Be Spiritually Bold
WHERE IS GOD ?
This chapter is about succession in a spiritual sense. The word succession refers to what follows after something or someone has already set a precedent. The prophet Elisha succeeded the prophet Elijah. He took his place after Elijah completed his mission on earth. To follow in the steps of Elijah was a pretty tall order. It was Elijah who brought down fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice to prove the reality of the God of Israel. He also multiplied oil and meal, raised the dead, and even caused it to rain to end a serious drought. But he did something else: he smote the waters of the Jordan river that was in his path and they parted before him. Then a chariot of fire appeared and carried him alive into heaven. Elijah’s supernatural experiences are recorded in the books of the Kings of Israel. He was indeed a prophet who could make things happen.
It should be of great interest to those who believe in God and who want to make things happen in their lives, to consider the series of events that brought the same power of Elijah into expression in the life of Elisha. When Elijah was coming to the end of his ministry and had fulfilled the divine purposes for which he had been called; God told him to anoint Elisha to be the prophet to succeed him. He found Elisha and anointed him, and Elisha followed him and attended to his needs on a daily basis. When the time came for Elijah’s departure: I say departure, rather than death or retirement because the conclusion of his prophetic ministry was indeed a departure from this life into the life beyond.
The events unfolded like this: Elijah told Elisha: "The Lord hath sent me to Bethel," Elisha followed and refused to leave him. This exchange of words continued from Bethel, to Jericho, to Jordan. At each point in the journey, Elijah said the Lord had sent him to the next place; and Elisha responding with these words, "I will not leave thee." There seems to have been a strong sense in the mind of Elisha that the time of Elijah’s departure was near; and being aware of this impending event, Elisha wanted to be with him to the end. It became clear later that there was also a desire by Elisha to obtain some favorable blessing before the great prophet was gone forever.
When they reached the waters of the Jordan river, Elijah took his mantle from his shoulders and: "smote the waters and they were divided" before him, and he and Elisha walked across on dry ground. When they reached the other side; Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away. The young, yet unproven and inexperienced prophet asked for a double portion of the, "Spirit" that was upon Elijah to be upon him. Elijah responded by saying it was a hard thing that he was asking, but he would have it if he saw him when he was taken away. They continued walking together and suddenly; a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two men and a whirlwind lifted Elijah into the Heavens and his mantle fell from him down to the ground. What happened next still thrills the souls of the believing ones : Elisha cried out: "my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof," then he tore apart his garment and took the mantle of Elijah which had fallen from him and went back to the Jordan river. As he stood there with his future before him and his mentor forever gone from him, "he smote the waters," and cried out with these words, " Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" and the waters parted before him.