint!

Like a Rock!

Like a Fortress!

"I will follow thee!"

Let the Lord know your intentions today, friend!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Preachers can say some of the strangest things!

I don't mean frivolous things or silly things ... just unexpected and sometimes startling things.

As soon as the God-ordained young Prophet Elisha felt the touch of Elijah's mantle on his shoulders, he obeyed the "call" of God in his life!

Eagerly so!

Immediately leaving his plowing and oxen behind, asking only to say "good-bye" to his parents, Elisha ran after the older Preacher, who apparently had not stopped walking past the scene ... not even for a second!

Then Elijah said it!

What "cold water" to throw in a young preacher's face!

"And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?" 1st Kings 19:20

The verb "amar," to say or speak or utter something, is designed to show incomplete action. Elijah may have spoken these words more than once! "Go back," Elisha! "Don't even start this arduous journey! You don't know what lies ahead! Trials and heartaches and dangers and no telling what else!"

In fact, astoundingly, Elijah seemed to maintain this "go back young man" mindset for the remaining years of his ministry!

Even Elijah's last day on earth, the day of his miraculous "ride" to heaven, he three times tried to discourage Elisha's presence!

Early that day at Gilgal Elijah said to Elisha: "Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." Stay here Elisha! Go no further with me! 2nd Kings 2:2

Then a few hours later at Bethel: "And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho." 2nd Kings 2:4

And remarkably, a third time, now at Jericho: "And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And Elisha said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on." 2nd Kings 2:6

In just a few seconds we have discovered multiple opportunities for Elisha to quit the Ministry ... or at least to "slow down" a bit! All were refused by the young Prophet!

Actually it looks like these are not only "opportunities" to quit, but nearly "invitations" to quit! Tests they are ... perhaps to reveal Elisha's sheer determination!

Such I believe are the words in today's Text: "Go back again!"

Remember Jesus going to the Cross?

Peter tried to stop Him! After Jesus revealed the looming "Cross" of Calvary to His Disciples, we are told: "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." Upon which statement Christ unleashed these words: "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Matthew 16:22-23

Gethsemane tried to stop Him!

The Devil tried to stop Him!

Pilate tried to stop Him!


He would not be deterred!

Here are our Lord's very thoughts at that moment: "For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Isaiah 50:7

Elisha developed and displayed similar resolve in his ministry!

He would not "go back" on God!

"Quit" was not in his vocabulary!

Then also maybe Elijah just wanted Elisha to know that this mighty "Call of God" was not from any man personally ... but from God Himself!

"What have I done to thee?" So asks Elijah. The personal pronoun "I" is here underlined for emphasis.

None of this was Elijah's idea!

No power from him is involved!

He did nothing but find Elisha and throw the mantle upon the plowing farm hand!

But he did so at God's specific Command!

It's not me Elisha, it's God!

Tell your parents "good-bye." Do whatever else is necessary!

"Just please God in these matters, not me" ... so thinks Elijah I suspect.

But lest we think "What have I done to thee" is an empty question, devoid of any significance ... let me show you the question Elijah asked Elisha his last day on earth. The day of his trip to heaven, the one I've already mentioned earlier in our Lesson.

After Elisha's determination proved so strong, Elijah finally asked him: "What I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee."


Here's the whole verse: "And it came to pass, when they were gone over Jordan, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee." 2nd Kings 2:9

Now listen to Elisha's answer! "And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."


There IS something the older Prophet can do!

He can influence God to shower a "double portion" of the precious Holy Spirit upon Elisha!

The words "double portion" in Hebrew are so interesting. They literally mean "two or twice or double" ("shenayim") ... plus the word "mouth" ("peh") ... a twofold appointment of God's Spirit! Two mouths full!

So ... what can an older Man of God do for a younger one?


Or so it seems from this Text today!

Younger Preachers, stay near those older wise tested and approved Men of God!

Their "shadow" in your life can mirror that of a Paul to a Timothy or a Peter to a John Mark or even an Elijah to an Elisha!

Besides, they will ALWAYS point you to the Lord God Almighty!



Now that last paragraph, the capitalized one, captures today's Lesson in just a few short words!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Often a person's "giving" habits reveal much about his or her character! Spiritually speaking, the Apostle Paul called our giving to the Cause of Christ ... "the proof of our love!" See 2nd Corinthians chapter 8, especially verse 24.

Quite soon after God called Elisha to preach, he did this: "He returned back from Elijah, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen." 1st Kings 19:21

Elisha immediately gave a team of oxen, two of them apparently, to the Lord in sacrifice!

