The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

When Elisha is called by God, he leaves his job as a farmer. He slaughters his plowing oxen and gives the meat to the town’s people. Why is this so significant and what is the Lord teaching us through this?

     19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”

21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant. [1]

     When Elisha burns the wood from the plow and slaughters his oxen, it signifies a new part of his life as he leaves his old life behind. When the Lord calls us to faith, He also asks us to leave the old behind for the new as the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.[2]

     It is tempting for any of us to return to the old way of life. Our old sinful nature desires to return to our past way of life. God knows this and that is why Paul shows us what we need to do so we don’t return to our past. Philippians 3:13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. [3]

     Paul tells us the key to the new life in Christ is to focus on Jesus and keep pressing forward. As a runner in a race, you must continue to press forward even if you fall. As a Christian, there are times where we do stumble and fall and even go backward.

      Take the Lord’s hand and let Him help you to focus on Him. Leaving your old way of life behind is not easy, but with God’s help you can do it.

To hear more about the story of Elisha, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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