Summary: Sermon 2 in a series on Elisha. This sermon focuses on living out our priorities.
1. In case you haven’t heard it well known former football coach and present day broadcaster, John Madden, is being inducted in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. I saw part of an interview with him this week. He talked about how as a coach he used to work 18 hour days and travel 6 months each year. Then he made a statement that revealed is more than football. He said something to this extent, "There should be a hall of fame for the wives of coaches. They’re the ones who care for the family and pick up the slack when their husbands are traveling six months out of the year." Though Madden devoted his life to football, he understands that importance of his wife and that life is more than football.
2. Nearly all of us are busy these days. We run from this thing to that thing and have trouble keeping up with all the things we put on our "to do list."
3. I want you to think with me for a moment about how busy the life of Elijah must have been. The life of Elijah must have been a whirlwind of activity too! From the time he stepped out of nowhere to confront the king of Israel, to his adventures of faith at the dry brook, to what took place at the widow’s house, to his great victory on Mount Carmel and to his fall into depression and then his restoration, Elijah lived a very busy life. It was a full life to say the least, but now that ministry was coming to an end. As they say, "All good things must end." Elijah’s ministry is coming to an end and Elisha’s ministry is beginning. That’s the way life worked then, and it’s the way things work now. No body lives or leads forever. We are all put in leadership to lead for a time, and we are all placed on this earth to live for a few years, but we must never fall into the trap of thinking that this life is going to last forever. We are to live life to its fullest, that’s what Elijah did.
Elijah was about to leave like he lived, In a Whirlwind.
4. The challenge when we are living such busy full lives is that we don’t lose sight of what is really important. When we are rushing back and forth and doing this, that and the other thing, it’s very easy to forget what really counts and to discount what doesn’t matter.
5. That was a matter that Elisha had been learning over the course of his training with Elijah. He had started as a green young recruit, so to speak, but he had matured to the point where he was ready to take the lead and become the next prophet leader in Israel. You might say his time had finally arrived. Let me show you what I mean. You will see it clearly as we read this morning’s scripture passage together. Follow along in your notes, on the screen, or in your own Bible. Let’s read 2 Kings 2:1-14 together this morning. . .
Cell #2— 2 Kings 2:1-14
1 And it came about when the LORD was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here please, 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.
3 Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?" And he said, "Yes, I know; be still."
4 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.
5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?" And he answered, "Yes, I know; be still."
6 Then Elijah said to him, "Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on.
7 Now 50 men of the sons of the prophets went and stood opposite them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan.
8 Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.