2Kings 6:1-6, “1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” So he answered, “Go.”
How rewarding it is to sit under a seasoned leader, exactly what we see with the sons of the prophets who humbly sat under the ministry of Elisha. Elisha being a prophet of God had students he mentored echoing the mentorship he received from Elijah. Elisha was humble and hard worker from the beginning, he was in the family business and also known as the prophet that washed Elijah’s hands, cooked his meals and more. He followed Elijah everywhere as a humble servant even to the point where when Elijah was taken away, he requested for double portion of his spirit (anointing) upon him (2Kings 2:9), in other words a double portion of responsibilities by the working of God’s power in his life. He was going to continue Elijah’s legacy even to a greater dimension. We all ought, both ministers and people, to set before us the example of our predecessors, to labor after their spirit, and to be earnest with God for that grace which carried them through their work and enabled them to finish well.
Now the sons of the prophet having seen the miracles and knowing God was with Elisha chose to be under his leadership. It appears that the number grew and instead of sending others back home, they chose to build and expand their dwelling place.
The sons of the prophets were very diligent, humble and hardworking as their master the prophet. They show discernment in vs. 1 when they said, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us”. We also see humility and submission on their part; they seek Elisha’s permission as their leader to act on a solution to their good problem, vs. 2. “Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell”. We then take note of their request for Elisha to go with them, vs. 3. 3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them”. Good disciples desire to be always under good discipline. They don’t take for granted the office of a prophet leave alone abuse the powers. Instead of asking Elisha to call things into existence, perform a miracle, they seek to go to work together, willing to take pains.
Why is this passage important? It’s because we have a generation of young people not taught the reward of hard work. Things have been handed to them easily hence many have no idea what it means to enjoy the fruit of their labor, or even maintain what they are given. This quote appears frequently on the Internet and is often attributed to Dr. Adrian Rogers from 1984 in a larger series titled God’s Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom. It also appears as a passage in Dr. Rogers’ 1996 work Ten Secrets for a Successful Family complaining that “by and large our young people do not know either the importance or the value of honest labor, You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labor”.
Parents, leaders have the responsibility to pass down to their children, students what they received. There are parents who say, “I will give my children the material things I never received”, sounds good but not until you ponder on how if you as a parent had everything you needed, you would have not worked hard. Sometimes the things we are trying to keep our young people away from are the things they need the most, it is what prepares them for life. One of the things I value today is the hard work teaching I received when I was young from both my parents and my grandmother. Between the age of 6-10, I could cook lunch, take care of my younger sibling, fetch firewood, fetch water etc. Was tough learning but it was all worth it, something I would want to instill in my children, hard work, learning at an early age.
If we don’t start instilling those hardworking values, we cripple our young people and their future. Elisha could not give the sons of the prophets what they would have wanted miracles, if anything, the sons of the prophets already learnt what it meant to work hard and would not abuse the office of a prophet. Blessings Ev