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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: 2 Kings 2:1–12 (ESV)


By Administrator

February 16, 2024

1When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, 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. 3And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” 4Elijah 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. 5The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” 6Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground. 9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.

God revealed His plan for Elijah’s departure, taken “up to heaven by a whirlwind” (1), to offer him comfort and hope. It is a serious time when a person knows their earthly journey is coming to a close and eternity is opening before them. From our text we see Elijah is a picture of quiet confidence on his way to his final destination. Through God’s care and mercy, Elijah knows that his translation into heaven brings a joyous end to his earthly life. Having also been made aware of God’s plan, in faith Elisha follows his master in confident hope to the end. Elisha grieves deeply when Elijah, his spiritual father, is taken from him, yet he knows that the separation from his master is only temporary. Elisha knew the day was coming when his sorrow would be turned into joy because he would see his master again in eternity before the throne of God.

As Christians believing Jesus is “the resurrection and the life,” we, like Elisha, are overcome with pain and sorrow when death’s sting separates us from a loved one (cf. John 11). Death, which owes its existence to our sin, causes our tears to flow even though we know that for those in Christ our separation is only temporary. The day is coming when the world will see us no more. In the life to come for all believers it is “the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). Even now, His glory is in us. But for now, in this life on earth, through our Baptism, we have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. At the Lord’s Table we receive His majesty in His true body and blood. Everyone who is brought to faith in our Savior by God’s grace will join the heavenly celebration with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven before our loving and gracious God. For all who are in Christ, our farewells are not forever, but we will fare well in the kingdom of Him who loves us forever and ever.

May the Lord who began this good work in you, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ: Amen. (adapted from Philippians 1:6)

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM
Reverend Steve Zandstra

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