ODJ: next gen

January 15, 2016 

READ: 2 Kings 2:1-15 

Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor (v.9).

In 1993, Bill and Susie Mosca founded an essay contest. The winner received the couple’s bed and breakfast facility. Janice Sage’s entry took first place and she acquired the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant. After 22 years of hosting guests, maintaining buildings, and managing finances, Janice wanted to retire. Because, as she said, “There are a lot of talented people that . . . . just can’t go out and buy an inn like this,” she also decided to give it away to a worthy person through an essay contest.

When Elijah neared the end of his time on earth, God told him to anoint Elisha as his worthy replacement (1 Kings 19:16). The young apprentice had learned much from the more experienced prophet. Eventually, Elijah asked his trainee what he could do for him before leaving for heaven. Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor” (2 Kings 2:9). Soon a chariot of fire appeared and drove between the two men. A whirlwind swept Elijah up into heaven.

After a few moments of deep distress, Elisha grabbed Elijah’s cloak which Elijah had left behind and approached the Jordan River. He slung the coat onto the water’s surface and cried out to God. The river divided and he walked across. A group of prophets observed this and exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” (v.15). The younger prophet was ready to move forward in his ministry!

This story shows how one passionate servant of God passed on his ministry to another. As we consider the people God has placed in our lives, there are some whom we can mentor and encourage in their faith. He can use us to grow the faith of the next generation!

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Genesis 24:28-67

Read Psalm 145:4 and consider how one generation of believers can encourage the next. 
How does Paul compare with Elijah as an enthusiastic servant of God and as a mentor? Is it important to learn about the lives of other believers who lived in previous generations? Why or why not?