Reading through the Bible together

Monday, February 25, 2013

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This chapter tells us that Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot surrounded by a company of fiery angels.  When Elisha saw this he fell to his knees and tore his clothing, signifying that “we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). In contrast with the glory of the heavenly escort, he felt overwhelmed by a sense of his own unworthiness. But after his view of the chariot and angels had faded away, Elisha picked up the fallen mantle of his predecessor and as he did so, he received a double portion of the spirit and power of Elijah that he had asked for. What do we do when we accept the righteousness of Christ? We admit that we’re sinful, that “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” and put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

           
What else was the condition by which Elisha would receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit that he had asked for? He had to see Elijah ascend. Scripture says, “Elisha saw it” (2 Kings 2:12).  The disciples also saw Jesus ascend into the clouds. Of what did those clouds consist? Psalm 104:3 says, “He…makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” All Bibles say, “Angels, clouds, fire, chariot.” Those billows of light the disciples saw receiving Jesus were angels.  In the Old Testament, writers referred to them as chariots and horses of fire. Angels are not galloping around on horses as they go to and from the earth. In Bible times, that was the fastest and most powerful mode of transportation that they had—so it was an understandable symbol for them.  It was a band of angels that came to take Elijah up, and it was also a shining band of angels that came to receive Jesus.  Elisha saw Elijah ascend to heaven and he was given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The apostles saw Jesus ascend to heaven and soon afterward they were anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit represented by tongues of fire


Dear Lord, help us keep our eyes fixed on You and may the primary prayer of our souls be, “let a double portion of Your Spirit fall on us.”

 

Doug Batchelor

Senior Pastor

Sacramento Central Church