2 Kings 2-4


In our study today we find Elijah and Elisha walking together. They are leaving the Promised Land and following the route Joshua took when he lead Israel into the Promised Land, just going in the opposite direction. When they come to the Jordan River Elijah strikes it with his mantle and the waters part, and they cross the river on dry ground.

Elijah, Elisha, and the company of the prophets all know that Elijah will be taken away that day by God. Before he goes he asks Elisha what he could do for him. Elisha asks for a double portion of that which was given to Elijah. Elijah says that is a tall order but if Elisha sees Elijah taken away his request will be granted. Elisha does see Elijah taken up in a windstorm leaving his mantle behind. Elisha picks up the mantle, strikes the waters of the Jordan River which parts and he goes back into the Promised Land following the route Joshua took, but this time there will be a dramatic change from what Joshua did compared to Elisha.

The first thing Elisha finds after he crosses the Jordan River is unbelief. Though the company of the Prophets knew Elijah would be taken that day they did not believe it. They want to send out a search party to find him. They press Elisha to let them go and search. Finally, Elisha is so embarrassed and dismayed he lets them search for Elijah. The search lasted three days and they did not find him. Jesus was taken from His disciples for three days and nights when He was crucified for our sins. On the third day the tomb where Jesus had been placed was found empty. The disciples couldn’t find the body nor could the religious rulers who had condemned Him to death. That is because He was not dead but alive.  His Spirit would soon be resting on the Church and the Church will do greater things. John 14:12

Back in 1 Kings 16:34 we read that a man from Bethel rebuilt the city of Jericho at the loss of two of his sons fulfilling a curse Joshua made on the city. This verse seems out of place in the context but it is interesting that Jericho is the first place that Elisha goes. The company of the prophets seems to have been hanging out there but the water in the city was bad. The first miracle Elisha does is heal the water by putting salt in it and the waters were purified from that day on. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Elisha will exemplify that in his ministry.

From Jericho Elisha goes to Bethel. Bethel means house of God. Abraham pitched his tent there as he sought the Lord. Jacob built an altar there but Jeroboam set up golden calves for the ten tribes of Israel to worship so Bethel became corrupted and the place of rebellion as we read above. Those who disrespect Elisha in Bethel find themselves under a curse that brings them harm.

In the chapters that follow more of the miracles Elisha did are recorded. In fact, Elisha will do exactly twice as many miracles as Elijah did. I believe Elijah represents Israel and Elisha the Holy Spirit in the Church. The Church is like the company of the prophets. Apart from the Holy Spirit we can do nothing, but empowered by the Holy Spirit we can do great things if we will believe and trust in our Lord as the Holy Spirit leads us. One day the Church will be taken and Elijah will again come on the scene and Israel will complete the work that God has for them as listed in Daniel 9:24.

For now the Church has a task to do. God has called us, blessed us, and empowered us to do that task. There is much we can learn as we study Elisha and see how he relates to the world around him and those who serve him.  I pray we remember where God has brought us from and that we are found faithful in serving Him.

Homework today is Ephesians 2:1-10

Pastor Dave