July 2, 2012 – A Double Portion

Can you believe it’s July already? Where has the time gone? We hope you are enjoying the lazy days of summer (with emphasis on the lazy, if possible).

 

My reading today consisted of the transition between Elijah and Elisha. (Was I the only one who got confused with the two “E” names when I first read about them?)  Elijah was described as hairyprone to mood swings and bold. Elisha on the other hand was bald (and sensitive about it), even-tempered and likes quiet.

 

Elisha was there when Elijah was taken by the chariots of fire. But before Elijah left Elisha asked for a double portion of his spirit – talk about boldness!  Elijah performed amazing miracles during his ministry and it’s hard to imagine doing more but Elisha’s request was granted.

 

Identification of Miracles  

(Note:click on the title to go to the original website)

 

The purpose of the table that follows is not to detail every minutia of each prophet’s existence but rather to act as an index to what follows and the scripture that it is drawn from. The left column of the table details Elijah’s ministry and is listed in biblical order. The second column details a corresponding event in Elisha’s ministry when such exists. Those events in Elisha’s ministry only will then follow in their own Biblical order. The third column provides notes on why a given event was allocated to the row it is in.

Elijah’s Ministry Elisha’s Ministry Comments
Prophecy of drought. 1Ki 17:1 Water for a thirsty army. 2Ki 3:16-20 Prophecies tied in to the divine provision of water.
Feeding by Ravens. 1Ki 17:4-7 Elisha makes the stew edible 2Ki 4:38-42 Food coming from an unlikely source
The widow of Zarephath – provision from flour and oil –1Ki 17:9-16 Elisha provides oil from a pitcher for a poor widow.2Ki 4:1-7 In both cases a widow is provided for using an existing pot of oil.
Widow’s son brought to life – 1Ki 17:17-24 Shunnammite’s son brought back to life. 2 Ki 4:23-37 Both times an only son, both times by stretching out.
Confrontation with the prophets of Baal 1Ki 18:17-42    
Rain from a small cloud seen by servant. 1Ki 18:41:46 Elisha’s servant shown the power of God. 2Ki 6:15-17 In both cases the eyes of the prophets’ servants needed to be opened.
Fed by an angel. 1Ki 19:5-9 Elisha feeds a hundred from little 2 Ki 4:42-44 Food provided from a divine source
The still small voice 1Ki 19:7-14    
Fire from heaven 2Ki 1:9-15 Elisha rebukes the children that insult him. 2Ki 2:23-25 Dealing with threat
Elijah is translated 2Ki 2:1-11 Elisha’s bones bring life 2 Ki 13:20-21 Power in death
  Elisha heals the waters of Jericho 2Ki 19:19-22  
  Elisha heals a Syrian general 2Ki 5:1-19  
  Elisha attached leprosy to Gehazi 2Ki 5:20-27  
  Elisha makes an Ax head float. 2Ki 6:1-7  
  Elisha defeats Syrian army 2Ki 6:8-23  
  Elisha prophecies ending of siege of Samaria. 2Ki 7:1-20  
  Elisha predicts Syrian atrocities. 2 Ki 8:7-15  
  Elisha prophecies defeat of Syria. 2Ki 13:14-19  


 

I found a good analysis of these two prophets here.   

 

The first thing to notice is that their key differences were suited to the different roles God wanted them to play in his plan. Elijah’s bold personality and dramatic miraculous deeds were needed to call the nation back to God from the brink of total apostasy. Elisha’s compassionate miracles for the common Israelite provided them a needed reminder of God’s faithfulness to them when they were faithful to him. Elijah and Elisha are examples of a wonderful truth taught all through the Bible: God has fashioned each of us for a unique role in his service

 

The second lesson flows directly from the first lesson. Whose life was more successful: Elijah’s or Elisha’s? It’s clear that most who lived during Elijah’s life and afterward regarded him as more successful than Elisha. Throughout his life, Elisha lived in Elijah’s shadow. Was he then less successful? Elisha asked to receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and God granted his request. Elisha never had the kind of public fame Elijah had–but his life was successful in the only eyes that really matter–the eyes of God.


How do we handle comparisons? Do we view others as “competition” and aspire to achieve the same if not more than what they have done? There is nothing wrong with healthy competition. But we need to remember that we each have a unique gift. 

 

I saw this on Pinterest.



 The lesson we learn from Elijah and Elisha is this: Success is faithfully fulfilling God’s role for you–not how you compare to others or how much approval you get from others. (www.xenos.org)


God will use our talents according to His will. Don’t keep looking around to see how you  are doing, look up and seek His favor. And as Elisha showed us, it’s okay to be bold and ask for a double portion of His Spirit. Who knows where He could take you? 

 

[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]

2 thoughts on “July 2, 2012 – A Double Portion

  1. Really good thoughts G&P. Comparison only breaks us down. God has a unique role for every single one of us and I will be the first to admit I am bad about comparing. I fight it all the time but I always go back to what they teach us at She Speaks about how if God’s plan is for our life to effect that one person, to that one it is everything. In a world that teaches us otherwise that is a hard concept, and even harder for us perfectionist, achievement based personality types 🙂 Great post friend!Today my reading was Proverbs 25-29. Here is my post on FB and my blog:Loved being back in Proverbs today. I marked too many to post, some of my favs were:Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. (26:20) This is very true. If you don’t put more wood on a fire it will die. In the same way when there is conflict, if we keep bringing it up it only keeps it going and makes it bigger. Lesson learned the hard way on this truth for me 🙂 As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person. (27:19) Ask God, “what does my heart reflect?” Does it reflect Him or the world, or my selfish ways and desires? I have to guard my heart because it will reflect who I am and what comes in will come out. What I harbor in it will begin to seep into everything, whether that be good or bad. Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy. (29:18) I think this one is a key to why we read the Word. We do run wild without God’s Word speaking into our hearts. We chose our own way, do our own thing and our nature is sinful, not to follow hard after God and His ways. When we come with an open heart God will reveal and He will give revelation. His instruction and ways will lead to happiness in our lives. If we try to follow our own ways it will lead to a life of pursuing things that will never satisfy. Proverbs 28:26 even says, “The one who trusts in himself is a fool, but the one who walks in wisdom will be safe.” Safe under God’s care. Happy because we are trusting and know His ways are best. That doesn’t mean hard things won’t come and bad things won’t happen, but through it all we will be safe and happy because we can trust our God. Every day I read “Jesus Calling” and today it said, “Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work my ways in your life. Pray about everything; then, leave the outcomes up to Me. Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you.” Trust in the Lord, we will be safe and happy, He is our protection (Prov 29:25).One other one God used to bring some conviction was 29:20, “Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Ouch! I am guilty of this and it dug in my heart some today.

  2. Brandee,Amen! Proverbs was hard for me to do, too. Too much of a good thing – the ones that really spoke to me were the mouth-related ones. Hmm, I wonder why? :)As I was thinking about Elijah and Elisha I also thought about the various stages in our lives. Sometimes we are the ones giving up something. Other times we are on the receiving end of someone's sacrifice. The trick is knowing which part God wants us to do and to follow through.   <3,G&P

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