2 Kings 2:1-14
The question that God asked Elijah two times, “…What doest thou here, Elijah?” has a second part to discuss. As discussed in the devotion titled, “The Question for the Servant” – not only did God repeat the question to Elijah to reveal the gravity and weight of what God was going to say to Elijah concerning his final mission for God; but Elijah learned a very valuable lesson as a servant of God. That lesson is, it is not over until God says it is over. The decision to call it quits was not up to Elijah; but up to God. The soldier of Jesus Christ is not the Planner; he is not the Power to Perform the orders of the Commander; and he surely is not the one to call retreat in fear of the enemy.
But secondly, God wanted Elijah to recognize that he had a definite responsibility to the prophet that would take his place. He had responsibility to prepare the new prophet to be God’s lead witness, and His lead spokesman to Judah and to the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel. When a servant is totally consumed with the “I” syndrome, all he can see is himself. But in Elijah’s case, God had much more for Elijah to do for Him before his course was finished. God did not honor Elijah’s request to quit and die; but God revealed His love and mercy to His servant Elijah.
It is all-important for God’s men today, as they come to the end of the journey, to prepare the next generation of men that will be called to stand in the gap for The Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what the Apostle Paul did with young Timothy (2 Tim. 2:1-4). This responsibility cannot be shirked by the men of God of the 21st Century. This devotion’s focus is upon Elijah’s preparation of Elisha to take his place as a prophet of God. The spiritual import of this devotion may be applied to all of the senior children of God, as they are to prepare all the young servants of God to fulfill the call of God upon them.
The task is to find, recognize, and validate God’s choice of a man to stand in the room of a prophet. This is what Elijah did when he found Elisha plowing in the field (1 Kings 19:19-21). Elijah revealed the will of God to Elisha, by casting his mantel upon Elisha. Men of God today are to do the same as Elijah at the direction of God, and identify and validate young men who God has called unto the work of a servant of God.
Men who are filling this position, who have never been called of God or validated by other true men of God, are a major problem in the church today. Beginning with Jesus Christ and the call of the Apostles, it has been the responsibility of true men of God to recognize and ordain other men (1Tim. 4:14-16) whom God has chosen to fill a servant’s position in the pastor/teacher position in the Body of Christ. And it has also been the responsibility of true men of God to recognize and instruct the sheep that will fill the rank and file of the Body of Christ. All the called of God are important to God; and all the called fit into a specific role in the Body of Christ. The Apostle John and the Book of Titus addressed this very thing in (1 Jn. 1:12-14; Titus 2:1-10).
How did Elijah prepare Elisha for his position of the prophet of God? 1 Kings 19:21d says, “Then he arose, and went after Elijah.” The student (or disciple) is to follow the Teacher (Christ) (1 Cor. 11:1). This is God’s order for the young preacher, or for any servant of God. God had a school for the prophets in Elisha’s day; the Apostles followed Christ for three and a half years; the Apostle Paul taught in the school of Tyrannus for a space of two years (Acts 19:9-10a); Paul taught young Timothy the ways of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:1-3); and men of God today are to teach the young servants of God the Doctrine of Christ.
Next Elijah took Elisha with him to three important places: Bethel, Jericho, and the Jordan River. These were real places; but, they also had great spiritual implications that Elisha needed to experience to take Elijah’s place. The Bible does not relate the exact reason for Elijah taking Elisha to these three places. However, each of these places stand out as mountain peaks of spiritual implications for Israel and all of the people of God.
- Bethel: This Hebrew word is made up of two words; El – meaning God; and Beth – meaning house. Therefore, the word means House of God. When a background study is done on Bethel; it reveals that Abraham built an altar at this place; Jacob renamed the city of Luz, Bethel; for Jacob said it was here that God was and “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not… this is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:16b, 17b); and it was to Bethel (Gen. 35:1-2) that God commanded Jacob to take his family, and to put away their strange gods (repent, confess, and turn back to God). Therefore, in the application to Elisha, and to any other servant of God; there will be times in life’s journey that the servant will need Revival or Restoration. The need of revival in the servant’s life is a sad commentary on his flesh, and its pull on the servant. It is called a war between the flesh and the spirit (Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-24). This also is used by God to bring the servant to see the utter vanity in listening to the flesh, and not following the Spirit of God. But the raw truth is, the servant needs to go back to Bethel and repent of sins, confess his sins, and turn from following the flesh, and follow the Lamb of God whithersoever He goeth, to be revived, to be strengthened, to remain in the good fight of faith.
- Jericho: As you know, Jericho was the city that the children of Israel marched around for seven days; then the walls fell completely down, and they defeated the city of Jericho (Josh. 6:1-20). Included in this narrative is the story of Rahab the harlot (Josh. 2:1-24), and the reward she and her family received. Also, the story of the sin of Achan, and the consequences both he and his family suffered (Josh. 7:1-26). The servant of God, from time to time, must be reminded of the value of Obedience to the commands of God; the result of such obedience is the complete Victory over the enemy of God, and the preservation of the servant and even of his family. Whereas, the disobedience of God’s commands may bring destruction. There will be times experienced by the servant of God of the Juniper Tree / Cave-Hiding of Elijah. In these seasons of the “I” syndrome, the servant needs to remember the Power of God, manifested in the fall of Jericho by the walking in faith to God’s instructions. There are times in the fight of faith that the servant cannot figure it out; therefore, he must completely depend upon God and His Word of Promise. This walk is called the walk of faith (Heb. 11:6).
- Jordan: In the initial entrance to Canaan Land, God opened up the Jordan as He had done to the Red Sea, for the children of Israel to march over on dry ground. Then, Elijah performed the same miracle in view of Elisha. This speaks of Deliverance from all barriers for the children of God to experience the abundant life in Canaan Land. The servant of God, at certain times in his journey, will need to be reminded that God, his God, is The Deliverer from all enemies for His servants. Is there anything impossible for God? Is anything too hard for God to perform for His servants? Is there any enemy that has the power of Jehovah? The answer is No, No, No, a thousand times No; for there is Only One True and Living God. Jehovah, Joshua, or Jesus is the servant’s God.
The last episode that Elisha did witness concerning Elijah was Elijah being caught up to heaven in a whirlwind, being accompanied by the Chariot of Fire and the horses of Fire; who Elisha called, “My Father, My Father, The Chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof” (speaking of none other than God). Why was this last scene so important in the young prophet’s life? The answer is Confidence in the LORD of Elijah. Immediately, after Elijah’s miraculous departure; (2 Kings 2:13-14) records that Elisha took Elijah’s mantel which had fallen on him (which meant that Elisha had a double portion of the power of Elijah). And he called out, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah.” He smote the Jordan River, and the waters parted. This was a definite witness to himself that he was a prophet of God with Elijah’s power; and it was a witness to the other prophets that viewed Elisha’s confidence in the God of Elijah, (2 Kings 2:15) that, “The Spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.” From this point on in the life of Elisha, it validated him before the others, that he in fact was God’s choice to lead the other prophets of God.
Therefore, you mature children of God (who John called “fathers”); it is your responsibility to prepare the young servants of God for their future journey of servanthood for God. This preparation will give the young servant the “confidence” and the “authority” in view of others to teach, lead, and guide the sheep of God. It is all-important for those who make up the House of God (sheep and pastor alike) to have the validation internally and externally that they are of God; and that they are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. If not, either they are not of God – or if they are of God and have no signs of validation that they are of God, and they have no power of the Holy Spirit, they are doing things in the power of the flesh, and not in the Power of the Spirit of God.