Sunday, March 20, 2016

March 20 - 2 Kings 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Elijah was God's main spokesperson (prophet), and Elisha had been appointed Elijah's successor.
  • The "company of the prophets" (verse 3) was kind of like a school for people who wanted to stay faithful to God and proclaim His word to others.
  • Throughout this chapter (and much of the Bible) we see God doing the kind of miracles we don't see a lot of today. Part of the reason is that they did not have the Bible. Today a person can authenticate their message is truly from God by showing how it comes from and jives with the Bible. Back then miracles were how God would authenticate that someone truly represented Him.
  • Elisha asks for a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit (verse 9). He didn't mean that he wanted to be better or more powerful than Elisha. He just wanted to serve and accomplish as much for God as he possibly could.
  • God takes Elijah up to Heaven without him first experiencing death (11-12). This is the second time God does this, the first being with a man named Enoch (see Genesis 5:24). Why did God do this for them? We don't really know.
  • Elijah starts doing miracles, revealing that God has blessed him with Elijah's "spirit."
  • The incident in verses 23-25 goes beyond just some kids making fun of a guy for being bald. The boys live in Bethel, the center of idolatry at the time. They know Elisha represents God. So their mocking was probably intended as disdain for God.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Elisha asks for a double portion of God's Spirit. His motives are not power or fame for himself; he simply wants to do as much for God as he can. That should be our motive as well. Our passion should be for God and the advance of His Kingdom - that more and more people will experience His love and submit to His leadership and bring the ways of Heaven to earth. Why? Because ultimately that's all that will matter. God is what matters most, and we should give our lives to what will last for all eternity.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Elisha didn't just wish for the ability to do great things for God, he asked for it. The Bible says in James 4:2-3, "Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong - you want only what will give you pleasure."
    • Why don't you take a moment to pray about your "wants"? What is it you really want? Is your desire to serve God and help bring His love and His ways to this world?
    • And pray about your motives - why do you want what you want?
    • And then, asking God to help make your motives pure, make that Elisha kind of ask - "God, please give me a double portion of your spirit, so I can do great things for you to bring you great glory."