Summary: For Elisha to have the ’double-portion’ he desired there was a clear path to follow. There was a preparation to be made, a pryaer to be offered, a promise to be claimed, and the possession of the answer. What a challenge for us today!
ELISHA SEEKS THE BLESSING
THE PATH TO THE DOUBLE-PORTION
Elisha had travelled with Elijah for a relatively short time, and had seen how the Lord had miraculously worked through Elijah. This must have inspired him to want the same anointing himself, but before Elisha could receive the blessing he desired from Elijah, there was:
A PREPARATION TO BE MADE
If we would know the blessing of God in our lives, there is a preparation that must be made. For Elisha, there were important places for him to visit. Places were God had moved in power through His servants, and the recall of those events would bring challenge to the heart of this aspiring prophet.
We can also learn from this account, and by applying the teaching to our lives, we can know something of God’s power today
The first place Elisha visited with Elijah was
THIS WAS A PLACE OF TESTIMONY
(Joshua 4:19-20) Gilgal was the place where 12 stones were removed from the bed of the Jordan River, after the Nation of Israel had crossed over into the land of Promise. These stones were erected as a monument of witness to the deliverance the Lord had brought about for the nation. What a testimony to God’s faithfulness. He had promised – He had performed – they possessed the land.
However, before the Israelites could go in and possess the land, the ‘reproach of Egypt’ had to rolled away, and there was a re-commitment to the circumcision required by the Lord, but neglected for so long by the nation.
THIS WAS A PLACE OF SANCTIFICATION - (Joshua 5:9)
It was here that a great challenge came to the nation. They had neglected to do what the Lord had told them. From the days of their ancestor Abraham they had been instructed to circumcise all male children, and over the years this had fallen into neglect. It may be that some of the present nation were not aware of the need for circumcision. There are times when Christians fail to obey the teaching of the Word of God simply because they have not been taught the truth. We are not speaking of circumcision here, but of the need to conform to God’s requirements. And to the need to make His requirements know! Before they could possess God’s blessing, there was a need for obedience. We cannot expect God to bless if we are disobedient to His Word.
When the children of Israel were circumcised they were able to go in and take possession of God’s promise.
The next place that Elisha has to visit is
THIS WAS A PLACE OF PERSONAL REVELATION
(Genesis 28:11-15) At this place the run-away Jacob received the vision of the stairway to heaven. He was literally on the run from home – afraid of what his brother Esau might do to him in repayment of the deceitful way Esau had been dealt with by Jacob. Tired, and feeling unable to go further, he makes a camp for the night, and as he drifts of to sleep, he sees a beautiful sight. A stairway rises from earth to heaven, and going up and down it are angels! Standing at the top of the stairway was the Lord who spoke to him. This was a new experience for Jacob. It was alright hearing about how God had spoken to his Grandfather Abraham, but now God was speaking to him! It is special when people have a personal experience with God! Here was the place of personal revelation, which became the place of personal promise. It is good to read, and listen to the wonderful testimonies of how God has met the need of other people, but we need God to be personal and real to us today! We need to hear God speaking to us now, to hear His promise – not for someone else, but for me!
THIS WAS A PLACE OF PERSONAL PROMISE
(Genesis 28:11-15) This was where God revealed Himself to Jacob, and made His Covenant Promise with him, even though God knew all about him, and the wrong things he had done. And as if that is not enough, God says, “I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
We all need to have a personal promise from God, as well as a personal revelation of who He is. This carried Jacob through the next years of difficult experiences, and brought him back home.
Many things happened to Jacob and his descendents on the way to the fulfilment of the original promise, and at this point in our looking at the scriptures we see Israel who have been journeying through the wilderness on the way to possessing the land of promise causing fear to rise in the hearts of the nations they passed amongst. One such nation was Moab, whose king, Balak, called for help to sort out his problem. He sought the help of Balaam! A strange figure! He appears to know God, and yet wants to do things his own way! Perhaps that sounds a bit familiar! Balaam is asked to curse the nation of Israel, and probably would have done so, except that God intervened. God had promised to bless them, so no one could curse them! How encouraging that thought can be!