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When God Does Not Make Sense

This week our devotions will center around the transition from Elijahs’s ministry to Elisha’s in 2 Kings 2, which culminates in the strange text in 2 Kings 2:23-23. This story brings up a difficult issue for Christians: Sometimes God does not make sense! These devotions come primarily from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-kings-2/#top . The devotions will set the stage for this difficult text on which Melanie Ciccalese will preach next Sunday.

MONDAY 2 Kings 2:1-7

1. (1-3) The awareness of Elijah’s coming departure.
And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”

a. When the LORD was about to take Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind: Apparently, this was somewhat common knowledge. Elijah, Elisha, and the sons of the prophets each knew that Elijah would soon be carried into heaven by a whirlwind; presumably there was a prophecy announcing this that at least some knew.

b. As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you: Elijah seemed to test the devotion of Elisha. Since it was known that Elijah would soon depart to heaven in an unusual way, Elisha wanted to stay as close as possible to his mentor.

2. (4-7) The awareness of Elijah’s departure at Jericho and the Jordan.
Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” So he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent!” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan.

a. Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho: Elijah continued to test the devotion of Elisha, and Elisha continued to stay with his mentor until his anticipated unusual departure.

i. Elijah knew that God had a dramatic plan for the end of his earthly life, yet he was perfectly willing to allow it all to take place privately, without anyone else knowing. “The prophet’s evident desire to die alone shames us, when we remember how eager we are to tell men, by every available medium, of what we are doing for the Lord.” (Meyer)

b. The two of them went on: Elisha would not leave his mentor until God took him away in the dramatic way promised.