O. T. #821 "When Life is a Whirlwind"
August 29, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 5
LET IT GLOW
I can recall those busy days of getting the kids ready for school, as well as myself ready for work; making sure they had their homework completed and with them; they had studied for a test; going here and there for school activities; church activities and teaching Sunday School; having laundry done and meals prepared, house cleaned. Whew! Makes me tired again just thinking about it. Life was like a whirlwind back then. Today we read of a prophet who experiences a whirlwind, but in a good sense.
The prophets Elijah and Elisha knew this was the last day for Elijah to live. He went around visiting various places in Israel, some were the site of seminar students preparing for prophethood-Gilgal, a place of safety, Bethel, a place of altar, Jericho, a place of battle, and the Jordan river, a place of death. We will experience all 4 places in our Christian life, Charles Swindoll says.
The whole time they were traveling around, Elijah tried to persuade Elisha to stay behind, but he refused. Then Elijah and Elisha crossed over the Jordan in an unusual way-Elijah folded his cloak, or mantle as it is called, together like a rod and struck the water with it. (It as a symbol of Elijah being a prophet.) Immediately the water parted and the two men crossed over on dry ground, as a group of 50 prophet looked on to witness such a thing. Does this sound familiar? Moses did the same with his staff at the Red Sea in Exodus 14 and Joshua did as he and Israel crossed the same river, in Joshua 3.
Once again God's power was demonstrated and seen.
Are we looking around in our life to see God show His power in our life?
LET IT GROW
Crossing onto the east bank of Jordan was the same area where Moses' life came to an end (Deut. 34).
There Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for Elisha before leaving. Remember, this was Elijah's last day before going to heaven.
Verse 9b says, Elisha replied, "Please let me have a double share of your spirit and become your successor."
Elisha requested a difficult thing,as Elijah told him. What was Elijah's reply?
If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, you won't.
What does all of this mean?
The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains:
In Israel, the firstborn son inherited a double share of his father's possessions and with it the right of succession (Deut. 21:17). Apparently, Elisha was asking to succeed Elijah in the prophetic office, as God had promised, with spiritual power beyond his own capabilities to meet the responsibilities of his position as Elijah's successor. He desired that Elijah's mighty power might continue to live through him. Only God can give spiritual power. If Elisha saw his departure it would be the sign that God Himself would grant Elisha's request.
Was Elisha's request granted?
Look at verse 11: As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.
Yes, Elisha saw the departure of Elijah into heaven. Elisha called out to Elijah, calling him father, and remarking that he saw the chariots. When Elisha realized that it meant his mentor Elijah was gone, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.
MacArthur remarks that Elisha did do twice as many recorded miracles as Elijah. Elijah had raised the dead, called down fire from heaven, and revealed God's plan for a devastating drought which lasted 3 1/2 years. Won't it be interesting to read of the miracles which God did through his servant Elisha?
Friend, is your life like a whirlwind? Are you running there and there, doing this and that? Perhaps we need to stop and look up.
LET IT GO
Breathe, look up, surrender to Jesus.
Ask the Lord to part those busy waters.
Keep my focus on Him.