Key Verse

I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
— 2 Kings 2:9

God's Power

2 Kings 2:1-15



Events proved that the Spirit of God also rested upon Elisha.

My heart is sorely troubled—somehow I sense this is no ordinary day. And I know well the reason for the distress that rests upon me.

It was clear by the words of Elijah the Prophet this morning that he was taking his leave of us. It must be the Lord has revealed to him that his time of departure will be soon.

I feel I must pen my misgivings as we sit here gazing over the plain and the Jordan River stretched out before us. I, along with a number of others from among the sons of the prophets here at Jericho, have come to watch. As Elijah and his helper move toward the river, I wonder: Will this indeed be the last time we look upon our teacher?

What will become of our people when Elijah is taken from us? Surely his communication with Jehovah has been seen times without number. His faith is not doubted. His leadership among the prophets of Israel has remained unchallenged for many years.

It is impossible for me to imagine how Elisha, the one who has walked with him for some six years as his helper, can ever take his place. Elisha is such a quiet man. Though it is apparent that he is the one Elijah has chosen as his successor, seldom do we hear him utter a word. Even this morning I myself questioned him, “Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day?” His only reply was a brief, “I know it; hold ye your peace.”

I cannot erase from my mind the troubled look on his face as he spoke those words. There was no happiness, no anticipation at the thought of taking on a position of such importance. He spoke with none of the authority and vigor which so mark the speech of Elijah. Can he, in truth, be the one chosen of the Lord to lead the people of Israel?

* * * * *

Two days have passed since I penned the first words of this document. As I look over my earlier thoughts noted here, I cannot help but marvel at the change in my feelings regarding Elisha. But not without reason! I must detail here the events which took place. For I was not wrong in feeling that was no ordinary day.

Indeed my heart was heavy as Elijah and Elisha approached the Jordan River. I admit to feeling a bit puzzled as they headed directly for the riverbank, rather than going south toward the usual crossing. As they stood on the shore, Elijah twisted his cloak together and smote the waters flowing before them. It is difficult for me to explain, but before our eyes, the waters were divided hither and thither at the place where Elijah struck them. We, the sons of the prophets, rose to our feet as one man. We were witnessing a miracle! Elijah and Elisha proceeded to walk steadily across to the other side—obviously on solid, dry ground for they did not appear to gather up their robes or choose their path cautiously.

A thrill coursed through my veins. With my own eyes, I had seen the hand of God move! Immediately I could sense that those around me felt the same awe, for there was a murmur among the other sons of the prophets standing close by.

Our eyes were fastened on the two figures. They paused briefly after crossing and conversed for a moment, then resumed walking. But they had not progressed more than a few hundred yards when there was a sudden flash of light directly above them. Again, words fail me as I attempt to describe what we saw. It appeared as a moving flame, larger than the two men. It swept between them, and in an instant, one figure was gone. I knew at once it was Elijah. We would never look on his face again in this life! A sense of sadness settled over me. But some compelling force kept my attention on the lone figure remaining. What emotion was the man Elisha experiencing now?

He bent and picked up a garment from the ground. Then, without hesitation, he turned back toward the river. Even from this great distance I could see he moved with determination. As he approached the river, he twisted together the garment just as Elijah had done such a short time earlier.

I felt a great tension suddenly grip me. Was he going to smite the water as Elijah had done? Would the waters part as they had for Elijah? Somehow, the fate of our people seemed to hover in the balance. Had the Lord God of Elijah allowed His Spirit to rest upon the man Elisha?

In a brief moment I had my answer. Elisha smote the waters—and again they separated and formed a path! We all rushed to meet him as he triumphantly strode across.

My doubts were laid to rest—but if any had remained, they would have been quieted when we again spoke with Elisha. What a transformation has taken place in this once quiet, humble servant of Elijah! His voice now rings with authority. He has a confidence and assurance that is obviously given of God. Indeed, I felt the Spirit of the Lord Jehovah more powerfully in him than I have ever felt before in another man, even Elijah! He is the chosen one to teach the Children of Israel. I have no further doubts.