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"Elisha, the Prophet of Grace" (posted July 12, 2023)
"Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done."
- 2 Kings 8:4
Elisha was the God-appointed prophet to Israel. His name means "God is Savior," and he represented a Savior-God who was full of grace for a needy and stricken people. Of all the men who served God in those Old Testament days, he stands out as the prophet of grace, and in that he was a foreshadow of our Lord Jesus Christ in His present place on the throne of grace in Heaven, the Administrator of the grace of God to men.
He was only a shadow, mark you, and not the very image of Him; and as the shadow is nothing and the substance is everything, so Elisha is nothing, except as his thrilling story does pictorially set before us the all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that is something, and well worthy of our study, for who can do without the Savior and His grace? Not I, nor you, my reader and friend.
The procession of needy folk with their burdens and ills and problems and sorrows pass before Elisha. We watch them as they come and go, and recognise our own spiritual needs portrayed in them; but as Elisha was the man for them all, so is his great Antitype the Man for us. It is of Him I write, and I write joyfully, thankfully, and with a full assurance, for I have tasted and seen for myself that He is gracious.
Elisha's story is like the garden of God in a barren land, an oasis in the desert. It is enlightening to the mind and delightful to the heart. God was there with Elisha, who was justly called "the man of God."
He was never baffled. He was master of every situation and equal to every demand. All sorts of people came to him-- kings, captains, lepers, great women, and bankrupt widows, and they were blessed in coming. He met friends and foes, good and bad, Israelite and Gentile, and freely bestowed his benefits upon them all, for the grace of God cannot be confined within any limits of any nation or class. His life was a joyous and overflowing life, for to give and forgive, to relieve and to bless, is God's own joy, and His chosen vessels share in it.
Almost every phase of human need gave way to Elisha's ministry. There were limits with him, of course, for he was a failing man, a feeble vessel, and but the shadow of the coming, all-sufficient, and eternally glorious and perfect Savior. Only Jesus could say, "Come to Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He has said it, and His deed is not less blessed than His word.
John T. Mawson