Tuesday, 02 September 2008
1 Kings 18 & 19 we read about the end of Elijah's life and was of his most noteable doings. I'm sure many of heard the story of when Elijah asked for the servers of Baal to prove that their god was real by asking for him to send down fire to consume an offering. These men prayed, danced, cut themselves and did everything they could think of all day long, without any response. At one point, Elijah taunted them slightly, saying that maybe they weren't doing enough and that's why their god wasn't listening. Towards the end of the day, Elijah asks for several buckets of water and completely drenches the offering and altar he has built so much that there is literally a moat of water around it. When Elijah called out to God to consume the offering with fire, the reaction was immediate. The fire that came raining down was so hot that it even dried up all of the water around the altar. The servants of Baal tried to run, but Elijah had them all found and killed, which eventually incited someone else to kill Elijah, so Elijah ran. In the next chapter, we see Elijah go and find Elisha, despite his prayers for death.
The next few chapters move away from the story of Elijah and Elisha to talk about the various kings and their wrongdoings. The circumstances and occurrences of these various stories are quite intriguing and worth looking at. The one I still think about is when Ahaziah, whom I believe was one of the kings of Juda, falls and severely hurts himself. Ahaziah tries to send men to Baal-Zebub to determine if he will live, but Elijah intercepts the men and tells them to return to their king and tell him he will not live. When Ahaziah hears this, he sends a captian with fifty men to bring Elijah to him. When Elijah sees these men he says "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn you and your fifty men." Fire did reign down, both on the first group of men and on the second group of men that Ahaziah sent. When the third group came, the captain begged Elijah to spare his life and God told Elijah to go with this group and tell the king in person that he would die. Personally, I think it was a little presumptious of Ahaziah to do such a thing, and put so many other lives at risk just to determine if his own was at risk, when he had already been given an answer!
In 2 Kings 2 is when Elijah is taken up to heaven in a chariot, or whirlwind of wire. Before hand, Elijah constantly tells Elisha to wait somewhere but Elisha refuses to leave Elijah's side. Before Elijah is taken up, he asks Elisha if there is anything he can do for him. Elisha asks for a share of Elijah's spirit. Elijah tells Elisha that he will receive this gift if he sees Elijah as he leaves this earth, which does happen. After Elijah is gone, Elisha is able to take Elijah's coat and separate the Jordan River just as Elijah had done, making it so that the priests knew Elisha had received Elijah's spirit.
Throughout his life Elisha did many notable things, including resurrecting a boy who's mother had greatly aided him. I find the knowledge that both Elijah and Elisha resurrected someone from the dead is amazing. We constantly talk about how Jesus raised a young girl from the dead and yet, He wasn't the only one. This just goes to show how much the Holy Spirit can be within someone who fully trusts in the Lord. Even after Elisha's death, when a man was placed on his bones, the man came back to life. Granted, that is a little odd, but still amazing.