“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”(Galatians 4:4–5, ESV). Jesus descended from His glorious, eternal throne, cloaking Himself in humanity, “when the fullness of time had come...” It was according to the Holy Trinity’s ever-existing eternal timetable, when the Roman empire stretched from east to west, when Roman roads made trade, travel and tourism possible, when the Greek language had been adopted as the international language, and “when the time came to completion” (Galatians 4:4).
So it was when Elisha served as Jehovah’s prophet in Israel. “The set time had fully come”(Galatians 4:4, NIV).
Elijah, Elisha’s predecessor and mentor, cried out to God, “ ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies ... but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they’re looking for me to take my life.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint ... Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah as prophet in your place’ ” (1 Kings 19:14–16).
At the appointed time, God chose Elisha.
The unified Hebrew nation was divided after Solomon’s reign. The Southern Kingdom was ruled by David’s descendants. The Northern Kingdom was ruled by men like King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. “Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight more than all who were before him. Then, as if following the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat were not enough, he married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and then proceeded to serve Baal and bow in worship to him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole. Ahab did more to anger the LordGod of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:29–33).
“Ahab rested with his ancestors, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place” (1 Kings 22:40). “Ahaziah son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria ... he reigned over Israel two years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He walked in the ways of his father, in the ways of his mother, and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin. He served Baal and bowed in worship to him. He angered the Lord God of Israel just as his father had done” (1 Kings 22:51–53).
God called Elisha when the days were dark with depravity, decadence, corruption, wickedness... when “the set time had fully come” (Galatians 4:4, NIV).
And God commissions me and you, today. He “called (us) out of darkness into his marvelous light” to “proclaim the praises” of our Savior (1 Peter 2:9–10). He called us “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.