Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Place of Safety and Surrender

O. T. #819  "A Place of Safety and Surrender"
August 24, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 3


Many years ago I heard a message by Charles Swindoll concerning this passage. He explained each of these four places where Elijah visited on his last day on earth. I wrote down that he said- we will experience all four places in our Christian life. Unfortunately, I did not write down any details of his message, only the meanings. I have found it to be so. I can name churches in which we served that correspond to each city. I hope you can, also.

Prophet Elijah is living his last day on earth. His successor, Elisha, is traveling with his mentor as Elijah visits other prophets in the cities of Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and the Jordan River. Elisha has declared that he will never leave Elijah. As they visited those cities, those prophets in seminary asked Elisha if he knew that the LORD was going to take his master away from him that day. Elisha would tell them that of course he knew and for them to be quiet about it. Another thing that happened between these two was that Elijah kept telling Elisha to stay behind at each city, thrice, for the LORD had told Elijah to onto another city. Some commentators seem to think this as a test of determination for Elisha since he  stuck to Elijah like glue; others think Elijah was reluctant to hand over the mantle.

The first city, Gilgal, was a city of safety. Joshua had spent the night there after he led the Israelites across the Jordan River. It was the place where Joshua placed the 12 stones taken out of the Jordan. The purpose of these stones was so wen their children asked the stones meaning, the Israelites would tell of the mighty thing God did when they crossed the Jordan, saying, The hand of the LORD is mighty, that ye might fear the LORD your God forever. Keep in mind, this was before they encountered any of their enemies and have to fight for their Promised Land. They must have felt safe at Gilgal.

Anyone need a safe place where you can go and experience the Lord with you? We all do. Where is or was your place of safety?


The second city where the Lord led Elijah was Bethel. It was located 8 miles north of Jerusalem. What was significant about Bethel?
  • Abraham built the Lord an altar there. (Gen. 12:8)
  • Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending a ladder set up on the earth. God promised to not leave Jacob. Then Jacob built an altar using the stone which was his pillow. (Gen. 28) This happened before Jacob met Rachel, who would become his wife, and as Jacob was fleeing from his brother Esau, since Jacob took his birthright and blessing.
  • Another time in Jacob's life, God told him to go to Bethel and build Him an altar there. God changed Jacob's name to Israel. (Gen. 35) 
  • So Bethel was a place of altar.
Is there a place, perhaps a certain church, where you surrendered to the Lord and offered Him your life for His service? That is your Bethel, friend.


Remind myself of my spiritual Gilgal and Bethel.

Once again, I surrender to You Jesus.

Make Jesus my Gilgal.

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