145 - Elijah Is Taken into Heaven
May 25 - Nº 145 2 Kings 2
Elijah was traveling with Elisha, his young servant, when God instructed him to go to Bethel. Elijah told Elisha to stay behind while he went to see what God wanted. But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I won’t leave you.” So, they went on together. When they arrived at Bethel, a group of prophets took Elisha aside and asked him, “Do you know that God is going to take your master away from you today?” Elisha knew, but he didn’t want to talk about it. Then God asked Elijah to continue to Jericho. Elijah encouraged his servant to stay in Bethel while he went on. But again, Elisha insisted on staying with his master. The prophets who lived in Jericho took Elisha aside and asked him the same question that the prophets from Bethel had asked. Again, he informed him that he knew Elijah would be taken. When he got to Jericho, God wanted Elijah to keep going to the Jordan River. Again, Elijah advised Elisha to stay, but the young prophet refused, proving his loyalty once more. Fifty prophets followed behind the two men. When they got to the river, the prophets stopped and stood at a distance. Elijah rolled up his cloak and struck the water with it. Immediately the river parted. He and Elisha walked across on dry ground. When they reached the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you before I am taken away?” Elisha didn’t hesitate, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” he replied. He realized that this would include more hard times as well as more victories. “That is a difficult request,” Elijah responded. “I will leave the answer up to God. If you are still with me and see me when I am taken from you, you will receive it. If not, God’s answer is ‘No!’” They continued walking and talking together. Suddenly a fiery chariot (pulled by a team of fiery horses) appeared and separated the two prophets. Then Elijah was taken up into heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha witnessed it all. When he could no longer see Elijah, Elisha ripped his clothes as a sign of sorrow. Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak which had fallen off as he was taken into heaven. He walked down to the bank of the Jordan River. “Where is the power of the Lord God of Elijah now?” he asked. He struck the water with the cloak, and it divided just as it had for Elijah. He crossed back over to the side where the prophets stood. The 50 prophets exclaimed, “The spirit of Elijah now lives in Elisha.” They bowed down to him, and from that day on they honored him as their new leader. Elisha went back to Jericho. As the people of the city greeted him, they informed him that the water in the only spring in this desert oasis had become bitter. They could no longer drink it or use it to grow crops. “Bring me a new bowl,” Elisha said, “and put salt in it.” He threw the salt into the spring, and God made the water pure. Elisha traveled on to Bethel. Along the way some rowdy young men mocked him. They called him names and told him to leave. Elisha called down a curse on them. Immediately two bears came out of the woods and mauled them. They were punished for ridiculing God’s servant. Elisha stayed focused on God’s calling in his life (see #139 - May 19). Nothing could distract him. God continued to empower and protect His new spokesperson!
Are you easily distracted from knowing and serving God? Satan loves to divert us. He wants to lead us as far away from God’s purposes as he can. Elisha refused to be distracted or diverted from the role God had for him. He stayed focused on the assignment God had given him.