Summary: God wants to do greater things in every generation then what was done in the previous one however someone needs to pick up the mantle and take it to another lever.
“Who will pick up Elijah’s Mantle”
District Elder M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
2nd Kings 2
We find here a miraculous part of history. It is the story of Elijah being taken up into glory on one of God’s fiery chariots and the transference of power and authority from one generation to the next generation.
God unmistakably is teaching a lesson not only to Elisha but to us today. This lesson that God is teaching is He wants to do greater things with each generation then what was done with the previous generation. The Bible says He calls the old because they know they way the young because they are strong. Elijah represents the older generation while Elisha represents the younger generation. Elisha done greater works than Elijah, not better, but more in abundance. Elijah is accredited with 16 miracles and Elisha is accredited with 32 a double portion – greater works. Jesus said greater works shall you do for I go unto my father. However, in order for the next generation to do greater things that generation must seek God’s face and experience God for themselves. They must be endued and equipped with power from on high for themselves. What mom and dad did and had was good enough for them but you need your own experience with God.
We find here in our text the time had come for Elijah to go off the scene. Understand that a shift in the prophetic era was about to happen. This shift was going to take what Elijah had done and move it to another level. However, there was a process that had to be done first. How many of you realize that in order for you to go from here to there is a process. First you have to decide in your mind that you actually want to go from here to there. Second step of the process is you have to put that thought into action and get up. Third step of the process is you have to move from that place and start to head for this place by putting g one foot in front of the other until you get to the place you wanted to be. Understand that when you put processes together you get results.
In our text today Elijah was about to leave this old world behind and go on into glory. God had told Elijah to go to a certain place and from that place he would be raptured away. Elijah and Elisha begin a process that will bring supernatural results. Elijah and Elisha went from Gilgal. Gilgal is the place where the children of Israel came after they crossed the Jordan River. It was at Gilgal where Joshua had them erect 12 standing stones as a witness of what God has done. Gilgal means standing stone or witness. Gilgal represents the church because the church is a witness to the world of what God has done. Although Gilgal represents the church; nevertheless, in order for the shift that was to happen they had to leave Gilgal, the church – the organized religious system. They had to leave their comfort zone, their traditions, their familiar surroundings, they had to leave what they were used to because it was part of the process that was going to bring about a change.
Once they left Gilgal, the religious system, they came to Bethel. The name Bethel means “House of God” and here it represents the world because Bethel had a great spiritual heritage yet something happened to the city. Jeroboam the 1st king of the northern kingdom of Israel set up a golden calf in the city of Bethel causing the people to be given into idolatry and as a result an entire generation had become lost to skepticism, mockery, scoffing they became contemptuous, disdainful, sardonic, and disrespectful not doubt making fun of Elijah and Elisha as they walked through the streets of Bethel.
Elijah the older, wiser, spiritually matured prophet looked at this backslidden generation, no doubt with a tear in his eye wanted to fight sin and change their evil ways, but his strength wasn’t as it use to be. This new generation was more hardened, godless, rebellious, and evil then he had ever dealt with before. Elijah knew Elisha was younger, he knew Elisha talked the talk of this generation so he says to Elisha why don’t you stay here in Bethel. But Elisha knew he had to go through the process. He wasn’t worried about making a name for himself, he wasn’t worried about a title, but he wanted to be endued with power, so he said to Elijah “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee”. He understood that there was still something he needed to learn from Elijah and in order to learn it he had to go through the process.