Elijah loved God. He had been a prophet of God for many years. He was older now and wanted God to take him to Heaven. But there was still work to be done! God showed Elijah that he needed somebody to be his helper. This person would learn from Elijah and keep on working for God after Elijah left this world. God even showed him whom to choose.
One day when Elijah was out walking, he saw a man plowing a field. God told Elijah that this was the man! His name was Elisha. Their names sound almost the same, don’t they?
Elijah threw his cloak over Elisha’s shoulders. Right away Elisha stopped his work and ran after Elijah. He told Elijah that he would be glad to be his helper. But first he needed to tell his father and mother goodbye. He prepared a great feast for his people and told them all goodbye. From that time on he followed Elijah and did whatever he was asked to do.
One day Elijah was going on a journey. He told Elisha to stay behind in the town of Gilgal. But Elisha said he wanted to go wherever Elijah went. He followed Elijah to the city of Bethel. While they were there some men came to Elisha. They told him that God was going to take Elijah away that very day. Elisha told them that he already knew this.
After they left Bethel, Elijah and Elisha went to the city of Jericho. Then they went toward Jordan. When they reached the Jordan River, Elijah took off his cloak, wrapped it together, and hit the water. At once the water parted so that the two men could cross the river on dry ground.
When they were on the other side Elijah asked Elisha, “What can I do for you before I go?” Elisha said he wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. That meant he wanted to be able to use the power of God even more than Elijah had!
Elijah knew that only God could give such a gift. He told Elisha, “If you see me when I leave, then you will know that God will give you what you ask.”
They walked and talked together for a little while longer. Then, suddenly, a chariot of fire and horses of fire came down from the sky. A whirlwind came and carried Elijah to Heaven! Elisha saw it happen!
All at once he saw the cloak of Elijah fall to the ground beside him. He knew then that God had given him what he had asked for. He picked up the cloak and walked back to the Jordan River. He hit the water with the cloak and, sure enough, the water parted and he walked back across the river on dry ground. Elijah was no longer there, but Elisha knew that God would always be with him.
This lesson is about how Elisha received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit – a godly spirit. To illustrate the point that double means “twice as much,” emphasize the word “double” during the week. You might want to give your child double treats; for example, two hugs, two stories before bed, two balloons, or two cookies.
Be sure that on each occasion you talk about what double means. When you read the Bible text together, draw attention to that word.