Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year 7, Day 365: 2 Kings 2

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In this chapter we say goodbye to Elijah and watch as Elisha takes over.  Elijah is considered the chief of the prophets according to the Hebrew scholars, but I personally find that many of Elisha’s stories are more intriguing.  I have to admit, though, that Elijah’s ascent into heaven while escaping death does make for a very cool ending to a very unusual life putting God’s power on display.

Elisha does something really cool when he sees Elijah leave.  Elisha tears his own cloak, picks u the mantle of Elijah, and puts it on.  Symbolically, there is something really neat here.  Elisha tears his own clothing and dons the clothing for Elijah as a symbol that he is becoming the prophet to take Elijah’s place.  He isn’t becoming Elijah, but he is taking Elijah’s place.  By tearing his clothes and putting on Elijah’s he’s making it clear to himself and others who knew what Elijah looked like.

Before we leave this point, lets also look at what this means for Elijah.  I’m not implying that he went to heaven nude (although one might make that inference).  What I am saying is that Elijah gives up all of the trappings of this world when going to be with God.  He doesn’t need clothing, status symbols, or signs of God’s power.  When Elijah goes to be with God, the things of this world stay here – as it should be.

Once Elisha takes over, we see miraculous demonstrations of God’s power come through him as well.  Bad water is turned clean.  People who mock him find themselves in dire circumstances.  God is with Elisha just as much as He was with Elijah.