Lessons From The Sons Of The Prophets
5” 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!” 2 Kings 2:5 NKJV
One of the great stories of the Bible is when the mantle of the Lord that was on the prophet Elijah transferred to the man who would also become one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, Elisha. In that story, we see the powerful moment when the chariot of fire with the horses of fire separated the two as they were walking, and took up Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind. What a great picture in our minds of the power and faithfulness of the Lord.
In the verses that lead up to this wonderful event, we learn that Elijah began his journey to the Jordan, where he would be taken to heaven. Elijah travels with him and as they reach Bethel, the sons of the prophets from Bethel tell Elisha that the Lord will take his master from him that day. The same thing happens as they travel to Jericho. It seems that everyone who listens to the Lord has heard from the Lord that an event will happen that day taking Elijah from them. Elijah knows, Elisha knows and the sons of the prophets all know.
When Elijah and Elisha approach the Jordan, 50 of the sons of the prophets who have followed along behind, stand off and watch at a distance. The student Elisha asks the master, Elijah to receive a double portion of his spirit. Elijah responds and says that if Elisha sees Elijah as he is taken, then he will have the double portion of the spirit. Here is when we see the event unfold as the whirlwind of the chariot and horses of fire take Elijah to heaven. The mantle of Elijah falls to the ground and is picked up by Elisha. Having seen the event and received the mantle, he now has the double portion of the Spirit of the Lord at work through him.
As Elisha returns across the Jordan, the 50 prophets who watched from a distance see the power at work through Elisha as the waters of the Jordan part for him to cross. They know that Elijah had been taken, but they did not see the event. They were watching from a distance but they did not see what Elisha saw – Elijah being taken to heaven in a supernatural demonstration of the Lord. In fact, they tell Elisha that they wish to send 50 men to go and search for Elijah thinking perhaps the Lord had taken him to some distant mountain or valley.
It is amazing that all these sons of the prophets heard from the Lord that the supernatural event was to come that day but then responded to the supernatural with a natural action. Each one had heard from the Lord that Elijah would be taken that day. But then they acted as though he could be found. Of all those that the Lord spoke to that day only one saw the event, the one who believed and received the double portion. We need to learn to hear from the Holy Spirit in our lives, as he did. We need to learn to respond with faith action. Be Elisha today, not the 50.
J Todd Hostetler