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READING: 2 Kings 1-2 – Elijah Denounces Ahaziah & Ascends to Heaven                    


King Ahab had died and was succeeded by his son, Ahaziah, as King over Israel. “He did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father) and mother and in the way of Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin. He served Baal and worshiped him, provoking the LORD to anger, as his father had done” (1 Kings 22:52-53). 

After Ahaziah fell through latticework in his chamber, he sent messengers to “inquire of Baalzebub, whether I shall recover from this injury.” The messengers returned to the king, who asked why they were back so soon. They said, “A man met us who said, ‘Go to the king and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you send to inquire of Baalzebub? You shall not leave the bed but shall surely die.” 

The king asked what sort of man it was. The messengers described Elijah’s clothing. Ahaziah said, “It is Elijah,” his father’s nemesis.  

Ahaziah sent three companies of fifty soldiers with their captains. The first two captains commanded Elijah to come down from the hill where he sat. To each, Elijah said, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down. The third captain approached Elijah, fell on his knees, and begged, “Let my life and the lives of my fifty be precious in your sight.” Elijah went with him to Ahaziah to deliver his message of death. Ahaziah died, and Jehoram, his brother, reigned in Israel. 

It was time for Elijah to be taken up to heaven. Elijah went to Gilgal with Elisha, his understudy. Elijah told Elisha to stay there for God was sending him on to Bethel. Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, I will not leave you.” From Bethel, Elijah went to Jerico, Elisha going there as well.” In each city, the sons of the prophets told Elisha his mentor was leaving him. Elisha knew. From Jericho, they went across the Jordan. 

Then Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for his protégé before he left. Elisha said, “Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” Elijah said, “If you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted to you.” They went on, walking and talking, when “A chariot of fire and horses separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.”  

Elisha picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen and recrossed the Jordan by striking the water with the mantle, so the river parted for Elisha as it had for Elijah. 

Back in Jericho, the people said the location was good, but the water was bad. Elisha called for a bowl of salt. He threw it into the water and made it wholesome.  

The next to come in the spirit of Elijah preached repentance-baptism by the Jordan. 

How might we exercise the spirit of Elijah? 

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

O Father in heaven, help me to pick up the mantle of one of Your noble servants, when his time to go to you comes. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will think about how Elijah made such an impact on the kings of Israel, that idolatrous nation. Elisha was also a powerful influence in the northern kingdom. Help each of us to find the traits of these servants of Yours that we can imitate. This is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

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