Elijah, the Lord’s prophet, is now preparing to pass his mantle to Elisha. Elijah’s reputation as the Lord’s prophet was almost too much for another to try and measure up to. However, Elijah called out unto Elisha, and Elisha answered that call. When Elijah asked what he could do for his pupil, Elisha asked for something that Elijah considered difficult. Stipulations in place, it was granted to Elisha if he complied. That he did (2:1-12). Elisha received a “double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2:9), and the remainder of the chapter illustrates Elisha as work serving the Lord and His people (2:13-25).
Application: It is tremendously difficult to follow in the steps of another when the one replaced has become an icon of sorts. Yet, it has to be done. What kind of person can do this? One who does not look to self to compensate for inadequacies in himself; rather, he looks to God to be able to do the task before him (or her). Can you imagine following King David? For preachers it can be a rather difficult thing to follow a man who was in a singular location for a period of time; that man could very well be an “icon” to the congregation and the community. How can the next man bear up under that? He needs to be himself and not someone else. He needs to accentuate his abilities and improve on those that he feels is lacking. He needs to not allow himself (or others) to compare with the previous servant. He needs to put his nose to the grind and do the Lord’s work. He needs to trust the Lord.