Summary: Elisha returned alone after Elijah was caught up to heaven. As he approached the Jordan River he cried out "Where is the God of Elijah?" As we face challenges and obstructions today we may ask the same question.
4. Count your many problems, name them one by one;
Think that victory never, never will be won;
Cite your many troubles, count them o’er and o’er,
All your disappointments and vexations sore.
Before we all give up and go home in deep depression let’s think about Peter as he walked to the Lord on the water?
Mt 14: 24 the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. … 28 And Peter … said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And he said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink
Peter was so taken up with the wind and waves that he took his eyes off the Lord and started to sink. Are we like that? So taken up with our weakness and problems that we feel that we feel we are helpless and drowning? What is the remedy? If the winds and waves trouble us let us focus on the one who made them and, indeed, the earth and heavens as well. As we meditate upon His greatness and majesty the storm will seem to shrink in size and we will see them in a proper perspective. Let us dwell on Jesus’ great love and power; then like Peter, we will cry out: 30Lord, save me!
We’ll find that the response will be the same 31Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” This is the Lord’s diagnosis of the problem. It is not that there is a problem with our God, but with us and our faith. After all, it wasn’t Elijah who caused Jordan to open, but Elijah’s God! This is where the ‘Sons of the prophets’ went wrong. They wanted to know where Elijah was when Elisha got back – v15. They even sent out search parties to try and find him, although Elisha told them that it was pointless. The trouble was that they were asking the wrong question. It was not “Where is Elijah?” but “Where is the God of Elijah?” We don’t need the great men who have gone before, we need their God!
Where is the God of Elijah?
I wonder what went through Elisha’s mind as he returned to the Jordon. Perhaps he was thinking about his request for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. (This probably refers to the way the first-born son received a double portion of the property of his father – identifying him as the heir. Deut 21:17 Elisha wanted to be recognised Elijah’s spiritual heir, so he requested a double portion of his spirit. Cp 1Ki 19:16) So as he walked along he probably wondered if his request had been granted, as Elijah had promised it would – If you see me when I am taken from you v10.
I doubt that he felt any different, except that he was alone and probably wondering how he could possibly fill Elijah’s size 20 sandals! Perhaps he also felt the added responsibility for the spiritual wellbeing of Israel resting heavily on his shoulders. Paul certainly felt that weight:... besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. – 2 Corinthians 11:28