Wednesday, May 20, 2020

2 Kings 2, we must carry on

2 Kings 2 tells about when Elijah was taken up to heaven with chariots of fire leaving Elisha behind.  Elisha knew for days that Elijah would leave him on the earth.  For three days, the sons of the prophets told him so.  "I know," he said, "but I will not leave him."  Even when Elijah told him to leave, he would not leave.  But Elijah promised him through the Holy Spirit that if Elisha saw him go up into heaven, then he could have a double portion of Elijah's spirit as he continued as his successor.

I think of the three spiritual giants who have passed away since 2017: RC Sproul, Billy Graham, and Ravi Zacharias.  Those three men have made Jesus's name great in ways unprecedented, and who will carry on their ministries without them.  The good thing in the case of Ligonier is that RC's role was carried on to many men so that people wouldn't look to just one guy for their spiritual nourishment, but to the Lord.

I remember years ago while my mother was sick from the cancer that she died from, she had directed VBS, painted the backdrop for the skits, led music, but she could not do that in 2008 because of her cancer.  I lead the music, and Denise Martin and others put together a background that worked, and it showed that one person's ministry can carry on without them, and sometimes go even better.  Without me looking to and shadowing my mom, I could actually shine on my own in her spirit, even while she was still alive.

The good thing is that Elijah did not have to go through death.  He did leave Elisha behind.  There was a point where Elisha could follow him no further, and as much as it grieved Elisha, he would have to be okay with that.  However, as Elisha was a prototype of Jesus, his ministry would be much better.  Immediately, he goes to a city where the water had been made bitter, and he healed the water.

And then, to show that you don't mess with God's man, and that being a precursor to Jesus means a bit of assassination, some young men seriously taunt Elisha and his bald head.  Elisha calls out to God who sends she bears to maul the guys.  We may wonder what is so bad about mocking someone's bald head, but in that culture, it was a serious insult.  It seriously undermined his ministry.  And God told us all that we would die if we sinned.  If he sends that death immediately, that is his judgment.  I sit and wonder why I'm still alive.  I've had many brushes with death, but God has kept me alive.  And he kept Elisha alive to carry out his ministry on earth.

And we must go on carrying on the ministries of those we loved not for their sakes, but for God who mercifully gives ups breath and wakes us up every morning. 

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