Friday, December 20, 2019

The Vision (12.20.19): Where is the LORD God of Elijah?

Image: Some CRBC young people singing for residents during outreach at Epworth Manor in Louisa (12.18.19)

Note: Devotion based on last Sunday's sermon on 2 Kings 2.

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).

And he [Elisha] took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over (2 Kings 2:14).

Here is the great ascension of Elijah. The chariot of fire and horses of fire are a theophany, a manifestation of God’s presence. Fire is so often associated with God’s presence. Think of the burning bush (Exod 3), and of the fire that fell from heaven at Carmel (1 Kings 18) and also on the men of Ahaziah (2 Kings 1). Recall also Hebrews 12:29: “For our God is a consuming fire.”

Notice also again the reference to the whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1; cf. Job 38:1).

Having witnessed his master’s departure, Elisha takes his mantle and stands before the Jordan. What thoughts must have gone through his mind. Am I sufficient for these things?

He takes the mantle and strikes the water, even as Elijah had. As he does this, he asks, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” (v. 14). It is a question, but it is also a petition. Where are you Lord? Are you still there? Will you still work among your people? Will you still manifest your power to them? Will you still provide for them?

And the answer comes quickly as the waters are parted. God is with Elisha as he was with Moses at the Red Sea (Exod 14), with Joshua (Josh 4) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:8) at Jordan. He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb 13:8).

God’s power is the same, no matter who the prophet is. He may give his power to whom he will. His power is not limited by the people through whom he works.

The transition took place from Elijah to Elisha in the prophetic office, but Jehovah is always the same.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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