Passing the Baton
Lord, give this generation mentors after Your own heart, willing to impart what You have entrusted to them.
Read 2 Kings 2:1-18
 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.  Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.  The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”  Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.  The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”  Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.  Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.  Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.  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.  “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise, it will not.”  As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.  Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.  Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.  He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.  The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.  “Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.” “No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”  But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him.  When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow significant was Elijah in Elisha’s life?
In my work with Scripture Union I often joined the mission teams I’d trained. As a mentor (I was old enough to be their dad), I wanted their being on mission with me to shape their heart for God for ever. Such experiences weld the deepest friendships. . . like it did between Elijah and Elisha. Clearly, of all the “company of the prophets,” Elisha was the one Elijah had chosen to be his successor. How much Elisha had appreciated Elijah’s impact on his life is seen in Elisha’s reluctance to discuss the impending departure of his master (2-6) and his outpouring of grief (12). But there comes a time for the baton to be passed on. And in this case, the mantle would fall upon Elisha (13). Note that just before Elijah ascends into heaven (11), he offers Elisha one last ministry, still wanting to strengthen and prepare Elisha for the work ahead (9). The “double portion” is the right of the firstborn, indicating the closeness of these two. Elisha’s request isn’t for wealth, but for Elijah’s “spirit.” Elisha wants and receives Elijah’s heart and passion.
If you have had mentors pour into you, if it is possible, call them and share what they have meant to you.
Father, thank You for those who have given of themselves to help me grow in You.
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