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Daily Devotional

May 14

THERE APPEARED A CHARIOT OF FIRE, AND ELIJAH WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN

by Henry T. Vriesen

2 Kings 2

The work of Elijah, the great prophet, was done, and the Lord was about to take him up to heaven. Elijah met with Elisha, who was chosen as his successor, at Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel.” Elisha knew that Elijah would be taken from him very soon, and he said, “As the Lord liveth … I will not leave thee.” So the two walked together to Bethel. At Bethel lived a number of young men that had been instructed by the prophet Elijah. They were called “the sons of the prophet.” They came to Elisha and said to him, “Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?” Elisha replied, “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”

And Elijah said to Elisha, “Tarry, I pray thee here, for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho.” Elisha replied, “As the Lord liveth … I will not leave thee.” So the two walked down the descending road from Bethel to Jericho. At Jericho the followers of the prophet came to Elisha and said to him, “Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?” Elisha replied, “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” And Elijah said to Elisha. “Tarry, I pray thee here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan.” Elisha answered, “As the Lord liveth … I will not leave thee.” So the two went on and came to the Jordan river. When they came to the bank of Jordan, Elijah took his mantle, wrapped it together and struck the waters. And they were divided, so a path was made across the river: and the two men of God walked across on dry ground. When they were gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” Elisha replied, “Let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” Elijah said, “Thou hast asked a hard thing.” And as they went on and talked, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. When Elisha saw him depart, he cried, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof ” Elijah had been to him a spiritual father, and he mourned his departure.

After this he saw Elijah no more, but he took up the mantle of Elijah which had fallen from him. With the mantle he struck the waters of Jordan, saying, “Where is the Lord the God of Elijah?” And the waters were parted, that Elisha could walk across the river. When the sons of the prophets at Jericho saw Elisha, they said, “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.”

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