Elisha has expressed his determination to follow Elijah regardless of where his journey may take him.
2 Kings 2:7 “Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.”
Elisha and Elijah are the only ones standing at the edge of the Jordan River right now. There was a company of prophets at Bethel and a company of prophets at Jericho. But, this time, there was no company of prophets at the Jordan River. All the other prophets “stood at a distance” and watched.
Before you say one more word Elisha, I want you to think long and hard about this because there won’t be any more chances to change your mind. This is your last chance to say, “no.” Once I leave here, there is no turning back.
The Jordan River is the dividing place. It’s a place of total separation. In Jewish history, the Jordan River represents a boundary, a border between two worlds that are in conflict with each other. Israel finally ended their forty years of wandering in the wilderness and entered the Promise Land by crossing the Jordan River.
On the one side, you have the safety and comfort of the Promise Land where everybody’s a believer just like you. But on the other side, you have a hostile and unbelieving world that attacks and ridicules everything you believe in and stand for. This time they’ll be coming out of the promised land, not going into it. Elijah is preparing to leave the comfort and safety of the promised land to go back into a hostile, unbelieving world.
Once we cross the Jordan, we will be there. It’s my final destination. That’s where the Lord has sent me and that’s where I’m sending you. If you stop now, if you don’t come with me now, you’ll start sliding backwards in your relationship with me. This is where I wanted to bring you from the day we first started back in Gilgal; the day you first got saved. This is where I want all those who follow me to come.
I have been sent here to bring the gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sin. I want them to hear about Bethel and the blessings that come from God’s promises. I want them to have the confidence of Jericho that demonstrates the victories that result from God’s overcoming power.
I’ve been sent to bring it all into an unbelieving world that doesn’t want to hear it; a world that will do everything in its power to silence it and stop me from saying it. Everything you’ve experienced in the Promised Land, the blessings and the victories, was never meant for you to enjoy by yourself. I want you to go out into the whole word and offer it to them. It may cost you your life. It may even put you on a cross.
But it’s the work I was sent here to do. It’s the work I put my Church here to do. Do you go to church just to hear the pastor talk about Jesus or do you go there to be with Jesus and to strengthen your walk with Him?
We all start out at Gilgal by acknowledging our sin problem and asking Jesus to come into our hearts and take over our lives. Have you ever done that? We all have to start there. We can’t go any farther until we invite Jesus into our hearts.
How far are you planning to go with Jesus? How much more of what He is offering to you do you want to have? How much more of yourself are you willing to let Him have? How much more of yourself are you willing to lose? Jesus said that only those who were willing to lose their lives for His sake would find them.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not fist sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough to compete it…Any of you that does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:28, 33)
Is that a little more than we were planning to spend? Is the joy of being with Him still greater than our need to get something from Him?
2Kings 2:8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left , and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
There’s no turning back now for Elisha. Elisha thought it over, counted the cost and made the same commitment as the Apostle Paul who said:
“Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” (Philippians 3:7-8)
The joy of being with Him is much greater than anything I could ever get from Him. My life has no meaning and my life has no purpose apart from doing His will. Only those with the heart and mind of Paul and Elisha will get to experience what comes next.
Lord willing, we’ll pick this up from here next week. Thanks for being in God’s word with pastor Buj.