Lent Devotional: 2 Kings 2:1-12
by Jonathan Haefs
2 Kings 2:1-12 (click here to read the entire passage)
Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel…
Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho…
Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. (2 Kings 2:1-2, 4, and 6)
My kids and I don’t go hiking often, but when we do it is my responsibility to know and show the way. They simply get to follow.
This is apparently more difficult than it seems.
It is not uncommon for their feet and legs to begin to ache, which leads to their mouths uttering complaints.
“How much longer?… Can we stop?… I’m tired!”
Truth be told… it really would be so much easier if I simply said to them, “Sure, you can stop. Just stay here and rest while I continue on.” At least that would be easier in the short run. However, they would soon find themselves lost in the woods and unable to navigate the way to our destination.
In 2 Kings 2, Elijah knows that his time on earth has come to a close and it is time to pass his prophetic position on to his follower Elisha. He seemingly takes Elisha on a senseless journey through several towns, offering to let Elisha stay behind at each one. Truth be told… that would be the easier thing for Elisha to do. I’m sure the trip seemed long and he probably wanted to stop because he was growing tired. But, Elisha pressed on.
You see, Elisha knew that for all each town might have to offer, they did not have the one thing he truly wanted… Elijah!
Elisha wanted nothing more than to follow his master, to learn from him and to imitate him so that he might know and love God in an Elijah-like way.
Do you have an Elijah in your life? Someone you follow, learn from and long to imitate because they are so like Christ? Someone who can teach you how to press on when you pass through the places of this world that tempt you to quit following the Lord?
Truth be told… we all have times in our walk with Christ where we feel like my children on the trail… “How much longer?… Can we stop?… I’m tired!”
Yet, if give up, we will soon find ourselves lost in the woods of the world, unable to navigate the way to our destination. And we will find that the world does not have the one thing to offer that our hearts most deeply desire… Christ!
We all need an Elijah (or multiple Elijahs) in our life… people whose walk with Christ beckons us to press on (This is one of the ways God provides the power for us to press on… through other people)! So that, even if they themselves were to say, “Do you want to stop and settle down into the comforts of the world?” We would reply, “No! You have shown us the worth of following Christ… so we are pressing on alongside you toward joy in Jesus!”
Truth be told… quitting may be easier, but Christ is so much better! So, in the power he provides, we press on!