Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 166

Learning to Lead Through Serving, June 8

Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 1 Kings 19:16.

We would do well to consider the case of Elisha when [he was] chosen for his work. Elisha was of a family who had kept the ancient true faith of Israel. He did not live in the thickly populated cities. His father was a tiller of the soil, a farmer. Even during the captivity there were souls who had not degenerated and gone into apostasy, and this family was included in the seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal.

Elijah was about to close his earthly labors. Another was to be chosen to carry forward the work to be done for that time. In his course of travel, Elijah was directed northward.... Now everything seems to be springing up as if to redeem the time of famine and dearth. The plenteous rains had done more for the earth than for the hearts of humanity; it was better prepared for labor than were the hearts of apostate Israel.

Wherever Elijah looked, the land he saw was owned by one man—a man who had not bowed the knee to Baal, whose heart had remained undivided in the service of God. The owner of this land was Shaphat. Busy activity was seen among the husbandry. While the flocks were enjoying the green pastures, the busy hands of his servants were sowing the seed for a harvest.

The attention of Elijah was attracted to Elisha, the son of Shaphat.... Far from city and court dissipation, Elisha had received his education. He had been trained in habits of simplicity, of obedience to his parents and to God.... But though of a meek and quiet spirit, Elisha had no changeable character. Integrity and fidelity and the love and fear of God were his. He had the characteristics of a ruler, but with it all was the meekness of one who would serve. His mind had been exercised to be faithful in the little things, to be faithful in whatever he should do, so that if God should call him to act more directly for Him, he would be prepared to hear His voice....

His surroundings at home were those of wealth, but he realized that in order to obtain an all-around education, he must be a constant worker in any line of work that needed to be done. He would not consent to be in any respect less informed than his father's servants. He would learn how to serve first, that he might know how to lead and instruct and command. While doing all that he possibly could do with his God-entrusted capabilities in cooperating with his father in the home firm, he was doing God service.—Letter 12, 1897.

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