September 8, 2016
READ: 2 Kings 2:1-14
As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven (v.11).
In March 2015, a woman in Spain posted some pictures onFacebook of a boy she’d cared for as a foster parent. She’d met the boy nearly 30 years earlier while volunteering at a juvenile daycare. The child had been abandoned, and the woman ended up caring for him until he was 6. Not able to adopt the child, the two were separated. But years later, after 3 days and 50,000 views of her Facebook post, they were reunited.
It’s likely Elisha also looked forward to the time he would be reunited with Elijah—his mentor and friend. For when it was time for Elijah to be taken up to heaven to be with God (2 Kings 2:1), Elisha created a fuss. He simply didn’t want Elijah to leave. Three times, the older prophet told Elisha to stay as he prepared to move on, but each time Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” (vv.2,4,6).
Other prophets reminded the younger prophet that Elijah would soon be gone, to which Elisha responded in denial, “Be quiet about it” (vv.3,5). And when God sent a supernatural ride to whisk Elijah off to his heavenly home, Elisha cried out, “My father! My father!” (v.12).
When those we love pass from this life, we grieve and desire to be reunited with them. The good news? Scripture reveals that we will one day be united with God and reunited with fellow believers (Genesis 5:24; 2 Samuel 12:23; Luke 22:17-18).Jesus even said that believers across the ages will sit down and dine with “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 8:11). I’m sure Elijah and Elisha will be there too—maybe seated side by side!
Though it’s heartbreaking to say goodbye, because of Jesus we can look forward to one day being reunited with those who love Him.
365-day plan: Luke 21:25-38
Read Deuteronomy 21:17 and consider what the oldest son was to receive according to Old Testament law. With that in mind, why do you think Elisha asked Elijah for a double share of his spirit? (see 2 Kings 2:9).
Who are you looking forward to being reunited with one day? How has God provided hope for those difficult times when we must say goodbye to those we love?