Highlights In Today's Reading:
Every king of Judah and Israel chose to worship the One True God or false gods. Note who the new King of Israel, Ahaziah, went to in trouble (1:1-2). We see God's intervention for His anointed prophets three times in today's reading (1:10,12; 2:24). Elijah passes the mantle to Elisha, who then receives a double portion (2:9) of his spirit proving that he was Elijah's rightful heir. Within moments he began his ministry with a miracle. God miraculously rolls back the waters of the Jordan River — a second time (1st — Joshua 3; 2nd — II Kings 2:8). Moab rebels and Israel and Judah join forces against them for victory.
The ministry of the great prophet Elijah was finished — a ministry of faithfulness and unshakable loyalty to God. Note his modesty, a revelation of his true gifts that he prayed for. Elijah did not assemble Israel for the "great event." He did not summon Jehoram and all the glory of the palace court in Samaria to witness his triumphant ascent into heaven. His only audience was the astounded fifty students of Jericho and Elisha (2:7-12). Elijah left the world suddenly: Behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2:11).
It is always wise to consider the character of the servants whom God has used in the past; by so doing, we see the kind of persons whom God will choose and use in the present and future. Carefully consider the legacy left by these two men, Elijah and Elisha. All of us are leaving a legacy at the end of life; we are leaving a legacy of our moral and spiritual values. We can not detach ourselves from this involuntary and often unconscious influence upon others. What we can determine is the kind of legacy we will leave. Apart from any testimony we may contribute, let us live each day in the reality that our lives are influencing others to trust in Christ as His servant.
Where is Ahab and the court of Samaria? They have passed away and Elijah alone provides a legacy of spiritual treasures for all to share. Where is the "powerful" Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist; or King Agrippa, who ridiculed Paul because of his devotion to Christ, saying: Thou art beside thyself (out of your mind); much learning doth make thee mad (made you unbalanced, insane) (Acts 26:24)?
The Apostle Paul's love for Christ continues to influence all of us who love the Lord not to be intimidated by the forces of evil, but like Paul able to say: I will preach the Word. . . . (to) make full proof. . . . (for) there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day (II Timothy 4:2,5,8).
Thought for Today:
It is usually our pride that keeps us from being used by God because we are afraid that someone may ridicule us or the other extreme of boasting what we have accomplished.
In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of his mantle — a symbol of the presence of God and power that remains with His faithful servant (II Kings 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers, giving us power to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51-53; also Acts 1 — 2).
1:8 girt =b> bound; girdle of leather =b> leather belt or band around his waist; 2:19 naught =olluted, bad; 2:24 tare =b> mauled or mangled them; 3:9 fetched a compass =b> circled around; made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him =b> burned him alive as a sacrifice to a god of Moab.
Pray for our Military worldwide • International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Novella D. Yates and in memory of Emma Morehouse; Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of May sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer; English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Karen Martin and by Robert & Nancy Allio • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Official: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO) • Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France • Major languages: French and English • No open evangelism permitted • 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: During times of trouble, pray constantly and ask for patience (Romans 12:12).
Optional Reading: Romans 4
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:26