“And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.” (2 Kings 2:12-13, ESV).
Over the last couple of weeks we have been gleaning some wisdom from the accounts of the calling of Elisha. We have looked at some of the symbolism attached to the places where Elijah and Elisha travelled before Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. We have seen that, attached to those locations, there were lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided. If you haven’t been keeping up, I encourage you to go back and read the previous posts. I believe it will be worth your time.
The Jordan River symbolizes hunger and fulfillment. If we are to grow in our faith, and walk out our calling as disciples, we need to stay hungry for more of God. We need to take precautions to ensure that we never become complacent.
Complacency is a killer.
When we think that we have somehow arrived, reached a certain level of faith and maturity, it’s easy to become lackadaisical. But the truth of the matter is, when it comes to our faith walk, there is no standing still; if we are not moving forward, then we are moving backward. One can only tread water for a certain amount of time before drowning.
At Bethel and Jericho the sons of the prophets, prophets themselves, came out and spoke to Elisha, asking him if he was aware that God was going to take Elijah that day. We have already established that Elisha was sticking close to Elijah, so I find it particularly interesting that these prophets would come and speak to the student and not the teacher. I’m sure that they were aware that Elisha would be Elijah’s successor, so perhaps they were trying to impress Elisha with their prophetic gifting. I’m sure they knew that Elijah would be nonplussed.
But it says something that these prophets were undeterred from approaching the duo, for we read that none of the sons of the prophets crossed over the Jordan. None of them could muster the hunger to get past their current spiritual state. There were only 50 of their company who even came to watch from a distance.
Over 500 years had passed between the fall of Jericho (c. 1406 B.C.) and the events of 2 Kings 2. Many generations had come and gone hearing the stories of the conquest of the Promised Land, without ever experiencing the reality of the power of God for themselves. As a result, they never hungered for the things of God.
Complacency leads to oppression; and oppression ultimately leads to captivity.
So what should we do to avoid captivity? I believe the key is to refuse to be satisfied. Refuse to be satisfied with salvation without change. Refuse to be satisfied with a vision for the future without allowing yourself to remain unchanged by that vision. Decide to seek God’s will for your life now. Present tense. Continuously. Without end. Determine ahead of time that you will obey God in all things. Read God’s Word with enthusiasm, searching for anything that will help you to grow. Pray that God would increase hunger in you for more of Him. And always be prepared to advance today’s hunger through tomorrow’s fulfillment.
Blessings on your weekend!
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