Only if you See

[This is Henry filling in for Jody.  She had a late shift and an early shift back to back.  I apologize for sending it late.]

I’m going to do something unusual for me, and make most of this post scripture rather than comment.  If you’re wondering just where you are to serve God, I’d like you to read the passage carefully.  I’ve laid it out in modern narrative form.

1This is what happened when YHWH took Elijah in the whirlwind up to heaven.

Elijah and Elisha left Gilgal.  2Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because YHWH has sent me to Bethel.

But Elisha said, “As YHWH lives, and as you live yourself, I will not leave you.”

So they went to Bethel.

3Now the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel went out to Elisha and said to him, “Don’t you know that YHWH is taking your master from above you today?”

He said, “Yes, I do know that.  Be quiet!”

4Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because YHWH has sent me to Jericho.”

But he replied, “As YHWH lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

So they went to Jericho.

5The sons of the prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, “Don’t you know that YHWH is taking your master from above you today?”

And he said, “Yes, I do know that.  Be quiet!”

6Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, because YHWH has sent me to the Jordan.”

But he said, “As YHWH lives and as you live yourself, I will not leave you!”

So they went on together.

7Fifty men from the sons of the prophets went and stood at a distance from them, and the two of them stood by the Jordan.

8Then Elijah took his cloak, folded it, and struck the water, so that the river was split in two, and the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9And as they were crossing, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you.”

Elisha answered, “I’d like the double portion of the Spirit that is on you.”

10He said, “That’s a difficult request!  If you see me when I’m taken from you, it will happen.  If not, it won’t.”

11So as they were walking along and talking, a fiery chariots and fiery horses came a separated them, and took Elijah up in the whirlwind to heaven.

12Elisha was watching and he shouted, “My father!  My father!  The chariot of Israel and its horsemen!”  And he never saw Elijah again.  He grabbed his clothing and tore it in two.

2 Kings 2:1-12 (my translation and layout)

Now here are some key points:

  1. Even Godly people may try to turn you from the path to which God has called you.  They may want to spare you pain.  Some may not think you’re up to the task.
  2. There’s a blessing for those who won’t let go and don’t have their own deadline for God to work.
  3. You can be standing off and see the miracle, or you can be right in the middle of it.  The 50 prophets who stood afar off saw the Jordan divided; Elisha got to walk between the walls of water.
  4. Even when it seems obvious, such as fiery chariots and horses, it’s quite possible to miss God’s presence.  Had Elisha missed the presence he would have missed the blessing.
  5. While all blessings come from God, there’s a point to hanging around with God’s chosen leaders as Elisha did with Elijah.  Elisha’s reward?  The double portion of the firstborn.

Those who already know their calling should be thankful, and remember to continue to seek God’s presence.  For those who don’t know or feel adrift, read and prayerfully meditate on this passage.  God may have a message for you there.

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