Elisha Succeeds Elijah

Read Time: 10 Minutes

This transfer of leadership from Elijah to Elisha is awe-inspiring. Elisha had been in training under Elijah 10 years. He has seen God deliver His people and reject the idol worshippers. He has seen the faithful helped and the unfaithful perish. Now it is time for Elijah to die and Elisha to take over. This is a tough time for sure. It is time for Elisha to step up and walk in Elijah's shoes and he is going to lose his mentor and master. Even though there were Believers remaining in Israel, the king of Israel was evil (all of them were) and it affected the entire nation.

In the context of time Elisha succeeds Elijah during the reign of Jehoshaphat King of Judah and Ahazaiah son of Ahab reigned over Israel which is where Elijah and Elisha lived (in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat, I Kings 22:40, 51). Ahazaiah only reigned two years. Like his father, Ahazaiah worshipped idols and did evil in the eyes of the Lord. (22:52, 53) He only lasted two years, he fell through a lattice in his upper chamber and was injured. He then inquired of the false god Ekron if he was going to live. Because of this Elijah told him that the consequence was death. (II Kings 1) The next King in Israel is Jehoram who begins to reign in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat, about 800 BC.

God knows that Elisha has a difficult job ahead of him so he works with him to build his confidence and believing. Elisha stays committed to Elijah to the very end, which he knew was soon.

II Kings 2
:1 And it came to pass,
    when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind,
    that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
            [in the Jordan valley north of the dead sea]
:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha,
        Tarry here, I pray thee;
            for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel.
    And Elisha said unto him,
        As the LORD liveth,
        and as thy soul liveth,
        I will not leave thee.
    So they went down to Bethel.
:3 And the sons of the prophets
        that were at Bethel
    came forth to Elisha, and said unto him,
        Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?
    And he said,
        Yea, I know it;
        hold ye your peace.
:4 And Elijah said unto him,
        Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee;
            for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. [only a few miles away]
    And he said,
        As the LORD liveth,
        and as thy soul liveth,
        I will not leave thee.
    So they came to Jericho.
:5 And the sons of the prophets
        that were at Jericho
    came to Elisha, and said unto him,
        Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?
    And he answered,
        Yea, I know it
        hold ye your peace.
:6 And Elijah said unto him,
        Tarry, I pray thee, here;
            for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. [about 6 miles or 8 km away]
    And he said,
        As the LORD liveth,
        and as thy soul liveth,
        I will not leave thee.
    And they two went on.
:7 And fifty men
        of the sons of the prophets
    went, and stood to view afar off:
    and they two stood by Jordan.
:8 And Elijah took his mantle,
    and wrapped it together,
    and smote the waters,
    and they were divided hither and thither, [impressive]
        so that they two went over on dry ground.
:9 And it came to pass,
        when they were gone over,
    that Elijah said unto Elisha,
        Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.
    And Elisha said,
        I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
:10 And he said,
        Thou hast asked a hard thing:
        nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee,
        it shall be so unto thee;
        but if not,
        it shall not be so.
:11 And it came to pass,
        as they still went on, and talked,
    that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire,
        and horses of fire,
    and parted them both asunder;
    and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried,
        My father, my father,
        the chariot of Israel,
        and the horsemen thereof.
    And he saw him no more:
    and he took hold of his own clothes,
    and rent them in two pieces.
:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him,
    and went back,
    and stood by the bank of Jordan;
:14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him,
    and smote the waters, and said,
        Where is the LORD God of Elijah?
    and when he also had smitten the waters,
    they parted hither and thither:
    and Elisha went over.

Look what God has done for Elisha. Up until this point the Word does not record any time where Elisha has performed a miracle. It is now time for Elisha to walk with God and be Israel's spiritual leader. God honors Elisha and gives him the go ahead to part the waters. This also genders respect from the sons of the prophets who witness it.

:15 And when the sons of the prophets
        which were to view at Jericho saw him,
    they said,
        The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.
    And they came to meet him,
    and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
:16 And they said unto him,
        Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men;
        let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master:
            lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up,
            and cast him upon some mountain,
            or into some valley.
    And he [Elisha] said,
        Ye shall not send.
:17 And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said,
    They sent therefore fifty men;
    and they sought three days,
    but found him not.
:18 And when they came again to him,
        (for he tarried at Jericho,)
    he said unto them,
        Did I not say unto you, Go not?

Even though they gave him reverence and said the spirit of Elijah was on Elisha and believed he could do what Elijah did they didn't quite believe his words. Elisha knew Elijah was gone. When they didn't find him that was more reason to believe Elisha was a true prophet. So now they are bold and ask for help:

:19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha,
        Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant,
            as my lord seeth:
        but the water is naught,
        and the ground barren.
:20 And he said,
        Bring me a new cruse,
        and put salt therein.
    And they brought it to him.
:21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters,
    and cast the salt in there, and said,
        Thus saith the LORD,
            I have healed these waters;
            there shall not be from thence any more death
                or barren land.
:22 So the waters were healed unto this day,
    according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

How did Elisha know to put salt in the water? Was it really the salt that healed the waters? If you throw salt in stagnant water is it going to make it sweet? God told Elisha what to do and the actions were for their believing. By the power of God that rests on Elisha he performed this miracle.

By the power of God that resides in us we can do miracles. God worked with Elisha so that he could walk and talk for Him and be a witness among Israel. God can still work with us so that we may walk and talk with Him and be a witness today. The wisdom of God is there for us. The power of God is there for us.

Ephesians 1
:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Father of glory,
    may give unto you the spirit of wisdom
        and revelation
    in the knowledge of him:

This must be available!

:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
    that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
    and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

We have an inheritance, we are joint heirs with Christ.

:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power
        to us-ward who believe,
    according to the working of his mighty power,

This same power is the power of God. Look at what this same power did:

:20   Which he wrought in Christ,
        when he raised him from the dead,
        and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
:21   Far above all principality,
        and power,
        and might,
        and dominion,
        and every name that is named,
            not only in this world,
            but also in that which is to come:

This same power in us gives us power over the principality and powers of our adversary the devil. We have power over his dominion, he is defeated.

:22   And hath put all things under his feet,
        and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
:23       Which is his body,
            the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

We are filled with power of God-it is Christ in us the hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27). As we see God work with His people in the Old Testament it is inspiring. That same power resides in us. We must know what is available and how to receive and what to do with it. He has given us the wherewithal to live abundantly walking in His power. It is up to us to walk. It is up to us to take action. It is up to us to walk and talk with Him, to pray together believing, to give thanks and glorify God at every opportunity. It is up to us manifest power from on high. How do I manifest power from on High? Check out I Corinthians 12.

Other Resources on Manifesting Holy Spirit:

Speaking in Tongues by Rev. Robert Lindfelt