Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Story of God: Elisha

Israel was at war with Aram.  The king of Aram was certain there must be a spy in his kingdom.  Why?  Because each time the armies of Aram arrived at the spot where Israel was supposedly camped, no one was there.  There was evidence that their enemy had been there.  But they were too late.  Again and again it happened.

This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.”  
2 Kings 6:11-13

There was no Aramean spy.  It was the Israeli prophet named Elisha.  God was guiding Elisha and Elisha was guiding the movement of the army of Israel.

When Elisha’s location was reported to the Aramean king, an army of horses and chariots was sent to the location.  They surrounded the city…and the home of Elisha.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.   2 Kings 6:15-16

Come again?  What did you say Elisha?  The servant must have thought poor Elisha was losing it!

”And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  
2 Kings 6:17

How was Elisha able to see God's protection?  How was he able to see something that others could not see?  Elisha viewed life through the eyes of God

How was that possible?

Perhaps it goes back to two pivotal moments in Elisha's life.

1.  When the time of previous prophet of Israel, Elijah, was coming to an end, he went to Elisha and symbolically passed the torch to him.  Elisha ran home and told his family goodbye.  Then…

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.  1 Kings 19:21

Elisha left everything.  He basically locked up his old life and threw away the key.  He was all in!

Elisha had empty hands
He was not clinging to anything from his past that would distract him from being a man of God.

2.   Right before Elijah left this world, he asked Elisha if he understood that the time was coming for Elisha to lead without him.  Elisha understood.  They came to the Jordan River and Elijah slapped the water with his coat.  The water parted.  Elijah and Elisha walked across.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.  2 Kings 2:9

Elisha's one request was to live the life Elijah lived (and then some).  He had respectfully take notes of how Elijah lived.  He was in awe of Elijah's connection with God and reliance on God's Spirit.

Elisha had a teachable spirit

Elisha could see through God’s eyes because He was free.  He had emptied himself of everything he had.  He had filled himself with only what God’s spirit had taught him.

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