When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. 2 Kings 2:1-6
“As Elijah and his successor Elisha set out on their final journey together, Elijah makes three attempts at Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho to persuade Elisha to leave him. In the past he had left another servant at Beersheba when he hoped to die. But Elisha refused to leave him, each time swearing an oath to to that effect.
Three attempts were enough, and Elijah did not try to stop Elisha from accompanying him again. The companies of prophets whom they met as they journeyed warned Elisha of what was coming, but he already knew it. He was a faithful servant to his master and stayed with him to the very end. Those who continue to the end enjoy greater privileges and blessings.”
Musa Gotom (Nigeria) in “2 Kings” in Africa Bible Commentary, Tokunboh Adeyemo, General Editor (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 444.
There’s a valuable lesson here for anyone who wants to grow in generosity.
The more we participate with God’s workers in his work, like Elisha journeyed with Elijah, the more privileges and blessings we will experience.
It’s like getting a front row seat in the action of watching God’s kingdom come on earth.
But be ready. If we choose this path, people who are on our same team (the company of the prophets) will do everything they can to discourage us. They will try to talk us out of it.
Don’t go the distance. Don’t take risks. Sound familiar?
The Christian life is a journey of radical obedience that counts the cost and pays the price. It sacrifices everything and, in so doing, gains the whole world.
Or in Elisha’s case, gains a double portion of the blessings of Elijah!