Summary: Transfiguration (B) - Look, the chariots and horsemen of Israel. Believers live with confidence. Believers are taken into glory.
F. Fear. Fear seems to be around every corner. The media lives off of the fear it can cause. We are told of an economic downturn. Prices are going up and wages are going down. What are we to do? As believers we are to live with confidence. No matter what happens. Our gracious God, our loving Lord is – still – and – always – in control. "’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you"(ISAIAH 54:10 (quickview) ). God’s love cannot be changed. God’s love cannot be taken away.
LOOK THE CHARIOTS AND HORESEMEN OF ISRAEL.
These are the bold, confident believers!
II. BELIEVERS ARE TAKEN INTO GLORY
A. Elijah and Elisha stand at the Jordan River. Fifty (50) prophets are nearby wondering what next.
1. Verse 8. God’s power was in Elijah’s cloak. They crossed over on DRY ground.
2. Evil King Ahab did not stop them. Jezebel did not stop them. A river did not stop them.
B. The two prophets cross and now verse 9. Elijah says Elisha to ask for whatever he wants.
1. Elisha requests a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. The firstborn son inherits double.
2. Elisha wanted Elijah to consider and favor him as the first born among the prophets.
C. Verse 10. This was a difficult request. It was not for Elijah to give. It would be up to the Lord.
1. The answer comes quickly, verse 11. The hand of God reaches down and takes Elijah home.
2. Verse 12. “My Father!” is Elisha’s cry. His double portion request makes even more sense.
3. Elisha’s testimony about Elijah = “the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” What strength goes!
a. Elisha witnesses of the strength of Elijah’s faith. b. This would also be said of Elisha, later.
D. What confidence and boldness and strength we have just seen. This is to be the boldness, confidence, and strength of every believer. This does not come from our inner strength. Our boldness and confidence comes from God and God alone. Our God is a loving God who constantly invites and encourages us to make use of his mercy. "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need"(HEBREWS 4:16 (quickview) ). Old Testament Israel often saw God’s glory as a consuming fire (First Lesson, below). We understand God’s glory as love, mercy.
E. God’s love and mercy is what he reveals to each of us in his gospel. We truly do live by faith and not be sight. With boldness and confidence we look forward every day to that time when we are called into glory. This is God’s gracious gift for every believer. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. "This grace…has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel"(1 TIMOTHY 1:10 (quickview) ). It is the gospel of Christ that is our confidence. It is the gospel of Christ that calls each of us into glory, forever.
F. We are reminded to focus on the glory that is yet to come. Concentrating too much on this life can cause us to lose focus. We can all too easily be weighed down with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. The glory of this world will pass away, not the Lord’s glory. The Lord’s glory is now our glory. God’s glory awaits each one of us. "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"(PHIL. 3:20,21).