Elijah’s time was up. God was calling him home. Elisha, his son in the faith, was so distraught he could barely speak. Who would teach him now? Who would lead the way?
Crossing the Jordan River, his thoughts began to clear. When Elijah asked, “What can I do for you?” they became crystal.
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” he answered, requesting an inheritance reserved only for firstborn sons. It was the one thing that wasn’t in Elijah’s power to give. God alone could grant His Spirit.
As God whisked Elijah away in the blazing, heavenly chariot, the prophet’s cloak fell at Elisha’s feet. Understanding the implication, he picked it up and asked out loud, “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Then he touched the cloak to the river and watched God part the waters. God would lead, and he was the one to now stand in the gap for Israel.
And they needed it. Since Solomon’s reign, conditions deteriorated rapidly. King after succeeding king took over the throne and tore down God’s people. Abandoning the One true God, each king led the people into deeper and deeper idolatry. As a result, God began to disintegrate his nation, stripping her down piece by piece as they pursued anything and everything but Him.
It didn’t make life easy for Elisha, the one man who stood for truth. But God poured out incredible miracles through his servant, breathing life and hope to His people who remained loyal to Him.
By the end of 2 Kings, the divided nation of Israel fell to enemy hands. Israel collapsed first under Assyrian raids. Judah endured longer, but in the end, succumbed to Babylon. Both were scattered to seeming oblivion, a devastating consequence to their constant rejection of God.
“Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” the people probably wondered—even as we ask when life grows long and weary. Though He seemed hidden, God had a magnificent plan of redemption ahead. In time, His own Son came to buy back His people, paying the cost with His own life. Through Him, God has reunited His true worshippers—Jew and Gentile alike—in a kingdom that will have no end.
No matter how hard our life story becomes, the climax comes at Christ’s return, with joyful resolution in eternal perfection.