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.
Where is the God of Elijah?
Elisha was called by Elijah from what appears to have been a fairly affluent home 1Ki 19:19. He followed Elijah faithfully and humbly to the last. He had a firsthand view of Elijah’s later miracles and no doubt he heard graphic descriptions of the earlier ones. Now Elijah was gone. There was nobody left to oppose the growth of Baal worship, to fight Ahab and Jezebel, to help and encourage those who wanted to serve God – the sons of the prophets.
As Elisha returned, alone, along the way he had walked with Elijah his eyes rested on the Jordan. There it was as if it mocked him. How could he possibly cross it? It had parted for them to cross at the word of Elijah, but Elijah wasn’t there anymore. How could he fight the battles that lay ahead? He was not Elijah! He carried his mantle or cloak, but that was not enough. He cries out: “Where is the God of Elijah?”
We might well share Elisha’s feelings. We live in an age of idolatry where God’s name is not honoured. According to a recent survey young men would rather go to hospital than come to Church! At best there is widespread indifference and at worst a real hostility to evangelical Christians – Fundamentalists! We even get the – don’t bring religion into Christmas – attitude. Similar dark days have been faced before, but where are the Elijahs who can turn the tide of evil? Where are the Wesleys, Whitfields, Lloyd Jones and other great godly men of yester–year?
We call this the day of small things and that is an apt description. We see little evidence of God’s mighty working in our lives or from our preaching. We expect little blessing and are not surprised when we get it. Where is the God of Elijah?
Where is the God of Elijah?
This question has been drumming in my brain. Why do we not see God at work among us in power? As we stand at the edge of our spiritual Jordan carrying the Mantle of those who have gone before us, as we face problems and challenges which make our knees knock, what can we do? We are weak and often fail; we seem unable to match the faith and vision of the earlier generations. We may have seen Elijah open Jordan, but what will we do when we stand alone at its shore? We are weak and frail. How can we hope to cross over? As we dwell on our weaknesses and problems they seem to grow:
1. When you are discouraged, feel that all is lost;
Say the prize you’re seeking is not worth the cost
Think about your troubles; count them o’er and o’er;
Every time you count them, there will be one more.
2. If there be clear sunshine, think how soon twill rain;
Should it be midsummer, winter comes again;
Every glorious sunset ends in dark, dark night;
Youth gives way to cheerless age; there’s nothing right!
3. If you see a promise fits you to a “T”,
Though you hunger for it, cry, “Tis not for me!”
You must bear your burdens, sink beneath the load,
For your way to Heaven is a dreary road!