“When 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.’ When 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.’” (2 Kings 2:9-10, ESV).
Elisha had walked away from Gilgal, Bethel and Jericho. He refused to be content with “just” salvation, visions or the demonstrations of God’s power. He was hungry and longed to see God’s will for his life come to fruition. He had a one-track mind.
Have you ever had a goal that was so lofty that it took every fiber of your being to reach it? Maybe it was some athletic achievement, or weight loss. Or perhaps it involved your education and securing your dream job. I know what it is like to be focused that intently, and if you were to look, surely you would have seen it in Elisha’s eyes. He would not be deterred.
When Elijah posed the question, Elisha didn’t even blink. He knew what he wanted, a double portion. The double portion was allotted to the first-born son (Deuteronomy 21:17). It was symbolic of love (1 Samuel 1:5) and blessing (Isaiah 61:7). Elisha saw Elijah as a father (2 Kings 2:12), so it only stood to reason—in his mind—that he should receive a double portion.
I’ve often thought about this story. I have wondered if it was presumptuous of Elisha to ask for a double portion. I have questioned questioned Elisha’s humility. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40, ESV). Was Elisha asking too much? I always come around, however, to hunger. Apparently, God was just fine with Elisha’s request. Pause and think calmly on that!
The two wandered around, talking on the east side of the Jordan, outside of the land of Promise. The air was charged. Both men knew what was going to happen, and I’m certain that both men were hungry.
After Elijah had been taken up in the whirlwind and Elisha had taken up his cloak—remember that was symbolic of Elijah’s office and Elisha’s calling—he re-crossed the Jordan. The promise had been fulfilled.
Tomorrow we will finish up our series on the call of Elisha by looking at the pitfall of the Jordan and how we can avoid it.
Blessings on your day!
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash