Death of Ahaziah King of Israel; Elijah taken up by a miraculous whirlwind; Elisha purifies Jericho's water; Elisha ridiculed. History records one important question in the life of each king: Did he keep the Commandments of God? All of us will face this review: Do our actions and prayers indicate there is a God whom we desire to control our lives (II Kin. 1:3)?
The ministry of the prophet Elijah was finished — a ministry of unshakable loyalty to God. Note his modesty, a revelation of his true gifts that he prayed for. Elijah did not assemble Israel for the "great event." He did not summon Jehoram and all the glory of the palace court in Samaria to witness his triumphant ascent into heaven. His only audience consisted of Elisha and, from a distance, the astounded fifty students of Jericho (II Kin. 2:7-12). Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said . . . if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee. . . . 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 (Elijah and Elisha) asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2:9-11).
It is always wise to consider the character of the servants whom God has used in the past. By so doing, we see the kind of persons whom God will choose and use in the present and future. Carefully consider the legacy left by Elijah and Elisha. All of us will leave a legacy at the end of our lives; hopefully a legacy of moral and spiritual values. We cannot detach ourselves from this often unconscious influence upon others. How closely we live in obedience to the Word of God will determine the legacy we leave. Let us live each day determined to live and influence others to live in obedience to Christ.
Where are the powerful but evil King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel that brought about the downful of their beautiful Samaria at this point? The prophet Elijah alone provided a legacy of spiritual treasures for all to share. Where is the "powerful" Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist; or King Agrippa, who ridiculed Paul, saying: Thou art beside thyself (out of your mind); much learning doth make thee mad (Acts 26:24)?
The Apostle Paul's love for Christ continues to influence all who love the Lord not to be intimidated by the forces of evil, but, like Paul, be able to say: I will preach the Word. . . . (to) make full proof. . . . (for) there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day (II Tim. 4:2,5,8).
Thought for Today:
He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of Truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deut. 32:4).
In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of his mantle — a symbol of the presence and power of God that remain with His faithful servant (II Kin. 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sending the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower believers to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51-53; Acts 1 — 2).
1:8 girt with, wearing; girdle of leather about his loins, garment around his waist; 2:19 naught polluted, bad; 2:24 tare, mauled or mangled; 3:9 fetched a compass, circled around; made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him, burned him alive as a sacrifice to a god of Moab.
Pray for our Military worldwide • Government Official: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO) • Country: Egypt (66 million) in northeastern Africa • Major languages: Arabic and English • Christians are not permitted to evangelize Muslims • 87.5% Muslim; 12% Christian; .5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to work in your life in whatever way pleases Him (Heb. 13:21).
Optional Reading: Romans 4
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: Proverbs 28:9