July 2: 2 Kings 1-4
1 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
2 Kings 2:1-12
The stories of Elijah and Elisha have fascinated me since I was a child; they seemed to be more than just prophets, because their prophecies were often accompanied by great miracles.
In today's reading we see the "transfer of power" from Elijah to Elisha before the Lord spirited Elijah away on chariots of fire.
Just imagine the close communion these men maintained with the Lord. Is this close communion still available to us today? As with all of the Old Testament prophets, God had a specific purpose for these men in the life of the Israelites, both in Judah and in Israel. But, He also has a specific purpose for our lives as well! Remember, it is only our sin that separates us from the Lord; when we go to Christ, asking forgiveness for our sins, we are forgiven because Christ has already paid for those sins with His blood.
This is a concept far too large for me to grasp; it just must be accepted in faith. Who gives us that faith? Do we somehow manufacture it within ourselves? Everything we have--even our very being has been given to us by God. He opens the way for us, and by His grace, grants us the ability to follow Him.
For what do you pray? If given the opportunity to ask for anything you want, for what would you ask? We have broached this subject when we read of the life of Solomon, and here, again, we see that Elisha is faced with the same question.
When they had crossed [the Jordan River], Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.”
How did Elisha respond?
And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”
As you observe the life of Elijah, what was it like to have a double portion of the Spirit of God upon him? We know the rest of the story, do we not? As we go through the next few chapters of 2 Kings, we see the power of the Spirit of God in Elisha graphically displayed before us.
I challenge you today, to go before the Lord and ask for a double portion of His Spirit to be upon you this day.
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.