Called From Between the Plow

In Sermons on August 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Matthew 10:28-33

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. {29} Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. {30} But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. {31} Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. {32} Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. {33} But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Let us examine the lives of some of God’s people who were called into service. We all have different callings, but the fact is, we have all been called to serve the Lord.

SAMUEL: In 1 Samuel 2:18-36 we have the story of a young child who was called of God to enter into the ministry. Samuel ministered in the house of God, taking part in the services. That’s a pretty impressive role for such a person of his age and status in life, but God is able to choose anyone He wants. As the young child grew older, he was found in favor with the Lord and men.

(1 Sam 3:1-4) And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. {2} And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; {3} And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; {4} That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

The Lord himself called Samuel, but he didn’t know the voice of the Lord. In fact, God called the boy 3 times before Eli explained it was the Lord who was trying to get his attention. THIS IS FOR YOU YOUNG PEOPLE: You need to know that God could call you at an early age and use you for His glory just like Samuel. Don’t think you can’t do anything or that you have nothing to offer. All God wants is a willing vessel to serve Him and follow His commandments.

(1 Sam 3:19-21) And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. {20} And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. {21} And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

God will reveal Himself by the power of His word. Let God establish you tonight. Let the power of God rule in your lives from this night forward like it did in Samuel’s life. Look at some of his accomplishments:

  1. He judged Israel for about 40 years in the office of a prophet
  2. Samuel was sued of God to choose a king for the nation of Israel, set up the rules for the kingdom, and look after Saul
  3. Anointed David a king

Pretty impressive for a young person, don’t you think?

DAVID: In 1 Sam 16 we find the story of how David was called to serve the Lord. It’s one of the most interesting accounts in the Bible; I could read it again and again. The Lord told Samuel to go to Bethlehem because He had provided Himself a king to take Saul’s place. Now Samuel didn’t want to go because he just knew in his heart that Saul would kill him, but God has things worked out in advance. He told Samuel to go make a sacrifice and it would be all right. Off he went and when he got to Bethlehem, he called Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice after they had sanctified themselves.

Now, this is important. Samuel, the anointed man of God, got his feelings about the matter in the way and was sorely disappointed in the results. This ought to be a lesson to all of us,not to judge by appearance alone. There has probably been many people who could have done great things for God, but pride or flesh got in the way. How many David’s have failed to reach their full potential because someone didn’t like their looks or didn’t agree with their ideas? Samuel said of Eliab, “surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.”

(1 Sam 16:7) But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Aren’t you glad we’re not judged by what man has to say? Then Abinadab and Shammah and all the other sons had to pass before the prophet. Samuel asked if these were all of Jesse’s sons.  No, one remained and his name was David. You see, David was the youngest and it was his lot to tend the sheep. He was doing his duty, not looking for promotion like these other sons, just doing what he was supposed to do. When Samuel called for him and he was brought before him, Samuel took a horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of all his brothers. Don’t you know that frosted them, seeing the youngest son in such a high place of honor? The youngest son should not have been chosen, but God knew what He was doing.

(1 Sam 16:13) Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

ELISHA: Elijah was a mighty prophet of God who did miraculous things under the power of the Holy Ghost. God always has a man in the background awaiting the right time to come to the forefront. Elisha was just such a man.

(1 Ki 19:15-16) And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: {16} And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

By the way Elijah, I have reserved 7,000 men unto myself who haven’t bowed their knees to Baal.

So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. (I Kings 19:19, KJV)

Now look at this picture for a moment. Elisha was busy plowing with twelve yoke of oxen when the prophet of Israel, Elijah ,walked by him and threw his mantle on his shoulders. This was a sign that Elijah’s office would pass on to Elisha. Now I don’t want you to think God only calls people who are groomed just so and look like a GQ kind of person. Elisha had been plowing and was very likely hot and sweaty from the heat of the day. He probably didn’t smell like he had just taken a bath or that he spent a lot of time at the cologne counter at the local department store. You get the picture, God doesn’t look at the situation, He just wants a willing heart. (Let me stop here for just a moment. God expects us to bathe and be clean. Thank God for deodorant and shampoo. Thank God for toothpaste and Certs.)

Now, Elijah started walking away and Elisha said, “I’ll follow you but let me kiss my father and mother first.” Elisha made a sacrifice, fed the people and followed after Elijah to minister unto him.

(2 Ki 2:9-13) And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. {10} And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. {11} And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. {12} And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. {13} He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

Elisha received a double portion of the Spirit of God. What do you desire tonight?


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