Times of Transition

As I work furiously to transfer all of the knowledge I have in my head to my protégé with less than a week to go I am reminded of a similar transfer between Elijah a prophet and Elisha his pupil. Elijah was an amazing prophet who God called into glory while he was still living meaning Elijah never tasted death. Elijah was one of the most powerful and renowned prophets in biblical history and Elisha was Elijah’s protégé. Elisha was blessed with a double portion of the power that Elijah had when God took Elijah to heaven. Now I am definitely no Elijah, but the transition of power is similar. Let’s review the story once for clarity and then again with my inserted commentary.

hqdefault[1]

2 Kings 2 New International Version (NIV)

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

 

Now let’s see the parallels between their transition and the transition of power in many circumstances.

31118_000_038_05[1]

2 Kings 2 New International Version (NIV)

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven With Commentary

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” (Elisha understands that Elijah is about to be called up into heaven by God)

But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” (Elisha knows what is about to happen, but has no time to gossip with the other church folks about it.)

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. (Elijah has looked out for Elisha for a while now and has earned Elisha’s loyalty and respect and with that Elisha faithfully stands beside Elijah during his time of transition.)

The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” (Once again, Elisha has no time for gossip!)

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, (Everyone knows what is going to happen and the other prophets are possibly concerned about their own safety so they do not get close to Elijah or Elisha and instead they stand from what they believe is a safe distance.) facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. (The fifty prophets could see the miracle because of their proximity but could not be a part of the miracle because they were too far away.)

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. (Elisha knew what he wanted and was not afraid to ask the man of God for it. Remember the scripture in James 4:2, “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”)

10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” (Pastor Jason Sides often says that miracles come through instruction and here we see Elijah give his protégé a clear instruction on how to obtain his requested miracle.)

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (Notice that God separated them. Sometimes separation from familiar people and places is divine. They knew the separation had to happen and through the elevation and separation of Elijah, Elisha eventually becomes elevated. ) 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. (Elisha got the miracle he was seeking and the spectators also got what they wanted which was to see what would happen to Elijah.)

Something to ponder is what revelation or blessing could the fifty men and women of God have received for themselves would only they had been bold enough to walk with Elijah during this emotional time and not just talk about Elijah from a safe distance. With that, positive transition happens and the best way to have it happen to you is to be around those who positive transition is happening to. Some may call this blessing due to proximity I call it spiritual osmosis.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: