II Kings 2:9 (NKJV) And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. 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.” 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that 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.
Second Kings 2 contains one of the most spectacular passages in all of the Old Testament. This passage tells the miraculous story of the aging prophet Elijah and his servant (mentee) Elisha. When we pick up the narrative, God had informed Elijah that his ministry on earth was over. Now he was to cross the Jordan River and go to a certain place where a heavenly chariot would pick him up and translate him to glory.
When Elijah and Elisha reached their destination, Elijah turned to his servant and said: “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee” (verse 9). Without hesitation, the younger man answered, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me” (same verse).
At first glance, Elijah appeared surprised by Elisha’s response, saying, “Thou hast asked a hard thing” (verse 10). But Elijah went on to instruct Elisha that he must watch carefully what God was about to do so that he would not miss it and go home disappointed. Did you know that we can miss the move of God?
As the men walked along, suddenly a chariot appeared out of heaven and separated them. In a flash, Elijah was taken up in the chariot and Elisha witnessed the whole scene! He cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and tore them in into pieces” (verse 12). (This means Elisha mourned the transition of his mentor Elijah).
Elijah was now gone but his mantle had dropped to the ground. When Elisha saw it, he ripped off his own clothes, tore them into pieces and placed Elijah’s mantle on his back. And when he returned to the Jordan, he removed the mantle and struck the water with it, just as his master had done. Immediately the waters parted, and Elisha walked over on dry ground. Thus began the young prophet’s own remarkable ministry.The events in this chapter are absolutely incredible. Yet what does this passage have to say to us today?
Point to ponder: God has given us an unmistakable lesson here, with a clear, profound meaning: God wants to do greater things with each succeeding generation. And each new generation must seek the Lord for its own experience of the Holy Spirit and its own impartation of power from the Lord.
For His Kingdom,
James Baker, Jr.