Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
Today we come to the story of the catching away of Elijah. It is likely one with which you are already somewhat familiar. God had revealed to Elijah that he was coming to the end of his earthly mission; he was about to be caught away. Elisha had already been chosen by the Lord, and recognized by Elijah as the one who should follow in his footsteps. This transition and the catching away of Elijah were also known to all the other prophets in the country, along with their children. We find this story in 2 Kings 2.
More than once, Elijah had tested Elisha, telling him to stay where he was, while Elijah went on to make the catching away appointment. On each occasion, Elisha refused to leave the side of Elijah. The sons of the prophets of Bethel seemed to tease Elisha, asking him if he were not aware that Elijah would soon be taken from him. It seems as though they were attempting to intimidate Elisha that he would soon be alone, and no longer under the covering of the great Elijah. But Elisha basically told them to “shut up,” and he continued with Elijah.
In these closing moments, Elijah parted Jordan by striking it with his folded mantle. Everyone in question witnessed this. Still Elisha stayed his course with Elijah. Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted, and Elisha’s response was simple; a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. To receive it, he had to see Elijah when he was taken. Elisha’s decision was made, and firmly so. He continued his course.
Concerning our question, “You talking to me?”, today we see it with a twist. Elisha’s response was not to God. He was not a man to be taken by surprise. But he still contended, almost continually at this time, with those about him. When Elijah tested him, telling him to wait and not follow him, Elisha refused with a strong verbal answer. When apparently chided by the sons of the prophets, Elisha responded with another strong verbal answer. His intentions were fixed. There would be no changing of his mind on the matter. At every point where challenged in his following of Elijah, the attitude of Elisha was the same. Though not referencing the Lord in any way, His attitude was “You talking to me?”
While there have been many times in my life when the Lord has called me to do or say something that, to my immediate thinking, was far beyond my capacity to perform. Many of those times, it was so dynamically beyond my ability to conceive that I thought, “You talking to me?” But we must be even stronger in our questioning when people about us, even our brothers and sisters in Christ, or even moreso, those we honor as being over us in the Lord may say something to us that challenges our immediate obedience to the Lord. When such occurs, you have but one answer, my friend. It is seen in the attitude of Elisha. “You talking to me?”
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4