Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 139/260: Elijah and Elisha

Read 2 Kings 2:1-15

Loyalty

The account of Elijah’s translation is well-known to many Bible students. He had called Elisha to be his successor (1 Kings 19:19-21) and after spending some time mentoring the son of Shaphat, it was time for Elijah’s departure.

Three times, Elijah asked Elisha to stay behind as he went where the Lord directed, first to Bethel, then to Jericho, and finally to the Jordan; Elisha refused to leave his master’s side each time (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). When they had crossed the Jordan, Elijah permitted Elisha a request before he left him. Elisha asked, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me” (2 Kings 2:9).

The “double portion” request was not a prideful appeal to be better than his master, but rather a reference to the inheritance guidelines contained within the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 21:17). Elisha, though he was personally called and mentored by Elijah, wanted to be validated or accredited in the eyes of the other prophets as their leader. After Elijah was taken up in the whirlwind and Elisha crossed back over the Jordan on dry ground, the prophets indeed recognized him as such. “Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him” (2 Kings 2:15).

Before that, though, Elisha witnessed with his very eyes the translation of Elijah into heaven, leaving this mortal world without death. Only one other is known to have escaped death: the patriarch Enoch (Genesis 5:24). Upon seeing his master being taken away in a chariot of fire with horses of fire, Elisha cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (2 Kings 2:12). Adam Clarke explained, “The Chaldee translates these words thus: ‘My master, my master! who, by thy intercession, wast of more use to Israel than horses and chariots.’ This is probably the sense.”

Do you have a mentor that has guided you to the truth and has interceded on your behalf? Have you mentored another in the Lord, providing help and direction in the way of the Scriptures? Who is the Elijah in your life? Who is your Elisha? Be loyal to both as they follow the Lord.

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