Elijah has asked Elisha to tell him what he can do for him before he is taken from him.
Elisha’s answer is:
2 Kings 2:9b – “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.”
2 Kings 2:10a “’You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said.”
It’s “a difficult thing” because our human nature tends to process and interpret everything around us with our five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Our human, natural minds can only recognize and accept physical things. The “flesh,” as the Bible calls it, is blind to the things of the spirit.
2 Kings 2:10 “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours – otherwise not.”
“If you see me.” Something’s about to happen that the physical eyes won’t be able to see. Something is about to happen that the natural mind will never be able to understand, something human reason will refuse to accept. A heavenly event is about to take place and the earthly mind is not equipped to deal with it.
“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)
“The world will not see me.” That’s because the world has mono vision. It can only see one thing at a time. The world can’t see past the obvious, the superficial, the temporary. The world can’t see spiritual things. The world can’t see God. It can’t see what God is doing in the world today. The world has mono vision, but repentant believers have double vision.
If we’re trusting in Jesus Christ alone to make us right with God; if we’ve asked Jesus to come into our hearts; if we’ve fully surrendered our lives to the Holy Spirit’s control, we can see two things at once; one on top of the other. We can see what the world sees, but we can also see what God sees. We can see twice as much with double vision. It’s simply a matter of which one we choose to focus our eyes on.
The company of prophets who were standing at a distance could only see Elijah, the man, the prophet. But then he disappeared and they thought he must have died. “If you can see me when I am taken from you;” if you can look at the physical and still see the spiritual; if you can look beyond the temporary and see the eternal; if you can look at what is – in the flesh and see what’s coming – in the spirit, “it will be yours.” Everything you’re able to see in me will be living in you. “otherwise not;”
If you can’t see truth in the things of the spirit, if all you can see is the temporary and the obvious, you’ll be just as unhappy, just as hopeless as the unbelieving world you’re living in.
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone else,” (1Corinthians 15:19)
2 Kings 2:11-12 “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horseman of Israel. And Elijah saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.”
“If you can see me…” Are you kidding? A chariot of fire being pulled by horses of fire, a whirlwind, how could you possibly miss something like that? You won’t see it without double vision. You won’t see it unless you’re looking through the eyes of faith.
Those weren’t earthly horses and chariots. They were heavenly horses and chariots. That wasn’t an earthly event. That was a spiritual event. That was something that can only be seen in the Spirit. We have to be looking at our circumstances, we have to be looking at the future through the eyes of faith. If we’re not, we won’t see it and, like the rest of the world, our grief will have no hope.
There were fifty prophets watching this from a distance. They couldn’t see the horses or the chariots. They could only see Elijah leave but Elisha could see Elijah being taken up to heaven and it gave him the courage to keep on living. Elisha tore of his clothes because of his grief. But he was not grieving as someone who had no hope.
When Jesus hung on that cross, as blood was flowing down from His head, His hands, His feet, and His side, as He whispered, “It is finished,” as He cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit,” as He breathed His last breath, what did everybody see? What did His disciples see? What did the crowd see? What did those Jewish Rulers see?
When you enter a funeral chapel and walk up to the front, what do you see? Do you see death or do you see life? Do you see defeat or do you see victory? Do you see the end or do you see the beginning? What do you see? If you can look at death and see the face of your risen Savior, it will all be yours.
If it looks like it’s over but you can see it’s just getting started, it will all be yours. Everything Jesus has will be yours. All the comfort, all the strength, all the peace, all the hope, all the joy, all the love, all the power that heaven can produce will be yours to help you get through it. If you can look at death and see Jesus, it will all be yours. Not everybody can see it. It takes double vision.
2 Kings 2:13-14 “He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. ‘Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”
Elisha picked up the cloak, struck the water and the Jordan River divided for him just as it did for Elijah. That’s when he realized that the God of Elijah was now his God too. The things Elijah had done – he would do also because Elisha had gone to be with his Lord
He asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and God provided it. Elisha picked it up and used it. We ask for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Lord has provided it. “The promise of the Father” has been kept. We have His cloak, His Holy Spirit.
But most of us leave it lying on the ground and try doing His work without ever picking it up. We might be afraid of it. Maybe we don’t really know what it is or how to use it. Maybe we think it’s for someone else to use. We might not be planning to do any work. But it has been given to each of us and the work is impossible to do without it.
Lord willing, next Tuesday we’ll begin to take a look at Esther. Thanks for being in God’s word with Pastor Buj.