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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they went down to Bethel.”—2 Kings 2:2 (NKJV)
If you have a Facebook account, take a look at your friends list. How many of them could you call in the middle of the night? And of those, who would even answer your call?
Indeed, the idea of friendship and the essential element of constancy are visible throughout Scripture. We see it in the close bond between David and Jonathan, between Ruth and Naomi, and in the above verse we see it in the prophets Elijah and his protégé, Elisha. The picture of their brotherhood is just a whisper in the pages of Kings, yet speaks volumes to the depth, breadth, and meaning of our relationship with Jesus and fellowship within His church.
For one, Elijah’s core complaint was that he was “alone.” God’s solution was to bring him a companion. Not just to train up, but to provide hope in a time of disparaging gloom and a promise of justice in a time of immorality. Jesus is this promise and justice for us, and He is our friend (John 15:14). What’s more, as the body of Christ, we are in league with like-minded believers who we gladly partner with for fellowship in the gospel (Philippians 1:5).
Secondly, people weren’t exactly lining up to walk alongside Elijah, for his calling was arduous and full of sorrow. Yet Elisha dropped everything—literally—to follow this man of God. Jesus, the matchless Man of Sorrows, calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). In the outreach of the church, for the sake of the gospel, we should endeavor to stand united, undivided, and unwavering. To answer any call in the middle of the night.
We are not privy to the details of their relationship. The next scene is Elijah being taken up in a whirlwind with Elisha looking on. What he had witnessed in those days with his mentor was evident in his own ministry. Next to Jesus, Elisha has the honor of performing more miracles than any other prophet. His time was well spent. Our time with Jesus and in fellowship with the church is also well spent and evidenced as we partake of His grace and extend it while abiding in the constancy of Christ.
DIG: Examine the Book of Proverbs and see what the Holy Spirit impresses upon you about friends (start with 18:24).
DISCOVER: Examine yourself. Are you emulating the call Christ has on your life in your constancy and commitment to fellowship and in your relationship with Him?
DISPLAY: Apply what you have learned and ask God to present you with opportunities to extend a hand of grace. Be prepared for His mantel to fall on you.
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Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.