Now I realize the young Prophet is not in Jerusalem, at the Temple. I also understand that no priest was present that day. In fact, the central truth of this act of Elisha's may be his turning away from his past ... looking toward his new life in God's Work. Yet the following information is still pertinent.

As you know, in most Old Testament sacrifices according to the Law of Moses, several animals could be given. A poor man, having nothing else to share, might offer the blood of a mere dove. But if a man could, a lamb was the sacrifice of choice in Israel! Yet, occasionally, some would even go so far as to kill a bullock, an ox, on the altar! This was a much more more costly offering to give God, involving great expense to the worshiper!

By the way, the following is true of the Levitical offerings, generally speaking. The more precious an animal was, the more costly ... the more fully it expressed the traits of its Anti-type, the Lord Jesus Christ! A dove is certainly a Type of Jesus, innocent and pure. But a lamb even more so! Yet an ox, with all its strength and value and practicality, most completely depicts our Saviour! The more a man gave in sacrifice, the more fully he saw Jesus!

Also, with the ascending value of the animals given to God, the confessing sinner ... the worshipper I had better say, was allowed to do more and more as he stood before the priest! I base my remarks here on Leviticus chapter 1 and its law of the burnt offering.

For example, if a dove was given, the worshipper merely presented it to the priest, who did all the rest of the work. The giver simply watched. See Leviticus 1:14-17.

But if a lamb was sacrificed, things were different! The participant got to kill his own lamb! How much more instructive that would be than just watching! How dramatic! What an impact that would have! Jesus' Cross would nearly be visible at that bloody moment! Leviticus 1:10-13 is our Text now.

Then, even more so, if the supreme animal ... the most costly, was wholly dedicated to God, look what happened. The giver, the one making atonement for his sins or his family's sins, first must realize that his gift, now a calf or an ox, was voluntary! Lesser animals would have done! Then he was allowed to lay his hand on the head of the animal, calf or ox. This is called "identification" with the innocent victim, a picture of our sins being laid upon Jesus. He died FOR us! Then the generous worshipper slew his own sacrifice! Slaying a ox, how very bloody the scene would have been! Yea, how very bloody Calvary was too! The giver also, it appears to me, was allowed to "flay" the dead ox, cutting it into pieces to be laid on the altar! What participation here! Read Leviticus 1:1-9.

Again I say it, the more one gives to God ... the more he sees of the Saviour and the more he participates in the worship!

This is NOT to question the fact that salvation is a gift of God! It is by Grace through faith! It cannot be earned at all. But our symbols of worship and levels of giving surely are able to teach us much! Much in increasing units, based upon our love and generosity and sincerity!

My point today is just this.

Elisha, the young Preacher who has just been called of God, was extremely generous! His two trusted oxen, behind which he had plowed many a row and many an acre, are now being given to God! Gladly, in worship!

Also notice that Elisha not only gave his two oxen, but his farm equipment too! "The instruments of the oxen" include things like the plow and all its hardware and equipment!

Elisha's worship turns him TOWARD the Lord God Almighty ... and AWAY from the things of the past, the old lifestyle!

So should ours!

Such giving may be quite decisive also, even dramatic at times. The verb "took" (Elisha "took" his yoke of oxen and slew them) translates "laqach" and means "to fetch" or "to lay hold of" or even "to seize" something!

He was determined to follow God fully!

God, give us more Preachers like him!

Stingy men, selfish ones, do not usually develop into top quality Servants of God!

Watch and see!

As with all the Godhead, the gracious Holy Spirit indeed implants generosity within the heart and soul of His students!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Some Men of God are "loners." They best thrive when in Spartan conditions, removed from the hustle and bustle of life. Contemplative types they are! Preferring the study and the prayer closet and time with God, they just don't react best when around crowds. There is nothing wrong with this lifestyle either! In fact, Elijah is the premier example of such!

Other Men of God are more socially adapted! They love people, the more the better! It's their very nature to interact and fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, counseling and teaching them regularly. This too is perfectly normal for a Preacher, maybe even preferable! And Elisha is one of the greatest examples of these men!

Today's verse proves my point. After having sacrificed his two oxen, boiling their flesh and burning his farm tools, Elisha is said to feed the people closely gathered around him! Here's the verse. Note the highlighted or capitalized words: "And Elisha returned back from Elijah, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 1st Kings 19:21

He fed the crowd!

Beef too!

All they could eat no doubt!

A banquet celebrating the Call to Preach!

A spiritual Meal!

See Elisha's social skills already at work!

They did not miraculously appear when God "touched" him that day!

They no doubt were present all along. God just sanctified them and dedicated them to the Ministry when the Mantle passed from Elijah!

Aren't these words a parable?

