Day 15 Sacred Season
DAY 15. 23rd June Chariots of fire (2 Kings 2:9-13 ; 2 Kings 6:15-17
Ps. Sital Sanjivi Hindi Pastor, Liverpool Uniting, New South Wales
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (2 Kings 2:11 NIV)
Basis of Union Paragraph 15: The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ alone is supreme in his Church,
The ministry of Elijah is one surrounded by the supernatural as revealed in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. And as we arrive at these passages of scripture, we arrive at the great climax of Elijahâs ministry to this point. Upon reading these passages, it would be so easy to be drawn into the wonder such a phenomena of chariots and horses of fire ascending with someone from the face of the earth to the heights of the skies above and out of sight. There may be much that one could draw from this passage, yet less we get so caught up in the spectacular one may miss the fact that there are significant spiritual truths that are being communicated. And of the many things that may be said, one thing appears apparent to me, and that is that the Lord was preparing Elisha for that which he first sent Elijah.
a) The Lord taught Elisha that the He should be the prime object of his affection and attention, not Elijah. Only the Lord knows what must have been going through Elishaâs heart as he realized that this man of God who loved him as a father would now be taken from him. What agony of heart, love and loyalty that repeatedly he said, âAs surely as the Lord lives and as I live, I shall not live youâ (2 Kings 2:1-12). It is natural that one should become so connected to another, but it may also well become oneâs undoing. For in looking at Elijah for everything, Elisha had overlooked the One who Elijah saw as everything. We may be so often captured by the influence of the greatness of those who are godly, and yet forsake the One who is greater than all, and without whom no one can become great in godliness. This same God who took Elijah up, asked of His disciple, âDo you love me more than these?â (John 21:15; cf. Luke 14:26). In the weakness of our flesh and cares of this world should not our prayer and desire be that of an echo of Elishaâs, âI will not leave you.â
b) The Lord taught Elisha that far above all powers He was supreme. A man may display his great might in battle, a king display the size and power of his army. Who, but God could bring down fire from heaven to consume (2 Kings 1:10)? Who but God could answer the call of His servant Elijah with such blazing fire that sacrifice, wood, stones, soil and even the water be gone, bringing the hardest of hearts to the ground in prostration? (1 Kings 18:38-39). Elisha from his calling (1 Kings 19:19ff) and becoming intimately involved in the life and ministry of Elijah, saw the man and power he possessed. Yet, it is Lord who empowered Elijah, for no man could do what he did unless the Lord was with him. Ministry does not start with man, but with God in the secret place of prayer (Mark 1:35), for it is here that one is in the presence of the Almighty, and it is from this essential core that God works wonders that remind us to, Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chron. 16:11, cf. 2 Cor. 12:10; Phil. 4:13). âFor He is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the age to comeâ (Eph.1:19-21).
c) The Lord taught Elishaâs servant that His powerful presence was with them. So many are those who trust in chariots and horses (Ps. 20:7), but a believer and minister of the Lord must trust in the Commander of the armies of heaven (Joshua 5:15-17) whose chariots and horses are those of blazing fire, and which number â. . . tens of thousands and thousands of thousands. .â This is the God in whose presence we live and serve. Could this recurring appearance of fire from heaven been to communicate that a reminder that His power and presence with those who were with Him, both now as it had been before (Ex. 13:21) and as it would continue to be with those who walked with Him. Could such truth have not been the reason why David said, âThough an army besiege me, my heart shall not fear . . . (Ps. 27:3a). Indeed, it must have been a frightening thing to see the vast army that Elishaâs servant saw. âBut we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed . . .â (Heb. 10:39), but those, âWho walk by faith, and not by sightâ (2 Cor. 5:7) otherwise we could never go forward for God.
For know and are assured of this, His presence is always with us (Duet. 31:6; Is. 43:1-2; John 16:33)
The miracles of God are never without meaning, for where there is a miracle there is a message. As for Elisha who witnessed these things, so for us, who by faith have believed in the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord, let Him be the prime object of our love and loyalty, the supreme source of our power and authority and in His powerful presence daily live.
Father teach us to honour and obey our elders, those who have journeyed the Christian life before us and whom you have given to lead us. And for them we thank you, the Father of lights from whom all good things come. But above all, may we never place anyone above you in our honour, loyalty and love.
Remind us that even in our weakness and helplessness, you are our strength and our ever present help. May the words of your mouth, from which you created the heavens and the earth and all that live and exist, give us the hope we so desperately need in a hopeless world, that we may know that greater is our God than our failures and fears.
Help us dear Father to remember and never forget that as though overcome by adversity on all sides, as dark and lonely as this life may seem, we will never walk alone for your rod and your staff they comfort us and you, the Good Shepherd of our faith will never leave us nor forsake us. That we may be still and know that you are God, the One who when this journey we call life is over, we will see face to face in glory.
Pray for: Unitingworld partner – The Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu
Formation, education and discipleship