Elisha was the faithful & honest servant of Elijah- a great prophet of God. We know that God took Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind. But before Elijah ascended to heaven, there was a journey Elijah made from Gilgal to the other side of Jordan. Elisha knew that the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind. (2 Kings 2:3) And they both went from Gilgal. But after moving further from Gilgal, Elijah asked Elisha to stay there, for the Lord sent him to Bethel. But Elisha answered his master that, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” When they both reached Bethel, the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
Again, Elijah requested Elisha to stay at Bethel, for the Lord was sending him to Jericho. And he answered his master the same, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So, they came to Jericho. At Jericho also, sons of the prophets reminded Elisha like sons of prophets of Bethel. They tried to tell Elisha that it is useless to follow his master Elijah, for the Lord was going to take away his master from him. But Elisha was firm & answered the same, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
Again, at Jericho Elijah asked Elisha to stay at Jericho, for the Lord was sending him to Jordan. But Elisha was so highly committed to his master that he did not want to leave him till the end, so, he went with Elijah. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. Elisha did not give up in following his master.
Elijah saw the faithfulness of Elisha till the end, so finally he told Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha could have asked for riches, honour, wealth or prosperity. But he knew very well that, all these things are nothing compared to spiritual blessings. He saw the true worth of spiritual blessings in all those years, while serving his master. So he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to be upon him. Wow!! What a great blessing he asked! Double portion of Elijah’s spirit!! Elijah-who called the fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice, who divided the water of Jordan by striking his mantle over it!
Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing….” Indeed, it was a very hard thing. And the fulfillment of this desire was with a condition. Elijah told him, “Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Even the condition for the fulfillment of his desire was also hard. And Elisha was ready for it. Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw that awesome & scary view, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him. And he struck the water of Jordan, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And behold water was divided & Elisha crossed over. 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. Once they were convincing Elisha to stop following Elijah, but now, at the end of the incident, they were acknowledging that, “the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha’.
Elisha did not give up both the times, i.e. at Bethel & Jericho, when the sons of prophets were reminding him that his master would be taken away by the Lord. He kept following Elijah. Maybe, the hard thing (his desire) was in his heart when he came to know that, Elijah was going to be taken away by the Lord. He consistently pursued to get the hard thing, i.e. double portion of Elijah’s spirit. And finally, he was rewarded with that hard thing. Further if you read from 2 King chapter 3 onwards, he did many wondrous miracles for people to the extent of giving life to dead (2 Kings 4:18 to 37). Even after his death, his dead bones gave life to a dead body. (2 Kings 13:21).
Likewise, we also should not hesitate to ask the hard spiritual things from God for His glory alone. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20) God is our Master. To get hard spiritual things, we have to follow & go with our master till our last breath. We have to be committed & faithful to our Master. We have to spend our precious time with our Master by sitting at His feet. If a man of God (Elijah) can reward his servant (Elisha) hard & great thing, how much more our God can reward us! He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). He will not discourage us but He encourages, speaks, & lifts us up in Him through His living Word. So never give up on the Lord. May God be glorified through His blessings on us! Pursue the excellencies of God & He will honour us in His time. God bless.
(Ref.:- Narration of story taken from 2 Kings- 2 chapter)
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