Speaking of Elisha's two oxen, Scripture says he ... "slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat."

See the Man of God ... feeding the people?

The verb "gave" is spelled "nathan" and means to freely bestow! No charge! Elisha began his days as a Prophet of God feeding people physically ... and continued for over 60 years feeding them spiritually!

I mean lavishly and prodigally feeding them!

Some Preachers walk the hallways Saturday nights, wringing their hands and wondering, "What shall I preach tomorrow?" Other Preachers also walk their hallways, wringing their hands too, but this time wondering, "What shall l omit tomorrow? There's so much of God's Word to develop in this Text!"

And the difference is?

How much time is spent in the Word of God during a given week!

How well one prepares the Sunday Meal for God's people!

Elisha was not a dietetic Preacher!

He unloaded!

Buffet style!

Then note he was not selective in whom he fed! He gave to "the people." Not just a select few! Not just his Dad and Mom! Not just his closest friends! To the people!

All the people.

I've learned through the years it is best to treat the Lord's folks the same! Not to have favorites. Not to preach to one clique or the other, one special little family or sub-group in the Church.

Feed them all!

If rebuke is in order, get everyone!

If encouragement is the task of the day, include the whole body!

If teaching is on the schedule, so be it ... impartially!

Then comes the real test.

Did they eat?

Are they being nourished?

Do they look healthy?

While many facts can impact this issue, good food generally brings hungry people to the table!

Look what we are told about Elisha's supper that night. Again let's read it: He "gave unto the people, and they did eat."

They ate!

Peter warns us Preachers to: "Feed the flock of God which is among you." 1st Peter 5:2

Paul adds: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His Own Blood." Acts 20:28

Yes, real God-called Preachers have a yearning to FEED the spiritually hungry!

May their number increase exponentially in these last days!

God's people are hungry! His children need milk. His warriors need meat. His saints even occasionally need some honey from the honeycomb, sweet as it can be! And God's Word, the Bible, richly provides it all!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The "old-timers" used to say: "The Call to preach is a call to prepare!" Undoubtedly it is. Whether through some godly College, a Bible Institute, Correspondence School or even a Seminary ... or none of the foregoing, we need to study God's Word! Of course that, intensive time in God's Word, can be done at home all alone in the corner of a bedroom on a little desk too ... the Holy Spirit being one's Teacher!

However, there is another maxim about Preaching that needs to be stressed too. And our Text today does so!

After the now aging Prophet Elijah received a commission from God to anoint a younger Prophet in his stead, and after his finding Elisha and casting his prophetic mantle over his shoulders ... Elisha did some things.  Notice the last item in the list. It was the most time consuming response.

1. Elisha left his oxen.

2. He sought permission to bid his parents "good-bye."

3. He sacrificed his oxen.

4. He fed the people around him ... freshly boiled beef!

5. Then our Text for today: "Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 1st Kings 19:21

This short yet complex sentence says volumes!

The verb "arose" is spelled "qum" and means just what it says, to stand up! But 25 times in the King James Bible it is rendered "to perform!" Once it's "to continue" and once again "to abide." The time sense of "qum" suggests continual action, habitual movement, a way of life! Elisha kept on standing and performing and doing things for his mentor, Elijah!

Elisha got up ... and seldom ever sat again! He was always busy, serving his new master!

That's exactly what the Call to Preach involves! Constant labor! Unbelievable scheduling! Long hours! And a huge dose of faithfulness! With the Call of God comes the potential for such character too!

The verb "went" is based upon "yalak" in Hebrew. It usually means "to walk" but 20 times in Scripture it means "to follow" and another 5 times it means "to carry" something!

Elisha, the newly called Preacher, does not mind a subservient position! He was willing to be a "nobody" so that his leader Elijah could be a "somebody!" He already humbly had "the mind of Christ Jesus" as Paul terms it in Philippians 2:5.

A faithful follower was Elisha! Not a traitor! Not a turn-coat! Not a Judas! Not an Absalom! Instead, a loyal dedicated Timothy-like young Preacher Boy!

Elisha "ministered" to Elijah we are told. See our verse again: "Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him."

The verb is "sharath." Only found 97 times in the Bible, it means to serve in a surprising sense: not as a menial slave, but as a royal officer! The lexicons say that the expression designates those in "higher domestic service!" It is definitely a higher level of service than the Hebrew "abad" indicates, the latter being quite close to slavery!

There was dignity and honor in Elisha's ministry, service to that dear and distinguished old Man of God, the Prophet Elijah!

Such honor for the Ministry is waning in these last days I fear.

Let me add this too. Every time I can find "sharath" in the Bible, it is framed in the Piel stem. In Hebrew that suggests intensive action, diligence, doing one's very best! Hard work!

