A New Prophet
Second Kings continues the story from the death of Ahab, king of Israel, to the destruction of Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. When Ahaziah, son of Ahab, sends soldiers to capture Elijah, he calls down fire from heaven to consume the soldiers. When Jesus’ disciples want to do something similar, Jesus rebukes them, reminding us that we of the new covenant are to fight the battle of the Lord with different kinds of weapons.
Elijah now ascends to heaven in a fiery chariot, and Elisha takes his place. Elijah had struck the water with his mantle and it had parted. Now Elisha strikes the water with Elijah’s mantle and it again parts, evidence that Elisha has inherited the spiritual power of Elijah. Elisha was to be a different kind of person than Elijah, but the important thing is that God had given him the same power. Today, one pastor replaces another in the church. Church members must realize that they cannot expect the new pastor to be like the old one. The important thing is that pastors, new and old, be filled with the Spirit who alone can give them the power to have an effective ministry.
Most of Elisha’s miracles were positive, such as changing foul water into purified life-giving water. In this, his miracles foreshadow those of Christ. But there is also the case of the disrespectful youths!