from Lynda Lindsey
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. II Kings 2:1-2
Elijah to Elisha: “Stay here Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. II Kings 2:4
Elijah to Elisha: “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.
Loyalty, strong support, allegiance, and faithfulness to a person or cause, describes Elisha’s relationship to Elijah and to the God they both served. In words reminiscent of Ruth’s declaration of devotion to her mother-in-law Naomi, Elisha vows to walk with and not leave his mentor and friend. Knowing Elijah would be taken from him that day makes Elisha’s refusal to leave Elijah’s side especially poignant. Elijah also knew that God would call him heavenward that very day. His friend’s choice to spend as much time together as possible must have been a dear gift to Elijah.
Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, which surely must have pleased Elijah. But this difficult request wasn’t for Elijah to grant. Only God could bestow Elisha’s request. The sign for Elisha would be if he saw Elijah taken heavenward. And what an amazing event Elisha witnessed! A fiery chariot and horses appear, taking Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind! Elisha, even while lamenting and mourning his spiritual father, picks up the mantle of power and authority newly bestowed, parts the Jordan, and begins his ministry as God’s loyal spokesman.
Faithfulness and loyalty aren’t readily apparent in our society. Marriage, family, children, relationships are at risk of being cherished today and discarded tomorrow. In such a fickle world, loyalty and commitment to God will be noticed. Loving God with all that we have must be our highest priority. Be steadfast. Loyal. Faithful. Reject idols. Reject worthless, false gods. Our example? God, who is always faithful. Steadfast. Dependable. God, who never leaves us nor forsakes us. Renew your loyalty to Jesus today. He’s worth it all!