Items posted on 23 July 2010
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2 Kings 2.1-18 – Accepting God’s will
Posted: 23 July 2010 in 2 Kings, Scripture

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And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel……

Elijah is now taken up into heaven, and Elisha returns to Jericho

And they [the sons of the prophets] said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley…… They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.

Implied by this passage is a previous revelation by God, in which he discloses his intention to take Elijah up into heaven. Unable to accept this, Elisha sticks to him like glue, and, wherever Elijah goes, Elisha goes also. A little while later, after Elijah has been taken up into heaven, Elisha returns to Jericho. There he meets the sons of the prophets, who reveal that they too are unable to accept the accomplished fact.

The point of the story is that even something, which is good in itself, can become an evil when it impedes submission to God’s will. There is certainly nothing wrong with human affection (if there were more of it there might be fewer wars) but even it can be harmful in our relationship to God, if it inhibits our acceptance of what God has done, or is about to do. There are several places in the New Testament where Jesus makes the same point (cf Matt 8.21-23).

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