With this succinct sentence we are abruptly carried to another event, nearly unrelated, in the next verse.

We bid farewell to the account of Elisha's commissioning!

But we can determine this fact. After the events of that remarkable and unforgettable day, Elisha followed and served Elijah for years, several years! Using James Usher's dates as found in the Scofield Reference Bible, King James Version, the time span in question here lasted at least ten years!

A decade of service!

How we should admire such a person!

No wonder Paul said: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1st Corinthians 4:2

And so it is with real Men of God!

I personally doubt that this "on again" then "off again" crowd, the "in" one week and "out" the next week boys ... are really called of God!

Let me use this verse that describes our Lord's resolve one more time. It's talking about Jesus going to Jerusalem to die for our sins. Isaiah prophesied it of Christ: "He set His Face like a flint!" That's determination and bravery and love in action!

Hence, although certainly in miniature, like our Lord ... so are our dedicated Spirit-filled Preachers! Faithful Men of God!

Not only do they not want to quit, at least for very long! They just can't quit! I point you to Jeremiah's experience along this line. "Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." See what I mean!


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




"The Call to Preach!"

I've heard this precious expression all my life.

Dad would occasionally announce to Mom, when I was still a lad mind you, that Brother __________ had been called of God to Preach the Word!

Such expressions, including "born-again" and "sanctified" and "separated," are not heard as often any more. And that's the short list. How sad!

Scripture tells us about a number of God's Men, their "call" to preach I mean.

Elisha in particular. The "mantle" of God fell upon His shoulders! He was endued with power, a double portion of the Holy Spirit it seems! Briefly in 1st Kings 19:19 we are told that: "Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him." That word mantle, different from other Old Testament Hebrew words used for such a cloak, is "addereth" and the lexicons say it means glory or splendor or magnificence! There is certainly an "honor" in preaching God's Word, in being thus "called!"

And Amos, who said: "And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel." This is Amos 7:15. The verb "took" here is "laqach" and means "to lay hold of" or even "to seize" someone! Sounds dramatic and powerful!

And Isaiah, after sensing the Holiness of Almighty God and being purged of his sins, wrote: "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." I've quoted Isaiah 6:8. Yes, Isaiah was "sent." That verb, "shalach," means "to send forth" or "to sow" or "to stretch out!" God dispatched a faithful Preacher to proclaim His Word to Judah!

Jeremiah was "called" early in life! He likely did not realize that fact until years later. Listen to him God tell Jeremiah about it all. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5 tells us this. "Ordained" means "given!" That's right, it's spelled "nathan" and 1,078 times in the King James Bible it is rendered in one form or another "give." Jeremiah was "given" to the people of God as a Prophet, a faithful one too.

Then to the New Testament we go.

Listen to Paul in Hebrews 5:1-4 talk about Aaron the High Priest of Israel. "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." That verb "called" the Holy Spirit just used is spelled "kaleo" and literally means "bidden" or "summoned" or "named" or "invited." It carries the idea of a clear and certain call, not anything dubious.

Paul also never got over his call to preach. Listen to Him speak of such in 1st Timothy 1:12. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry." God actually "put" Paul in to the Ministry! The verb "tithemi" is used, meaning "fixed or established or ordained!" Also notice in this verse that the call to preach includes God's "enablement" to preach also! It is "endunamoo" in Greek and indicates God's "dynamite" power placed within a man to equip him for the work of God, for preaching!

Yet another way the great Apostle viewed his call to preach is mentioned in 1st Corinthians 9:16. Look how Paul words this one. "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" Paul here explains that ultimately he had no choice in this preaching matter! It was required of him! "Aganke" or "necessity" here means that which is squeezing in on the Apostle from all sides! Pressure! Apparently intense pressure! "Laid upon," another verb here, means something like placing a heavy object on top of a lighter object ... laying them like that and keeping them that way! "Epikaimai" is the word. What a graphic verse Paul has written, but only under the direction of the inspiring Holy Ghost of God! And HE is the Member of the Godhead Who executes the "Call to Preach" it appears! He then can perfectly describe it!

Yes, the Call to preach!

There's enough Bible data to prove and validate and confirm it again and again!

I'm just a little "nobody" in this world!

And I'm quite insignificant when it comes to the Lord's Servants too.

But I am so thankful and so thrilled that one day, in His marvelous Grace, He called me to preach His precious Word!

Bless His glorious Name!

I've also noticed this too! There's a fresh young crop of mighty fine young Men of God coming on the scene today! God is still calling preachers! And they have an eagerness, a real hunger, to learn His Word as well!

Praise God for them!

There's hope!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell







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