Elijah and Elisha

Chariots of Fire

This devotional is written by Eppy Izere, who has been coming to St Mary's for quite some time, is an amateur in technology but has faith to have a go at most challenges.

2 Kings 2:1-11

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven 2 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel."

But Elisha said, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.

3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?"

"Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "so be quiet."

4 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho."

And he replied, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho.

5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?"

"Yes, I know," he replied, "so be quiet."

6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan."

And he replied, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.

7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"

"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.

10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours--otherwise, it will not."

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.


Reflection

Anyone else ever mixes up Elijah and Elisha's names?

The easiest way to remember them, is alphabetically; "J" comes before "S" and so Elijah came first, and Elisha next. Elisha was Elijah's disciple, and, in the story, Elijah is about to ascend to Heaven, Elisha is meant to succeed his mentor Elijah, just like how Joshua was the chosen one of God to succeed Moses.

Not sure, Elijah was testing Elisha's commitment to this call but He (Elijah) wanted to be alone as he made his rounds to Gilgal, Bethel and Jericho.

Elisha's refusal to leave

I love Elisha's determination not to leave his mentor.

Remember like any trainee Elisha has been shadowing his boss for the past few years, he knows what Elijah has been through, the miracles he had done and all the challenges he had encountered. Time has come and Elisha is about to take on the mantle of a prophet from the prophet Elijah. This must have been scary to Elisha! I can imagine the thought of becoming Elijah's successor caused him panic. To add on his worry, he keeps getting these annoying small voices, twice, the sons of the prophets are asking Elisha, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?"

He immediately silences them and keeps going because he knows who he is focusing on -God! I believe Elisha was not just after Elijah, but he was chasing the power of God (the spirit of God) that was on Elijah. Elisha saw a huge benefit in staying with the man of God Elijah and insisted on accompanying him on his journeys even when Elijah asked him to remain. This made me think of how valuable it is to surround oneself with Godly friendships, particularly in challenging seasons eg your small groups friends, prayer partners, Christian workmates, Christian students etc. A former work colleague once joked that when I was off work, that she had no one to speak "christian-ise language" with. Funny as it sounds, we shared a special bond beyond working together, we prayed for each other and lifted up one another in what was a harsh & stressful work environment and it made a huge difference for both of us.

Asking for double portion

Before Elijah is taken by a whirlwind into heaven, Elisha asks for a "hard thing" to receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Elisha did not ask in arrogance but in humility probably because he thought he could not do what Elijah did except if he had double the spirit of God that Elijah had.

In this world, there comes a time when we are faced with life situations that make us realise, we are not enough. Have faith, Phil.4:13, says "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength".

May be God is calling you to do something but like Elisha you feel inadequate and need to ask God for more..

 Pose and examine your heart now. What would you like more of from God? Is it More Faith? More Patience? More Compassion? More Wisdom? More freedom? More Love? Is it More courage? Do you need More calmness and less anxiety? Is it More Peace?.......fill in yours... Why don't you invite the holy spirit and ask God to give you more? Truth of the matter is, we are not enough but God is! 2 cor.12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

May God give us more of his holy spirit above anything else.

Amen!

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