The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And he said, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them. 2Kings 6:1-3
Every year, Alice and I go to our National Conference where we hear a number of speakers. The final message of last year’s conference was from the above text. The first message of this year’s conference was also from this exact text. Can you imagine how we felt when the second night’s message this year was also from 2Kings 6:1-7? Three straight speakers all speaking from the same obscure text! Only God could arrange this, so the question becomes, why? I think it has to do with the generations coming together.
Here are three encouragements for the older generation:
- Have something to give from God that the younger generation needs. Elisha had burned his plow and pressed in for a double anointing which he had received from Elijah. The younger generation doesn’t need information from us – they can just Google to get that. But Google can’t supply the wisdom that comes from an ongoing relationship with God. We must keep pressing in for all God has for us to be “relevant” to the generations behind us. They asked Elisha to come because they needed what he had.
- Release the younger generation to go beyond where we’ve been. The idea to build bigger came from the young prophets. The place they were currently living in was probably built by Elisha and now it wasn’t good enough. Instead of being offended, Elisha releases them to do something more than he’d done. King Saul had become jealous of the next generation and feared they would be greater than he was, so he tried to kill David. Elijah believed that God could take His anointing and double it in the next generation – let’s believe as well and release the coming generation into even more grace than we’ve experienced.
- We need to go with the next generation to ensure their success. In their zeal, mistakes are made, but Elisha was there to show them that every problem is actually an opportunity to encounter the faithfulness and power of God.