“Taking the Mantle” – 2 Kings 2:15

2 Kings 2:15

“Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.”

Elijah was a prophet and a fearless leader for God – a man that God spoke to. His name meant “the LORD is my God.” Elisha was Elijah’s apprentice and he followed his master everywhere. His name meant “God is salvation.” This chapter finds Elijah at the end of his ministry. They both know that Elijah will be taken up to heaven by a whirlwind, but Elisha didn’t want to think about his mentor leaving him. As they went to Gilgal, Elijah asked Elisha to stay put while he went on. But Elisha refused to leave his side. God sent them to several towns and each time, Elijah asked Elisha to hang back. And each time, Elisha refused. The sons of the prophets in each town predicted what would happen to Elisha, “ Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master?” and Elisha’s answer was always, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.” 

When they came to the Jordan River, Elijah took his cloak off, struck the water with it, and the water split allowing them to cross on dry land. After they crossed, God took up Elijah and allowed Elisha to see his supernatural exit. But more importantly, God allowed Elisha to take over his mentor’s role as leader of the prophets. He took on the mantle of Elijah both literally and metaphorically. Elisha walked back to the water and struck it just as his predecessor did, the water split, and he went back across. In verse 15, the “sons of the prophets” bowed on the ground before Elisha. They acknowledged that the spirit of God was on him. 

God is still speaking. Sometimes we may wish we had experiences like Elisha and had prophets like him today. But God has shown us himself in the fullest way possible through Christ and continues to speak to us by his Spirit and through his word. Whatever happens to us or to our world, God will not be silent. It can be easy to forget that our God is still at work. Life will bring its fair share of pain, hurt, tears, shame, and shock. But have hope and be encouraged today because God is still speaking and we can have joy, forgiveness, assurance, help, and endless love through Jesus Christ. And God speaks to us through others. Like the relationship between Elijah and Elisha, we can bring others alongside us, pouring into and encouraging them so the ministry goes on well beyond ourselves. 
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 
  • Who is someone who has been a mentor in your life? How did they help to shape who you are today? 
  • Do you have someone that you are investing in as you walk in faith and obedience? 

Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 

Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Kyle Grantham, Worship Pastor
LifeBridge Church, Kennesaw GA

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