Personally I dread to go to the airport to send someone off, especially when the one I’m sending off is a family member, church brethren, or a close friend, because that person won’t be around for sometimes. But with the advancement in communication tools, I don’t feel the dread too much anymore.
In our Bible reading today, it was time for Elijah to be taken away by God; and Elisha would have no means to contact his master. How did he feel?
But Elijah left something extremely precious for Elisha.
What was that precious something?
And Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horseman!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
2 Kings 2: 12
Such is the scene that leaves me to think of the heartaches one has to endure when a dearly treasured person leaves for another place.
As we have read from previous chapters, Elijah had been a good prophet of God, diligently doing all the biddings of God.
Among the great miracles done through the hands of Elijah, the challenge on Mt. Carmel could be one of the most famous and exciting one.
God used Elijah’s hands to perform many other miracles, and now in this chapter, God could be saying to Elijah, “Well done Elijah, it is time for you to rest.”
But there were still things to be done in the history of the chosen race.
When Elijah was about to be taken up, he told Elisha, who kept sticking with him, to stay put at the three locations where they went, but what was Elisha’s response in these 3 times?
As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
2 Kings 2: 2, 4, 6
Elisha was so determined to follow after Elijah wherever he goes, even though the other prophets told him about his master’s eminent departure.
This was the wisdom of Elisha, a junior prophet who went all out to learn and to receive blessings from a senior prophet who was a faithful servant of the True God.
Before Elijah went up, Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, which was not in Elijah’s authority to give, so Elijah let God decide if He had chosen Elisha to be his successor.
Again, Elisha’s wisdom had pleased the Lord and He allowed him to witness Elijah being taken up in a whirlwind, which was a sign that he would receive the double portion as requested.
And after that, Elisha manifested the power of God in his “first miracle” by healing the spring of the water at Jericho. (ref. 2: 19 – 22). And his ability to curse his mockers (vv. 23 – 24), also in a way authenticated him to be the successor of Elijah.
Through this incident, I think there is an obvious lesson that we can learn from Elisha, and that is his persistence in following and perusing after the blessing and power of God, not for personal glory, but for the works of God.
The other thing that we need to understand from this incident is that God’s true servants may leave us, but the works of the Spirit of God will never leave, they will continue on.
May God grant all of us, workers of God, be as diligent as Elisha, always seeking to excel in the spirit and in the works of God for the advancement of the gospel of salvation.