Study 10 WHERE NOW IS THE LORD,THE GOD OF ELIJAH ?
(Scripture Portions: 2 Kings 2: 14-17; Luke 9: 28-36)
Elisha was Elijah’s successor. For nine years he had understudied and worked with his master. Now Elijah had gone, and one question burned in Elisha’s mind as he took up Elijah’s mantle and walked to the bank of Jordan - “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14). Is Elijah’s God with me, and is He still the same? That is the one thing that matters! To seek positive evidence that God was with him, Elisha struck the waters with the mantle - and immediately they were divided (v.14), and the onlookers saw the power of God (v.15). God was indeed with Elisha! What is the lesson for us? God is still the same, His power is undiminished. His servants may die, times may change, but He remains! He is our God, with us today - look up Hebrews 13:8.
1. ELIJAH’S GOD IS OUR GOD: What does this mean in a practical sense?
- It means that the Lord God who kept Elijah faithful when most of the nation had turned aside can keep us faithful and loyal. Throughout his ministry he was surrounded by apostasy, he was in contact with Ahab and Jezebel, and he experienced loneliness, self-pity and discouragement. Yet, through God’s power, he was kept true to the end. Do you wonder if you can remain true to the Lord? Remember – Elijah’s God is your God and He will never fail you - look up Hebrews 13:5-6, and compare Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 4:18; Jude 24.
- It means that the Lord God who fed Elijah and supplied his temporal needs can supply our every need. He sent bread and flesh when he was by the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:2-7), meal and oil for the household at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16)… Can He do that for us? Yes! - look up Matthew 6:25-34.
- It means that the Lord who worked miracles for and through Elijah will work miracles for and through us. Look up 1 Kings 17:1-6; 8-16; 17:17-23; 18:36-38; 19:5-7; 2 Kings 1:9-12; 2:8 and 11. Has God altered? No! He can and He does still perform miracles.
- It means that the Lord God who answered Elijah’s prayers is ready and willing to answer ours. James 5:16-18 emphasises that God answers the earnest and sincere prayer of any believing Christian, and the illustration given as to the kind of prayer God will answer is of Elijah praying that it might not rain, and then praying again that it would! Does God still answer prayer like this? He does. Elijah’s God is our God!
- It means that the Lord God who was so gracious and kind to His sick, failing, overwrought servant will deal just as lovingly and tenderly with us. Let us be slow to condemn Elijah; he did fail, but so do we; and the same God who was so gracious and forgiving and restored Elijah will deal with us just as graciously.
2. ELIJAH’S GOD IS OUR GOD: When do we especially need to be reminded of this?
- When we have experienced the sorrow of separation and bereavement. Elisha knew Elijah was to leave him, but that did not lessen the blow when it actually happened. When bereavement comes to us, perhaps more than at any other time, we need to experience the power, presence and sufficiency of our God. Elijah’s God, the mighty, comforting God, is our God.
- When we are about to undertake some new responsibility in service. Elisha was now commencing his ministry as Elijah’s successor; the responsibility was great and he felt his own inadequacy and insufficiency for the task - but God was the same! The God who has so wonderfully used His servants all down the ages is with us to bless and use us.
- When we are confronted by obstacles and problems which defy human solution. Elisha faced the Jordan. Elijah had crossed it by performing a miracle - but would God do the same for him? Yes! - and the same miracle-working God will give us grace to overcome our obstacles and solve our problems.
- When we are surrounded by unbelievers, sceptics and enemies of the Lord. Elisha had to face the scepticism of the sons of the prophets (2 Kings 2:16-18), and the mockery of the young men (vv. 23-25). He needed to know the mighty God of Elijah was on his side. Are you scoffed at and mocked because you are a Christian? Encourage yourself that Elijah’s God is your God.
- When we need to let others see that our faith is working. Picture Elisha smiting the waters with the mantle and asking, “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” What was the reaction of the watching college students to the mighty demonstration of the power of God? Verse 15 tells us.
The world is waiting to see visible evidence that God is alive and active. When unbelieving and sceptical men and women see the power of God operating in the lives of His people and in His Church then they will fall at His feet in worship and faith. That will be revival.
Closing Thought: Psalm 48:14