Archive for March, 2017
It is not surprising that the God who had revealed the ungodly King Ahaziah’s death, should now give some indication to his prophet that his own time on earth is coming to an end. It’s good to have an assurance that God does know our end from our beginning: our times are in his hand and I’m sure if we’ve lived listening for his voice, we probably will have a sense of when it’s time to get ready to go home.
So Elijah and Elisha both know the time for Elijah to depart is imminent. We have a picture of the two friends, master and servant, mentor and disciple, walking along together. And as they walk, they talk. It’s a wonderful picture of intimacy. Any of us who have travelled with a loved one to the end of the road know those times, though difficult, are inexpressibly precious. We, like Elisha, feel the interruptions of the company of the prophets to be unnecessary, redundant.
What makes Elisha so reluctant to leave Elijah? The parting might have been easier if they simply said their goodbyes as the prophet suggests. But Elisha has a burning in his heart. He’s looking out for an inheritance and is ready when Elijah asks what he can leave him. He wants ‘a double portion’ of the anointing he’s seen at work in his master.
Suddenly, these men who have long time walked to the beat of heaven’s drum, find that heavenly kingdom now breaking into their own earthly realm. Fiery chariots and horses appear. ‘The chariots and horsemen of Israel’ cries Elisha – a recognition that these are the real forces that battle and deliver God’s people.
And then Elijah is gone. Elisha picks up the cloak and the promise.
‘Where now is the Lord God of Elijah?’ he cries. This is not a doubting expression of grief. In verse 15, we see the company of the prophets have been watching everything. Elisha’s question is for their benefit. As he strikes the water and it parts, they discover what he already knew. The Lord God of Elijah is now with him. His own great ministry has begun.
Prayer: Lord, give us a hunger for you like Elisha had. Give us a deep desire to see the power of your kingdom released on the earth through us. Bless those who disciple us and bless those to whom we are examples. Pour out your Spirit on us we pray. Amen.