A DOUBLE PORTION

"And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?' Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.' So he said, ‘You have asked a hard thing'" (2 Kings 2:9, NKJV).

What a mighty prophet was Elijah! Not only was he a great worker of miracles in an age when miracles were exceedingly rare, he had the rare privilege of being translated into heaven without experiencing death (2 Kgs 2:1) -- something experienced by only one other person, Enoch (Gen 5:22-24; Heb 11:5). He also appeared with Moses in glory on the mount of transfiguration, speaking with Jesus about the death He would accomplish (Lk 9:30-31).

Among his miracles, these are recorded. 1- The increase of the oil and meal of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:14-16). 2- Raising the dead son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:17-23). 3- Causes rain in abundance after a great drought (1 Kgs 18:41-45). 4- Called down fire on the water soaked sacrifice in his contest with the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:24-39). 5- Calls down fire on the soldiers of Ahaziah (2 Kgs 1:10-12). 6- The dividing of the Jordan River (2 Kgs 2:8).

The understudy of this mighty prophet was Elisha, whom Elijah was commanded to anoint as his replacement (1 Kgs 19:16). In obedience to the Lord, Elijah called Elisha into the prophetic ministry, throwing his mantel upon him while he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen (1 Kgs 19:19-21). After attending to some personal matters, Elisha then followed Elijah, ministering to him.

In our text, Elisha was with Elijah when he was getting ready to depart from this world in a fiery chariot. Although Elijah asked Elisha to remain behind, he refused to do so, saying, "As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee" (2 Kgs 2:6). As they came to the river Jordan, and in the sight of fifty men of the sons of the prophets who stood afar off, Elijah "took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground" (2 Kgs 2:8).

Having crossed over, Elijah asked Elisha, "What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elijah was no ordinary man, and it would certainly have been out of order to ask for some ordinary thing for him. What will Elisha request? His response will reveal the greatness of his heart and his devotion to God. His words are challenging. "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me" (NKJV). Never before had there been a prophet like Elijah, yet Elisha was bold enough to ask for a double portion of his spirit.

Elijah knew the request was great. Even he confessed, "You have asked a hard thing."  Notwithstanding, because he knew God, and was a man of great faith, he said Elisha's request would be answered if he saw Elijah being taken from him.

The two "continued on and talked," when suddenly their conversation was interrupted by the appearance of "a chariot of fire" drawn by "horses of fire," separating the two of them. In the sight of Elisha, "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." "And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!'" (vs 11-12).

Just as Elijah divided the Jordan when they came over, so Elisha divided it when he went back alone (vs 13-15). Thus began his mighty ministry as Elijah's replacement. His miracles are also recorded. 1- Divided the Jordan river (2 Kgs 2:14). 2- Purifying the waters of Jericho with salt (2 Kgs 2:19-22). 3- Increasing the widow's oil (2 Kgs 4:1-7). 4- Raising the dead son of the Shunammite (2 Kgs 4:18-24). 5- Healing the poisoned pottage, or stew of vegetables (2 Kgs 4:38-41). 6- Increasing bread for feeding 100 men (2 Kgs 4:42-22). 7- Healing Naaman the leper (2 Kgs 5:1-7). 8- Sends leprosy upon Gehazi (2 Kgs 5:26-27). 9- Makes an iron axe head swim (2 Kgs 6:6). 10- Reveals the secret counsel of the king of Syria (2 Kgs 6:12). 11- Opens the yes of his servant to see the hosts of Israel (2 Kgs 6:17). 12- Brings blindness on the army of Syria (2 Kgs 6:18). A double portion! Exactly twice as many miracles as are recorded for Elijah!

We are living in days when a "double portion" is needed. Just as in Elijah's day, there appear to be very few great men of God. Elisha did not ask a double portion of the spirit of an average man – not just one of the prophets. He found the greatest of all prophets in his time, and dared to ask a double portion of his spirit.

If you are going to seek a double portion, seek it from a person who excels in God's sight. I challenge you to find the person you value as being closer to God than any other you know. Seek a double portion of that person's spirit! Elisha did, why not you?

PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus, grant me grace to be one in whom a double portion of Your Spirit can reside.

-- Monday: FAITH REASONS DIFFERENTLY --