3D Devotional 7.1.2019

Monday, July 1, 2019 – Chariots of Fire – 2 Kings 2:1-14
Our 3D devotional today is from the Book of 2 Kings.  This Old Testament scripture depicts the 130-year period that Israel endured e succession of evil kings and prophets.   Today, we will focus on one of the most famous prophets – Elijah and his understudy, Elisha.   It’s a story of how Elijah is carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire.   It’s also about the transition of power - from old Elijah to the young Elisha. As you read the verses, here are three questions for you:
  1. How did Elisha show his devotion to his mentor, Elijah?
  2. In what ways are Elijah and Mose similar?
  3. When Elisha asked for a double dose of inheritance, what does really mean?

3D Scripture: 2 Kings 2:1-14 (NIV) “2 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 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.
 3 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.” 4 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.
5 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.” 6 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.
7 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. 8
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. 
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what I can do for you before I am taken from you?”  
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10 “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.”
11 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. 12 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. 
13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 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.

Answers to the Quiz:
1.  Did you notice that three times, the younger prophet refused to leave Elijah?
2.  According to biblical scholars, Elijah and Mose were both Major Prophets. They both parted the Jordon. They both appeared to Jesus in the New Testament. They both were called up to God and neither had a Tomb.
3. Lastly, it was customary that the firstborn receive a double portion of the father’s inheritance. Elisha wasn’t asking for twice as much power or wisdom from Elijah. Instead, Elisha wanted to be considered Elijah’s spiritual son.

Each Monday in July, our 3D reading will visit scripture from the Old Testament. I hope you enjoy it as much as I. Next week, we discuss how the Prophet Elisha cures a great military leader of leprosy.

Mark Condra
Lay Leader
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