Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 2:1-15
Today we pick up the “History” section of scripture with the book of 2 Kings. When we left off, Elijah had been raised up as a prophet to confront the kings of Israel, primarily Ahab. God displayed power through Elijah in miraculous ways, but Elijah became discouraged and fled to the mountains. It was there, in a still small voice, that God reminded Elijah that 7000 faithful prophets still lived in Israel, and that Elijah would mentor one of them named Elisha, who would take his place. Elijah immediately went and found Elisha, and placed his mantle (a sheepskin overcoat) on him (I Kings 19). Elisha left everything, and the two became inseparable.
In today’s scripture focus, we see that God is getting ready to take Elijah away. As he prepares to set out from Gilgal, he tells Elisha to stay behind, but Elisha knows what is getting ready to happen, and refuses to leave his side. The “sons of the prophets” mentioned three times here were part of the 7,000 mentioned in I Kings 19. God had revealed to them through the Spirit that Elijah would be taken, and they point this out to Elisha, who responds with a terse “I already know—be quiet!” He is both grieved at losing his spiritual father, and overwhelmed with the task before him of filling his role.
Seeing that Elisha is serious about following in his footsteps, Elijah asks Elisha if there is anything he can do for him before he leaves. Elisha asks for a double portion of the spirit that is within Elijah. He is not asking for twice as much spirit as Elijah—he is asking for the “double share” of the inheritance an eldest son would receive from a father at his death. Only by exhibiting the same miraculous power that Elijah had shown would Elisha be accepted as his successor. Suddenly, a fiery chariot comes and picks up Elijah, and he disappears in a storm cloud. However, his mantle falls to the ground, and Elisha takes it up.
So, did Elisha receive the “double dose” inheritance? He did. Right before Elijah was taken up, he had struck the Jordan with his mantle and parted the waters, allowing he and Elisha to cross on dry land. This was symbolic of Moses parting the Red Sea. After Elijah was taken, Elisha takes the same mantle, strikes the Jordan, and it parts in the same way! This is symbolic of Joshua crossing the Jordan. Elisha had become the Joshua to Elijah’s Moses. Not only would he have the power of his mentor—he would carry on the work he had begun. God would continue to have a voice among an increasingly wicked Israel.
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
Who is your spiritual father or mother? Who has had the most influence in your life spiritually? Do you have any spiritual children—those who look up to you for guidance in their walk with God?
Is there anything in today’s scripture that especially speaks to you?
What questions would you like to ask about today’s scripture?