Reaching the Next Generation

Dr. Ed Hindson

Every generation faces challenges in regard to issues of sin and righteousness. One generation’s success does not guarantee the same for the next generation. Every generation has to face its own challenges in the power of God. The biblical accounts of Elijah and Elisha illustrate the importance of passing on our spiritual heritage to the next generation despite the challenges of ever increasing evil in the world. When things don’t go our way, we can either hide in a cave like Elijah or listen to the still small voice of God calling us to change the next generation.

I. Contrast: Elijah & Elisha
A. Elijah: “Jehovah is my God”
1. Predictions
a. Drought – 1 Kings 17:1
b. Rain – 1 Kings 18:41
c. Deaths of Ahab & Jezebel – 1 Kings 21:17-24
2. Power
a. Raised Widow’s Son – 1 Kings 17:17-24
b. Called Down Fire – 1 Kings 18:20-40
3. Problems
a. Fear – 1 Kings 19:1-3
b. Depression – 1 Kings 19:9-10

“9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
10 He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’”

B. Elisha: “God is Salvation”
1. Insignificance: End of the Line – 1 Kings 19:19
2. Hesitation: Wait – 1 Kings 19:20
3. Heritage: Twice the Miracles – 2 Kings 2-6
II. Confrontation:  What are you Doing? – 1 Kings 19:9
III. Commission:  Change the World – 1 Kings 19:15-18

“15 The Lord said to him, ‘Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.’”

A. Hazael
B. Jehu
C. Elisha

IV. Call:  Pick up the Mantle
A. Mantle Cast – 1 Kings 19:19

“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.”

B. Mantle Recovered – 2 Kings 2:1-14

“8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’
‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.”

“13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. ‘Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”

V. Core Principles:
A. It’s Never as Bad as You Think
B. Don’t Focus on the Problems
C. Look For Solutions
D. Train the Next Generation
E. God Uses Different People