By Henry Mahan
2 Kings 2:1-15
Our story actually begins back in I Kings 19:15-21. The Lord revealed to Elijah that he had chosen Elisha to take his place as the prophet of God to Israel.
Every believer is in the Lord's body and has a vital part in the Lord's kingdom and the ministry of the gospel (Rom. 12:4-8).
We are all witnesses of Christ. But it is certain that some men are chosen of God to be prophets, apostles, evangelists (missionaries), and pastor-teachers (Eph. 4:11-14). This is not a work or ministry which a man takes upon himself to be a pastor, overseer, and preacher of the gospel; but it is a work for which God equips, calls, and sends a man (Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:5; 2 Tim. 4:11). If God sends a messenger, he will give him the message, the wisdom, and the grace needed; and he will give him a hearing (Ezek. 33:30-33).
Although Elijah knew that God had his hand on Elisha and that Elisha would be a prophet of God, he did not pressure the young man nor encourage him to take upon himself such an awesome task and responsibility. He rather discouraged him and put objections and discouragements in his way (1 Kings 19:20). Elijah cast his mantle over Elisha, and when the young man said, 'I will follow thee,' Elijah told him to 'go home; I have said nothing to you about serving the Lord with me.' Men do not call prophets and preachers; God does! This he said to try him, to get out of his heart what God had done in him. Elijah would not persuade and push this man into the ministry, but rather did all that he could to keep the flesh out of the way and allow the Lord alone to deal with Elisha. But Elisha would not be discouraged and made a feast to express his joy at being called to such a service. He left his employment, his home and parents, his friends and followed God's prophet, became his servant, where he attained knowledge and understanding of divine things and was trained by Elijah (1 Kings 19-21). It seems evident in the Scriptures that the Lord trains his preachers not in schools and seminaries, but under the eye and hand of those who are his preachers and pastors.
vv. 1-8. The time came when the Lord would take Elijah into heaven, and the old prophet was still trying his young servant.
He said to Elisha, 'The Lord sent me to Bethel; you stay here.' But Elisha knew his call and replied, 'I will not leave thee.' Three times Elijah tried to get the young man to leave him, but he would not. Elisha, out of affection for Elijah, aware that God spoke through Elijah, desiring to see and learn all that he could from Elijah, and knowing that he needed God's spirit and power which was upon Elijah, would not leave and enter a work for which he knew he was insufficient, without taking advantage of every moment of this wonderful occasion. Has a man ever learned enough, seen enough, studied enough, or heard enough to feel that he is ready to speak for God? Elisha did not think so! Elijah smote the waters of the Jordan, and they went over on dry land.
vv. 9-15. Before Elijah was taken away into heaven, he asked the young prophet what he desired more than anything else.
Elisha did not ask for fame, riches, long life, nor any of the things that appeal to this flesh. He asked for the presence of the Spirit of God. 'I pray for a double portion of thy spirit!' Elisha did not ask to go with Elijah, but that the presence of God might be with him. Elisha did not grieve over God's providence but sought the power of God to fulfill his ministry.
When God took Elijah up into heaven, Elisha took up the mantle of Elijah, smote the waters, and cried, 'Where is the Lord God of Elijah?' He was saying, 'O, God, who was with Elijah, be thou also with me.' Men are as nothing; it is the Lord we seek, serve, and glorify.
1. The God who blessed and used Elijah must bless and use us.
2. The God who kept Elijah faithful throughout his life on earth must make us stand firm in the faith (Jude 24- 25).
3. The God who provided for Elijah in the wilderness must supply our needs (Phil. 4:19).
4. The God who raised the dead by Elijah's word must speak through us to raise dead sinners (Eph. 2:1).
5. The God who gave Elijah courage to face kings and enemies must free us from the fear of men.
6. The God who divided the waters for Elijah to pass over must be with us when we come to that river.
7. The God who took Elijah to glory must take us to himself.
'Spirit of the living God,
fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me,
fill me, send me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall fresh on me.'
Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
1. He is in the heavens! Psalm 115:2-3.
2. He is in Christ! Matt. 1:21-23; 2 Cor. 5:19.
3. He is in his word! I Peter 1:23-25.
4. He is on a throne of grace! Heb. 4:16.
5. He is in the midst of those who worship! Matt. 18:20.
6. He is in every act of providence! Rom. 8:28. He is in every breeze, every cloud, every moment, every heartache, every tear, and every joy. 'Lo, I am with you always.'
7. He is in all who believe! John 14:23; John 17:23; Col. 1:27.