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Bible Pathways - May 1, 2006

May 1, 2006

2 Kings 1

In Today's Reading:

Death of Ahaziah King of Israel; Elijah taken up by a whirlwind; Elisha purifies Jericho's water; Elisha mocked by the children

Ten years before Elijah's departure in a "chariot of fire," the LORD said unto him . . . anoint (Jehu) . . . to be king over Israel: and Elisha . . . shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room (place). . . . So he departed . . . and found Elisha . . . plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him (I Kings 19:15-16,19), designating Elisha to replace him. At the time Elijah called Elisha to join him, it appears that Elisha was a prosperous young farmer. To accept Elijah's calling to be his servant would mean that Elisha would have to forsake his family and friends as well as financial securities. His friends probably thought that to be the servant of a prophet would be a lonely, menial occupation. But, Elisha knew that God's Word provided the true values of life and immediately converted his plow into firewood and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments (implements) of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him (19:21). Elisha's actions demonstrate that the key to one's usefulness in the Kingdom of God is to immediately respond to our opportunities to serve the Lord, regardless of how great or how insignificant the task may appear.

Just prior to Elijah's translation into heaven, Elisha again revealed his spiritual discernment and loyalty to God, which qualified him to be Elijah's successor. Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here . . . for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth . . . I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel (II Kings 2:2). Elisha was determined to continue with Elijah on his journey from Gilgal to Bethel, on to Jericho, and then across the Jordan River (2:3-8).

Like Elisha, circumstances have placed each of us where we are today to determine the sincerity of our commitment to the Lord. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).

Christ Revealed:

In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of the mantle — a symbol of the presence of God and power that remains with His faithful servants (II Kings 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell the 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).

Word Studies:

1:8 girt =b> bound; girdle of leather =b> leather belt or band around his waist; 2:19 naught =ollutted, 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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide · The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer · Country: South Korea (47 million) in northeastern Asia · Major languages: Korean and English · Religious freedom · 33% Buddhist; 24% Protestant; 22% Confucianism and other eastern religions; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for (not against) your enemies (Luke 6:28).

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: I Kings 11:9

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