ELIJAH the Tishbite
James 5:17-18 (NIV)
I heard about a group of British tourists, who were vacationing in Arizona, they saw a cowboy by the side of the road with his ear to the ground.
"What’s going on?" they asked him.
"Two horses, one grey and one chestnut, are pulling a wagon carrying
2 men," the cowboy said. "One man is wearing a red shirt and the other a black shirt. And they’re heading east."
"Wow, you can tell all that just by listening to the ground?" says one of the tourists.
"No" replies the cowboy. "They just ran over me."
- \\ POOR GUY WAS RUN OVER BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE.*
James 5:17-18 (NIV)
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James the brother of Jesus, said that Elijah was a man just like us. He was no more privileged than we could be if we would commit ourselves to God like he did.
I BELIEVE THAT WE COULD DO THINGS IN OUR DAY
THAT ARE AS AMAZING
AS THE THINGS THAT ELIJAH DID IN HIS DAY.
I. ELIJAH’S LIFE
a. There is too much in the Bible about Elijah for me to adequately cover all the things that Elijah did this morning.
b. The important thing is that Elijah’s life was tuned into God and he was radically obedient to whatever God told him to do.
c. We need to be Elijah’s to America today.
d. We need to speak God’s Words to the world we live in today.
IF YOU KNEW THAT TOMORROW WAS TO BE YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH, WHAT WOULD YOU PLAN TO DO TOMORROW?
MAYBE THE FIRST THING SOME OF US WOULD DO IS
PRAY THE SINNERS PRAYER.
(It’s Better to live prayed up and ready)
MAYBE SOME OF WOULD GO VISIT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES TO SAY GOOD BYE.
WE MIGHT GO PRESENT THE GOSPEL TO SOME FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES THAT NEED TO GET RIGHT WITH THE LORD.
THERE MAY BE SOME PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO GO SEE ONE LAST TIME.
WE MAY HAVE SOMEONE THAT WE HAVE BEEN GROOMING TO TAKE OUR PLACE WHEN WE ARE GONE THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO GIVE SOME LAST MINUTE ADVICE TO.
WE MAY WANT TO TEST THIS PERSON AND SEE IF THEY’RE READY TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE.
WELL TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT WHAT ELIJAH DID ON HIS LAST DAY ON EARTH.
I. ELIJAH’S LAST DAY. 2 Kings 2:1-14
2 Kings 2:1-14 (NIV)
Elijah Taken Up to Heaven
2 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 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.
3 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, “but do not speak of it.”
4 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.
5 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, “but do not speak of it.”
6 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.
7 Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.”
11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.
13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
WE HAVE JUST READ THE ACCOUNT OF ELIJAH’S LAST DAY ON EARTH.
WHAT HE DOES, WHERE HE GOES, AND WHAT HE SAYS ON THIS DAY IS CLOSELY TIED UP WITH HIS YOUNG APPRENTICE ELISHA.
ON ELIJAH'S LAST DAY HE GOES TO FOUR PLACES.
EACH PLACE HAS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE.
ON ELIJAH'S LAST DAY HE WAS PREPARING HIS APPRENTICE ELISHA.
I BELIEVE HE WAS TESTING ELISHA
THE FIRST PLACE THAT THEY VISITED WAS
GILGAL WAS A PLACE OF TESTIMONY (Joshua 4:19-20)
THERE WAS A MONUMENT IN GILGAL
THIS MONUMENT WAS MADE OUT OF 12 STONES THAT HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THE JORDAN RIVER WHEN THE ISRAELITES FIRST ENTERED THE PROMISED LAND.
GOD HAD DRIED UP THE JORDAN RIVER WHEN THE PRIESTS STEPPED INTO THE RIVER WITH THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY.
GILGAL WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT WAS
A PLACE OR RECOMMITMENT (Joshua 5:9)
DURING THE 40 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS
THE ISRAELITES HAD NOT CIRCUMCISED THEIR CHILDREN AS THEY HAD BEEN TOLD TO DO.
SO HERE AT GILGAL THEY RECOMMITTED
THEMSELVES TO GOD AND
TO OBEYING EVERYTHING GOD ASKED THEM TO DO.
GILGAL WAS A PLACE OF SANCTIFICATION
BEFORE WE CAN POSSESS GOD’S BLESSING WE MUST BE CLEAN IN HIS SIGHT.
WE CAN’T EXPECT GOD TO BLESS US IF WE'RE HARBORING SIN IN OUR LIVES.
ELIJAH OFFERED ELISHA THE OPPORTUNITY STAY AT GILGAL. BUT ELISHA WOULD NOT BE LEFT BEHIND.
BETHEL WAS THE NEXT PLACE THAT THEY VISITED
BETH MEANS HOUSE, AND EL MEANS GOD, SO BETH-EL MEANS HOUSE OF GOD.
JUST LIKE BETH-EL; BETH-LEHEM MEANS HOUSE OF BREAD.
BETH-EL WAS A PLACE OF PERSONAL REVELATION
BETH-EL IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT IS
THE PLACE WHERE JACOB STOPPED WHEN HE WAS RUNNING AWAY FROM ESAU.
IT WAS HERE THAT HE SAW THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN AND THE ANGELS GOING UP AND DOWN.
STANDING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRWAY
WAS THE LORD HIMSELF,
GOD REVEALED HIMSELF TO JACOB THERE AT BETH-EL
JACOB HAD HEARD HOW GOD HAD SPOKEN TO ABRAHAM BUT NOW GOD WAS SPEAKING TO HIM PERSONALLY.
EVERYONE OF US NEED TO HAVE OUR SPIRITUAL EARS OPEN.
WE NEED TO LISTEN CLOSELY TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY TO US. HE SPEAKS THROUGH THE BIBLE AND HE SPEAKS IN HIS STILL SMALL VOICE WITHIN OUR SPIRIT.
IT’S GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT
WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN SOMEONE ELSES LIFE,
BUT WE NEED TO HAVE GOD DO SOMETHING IN OUR LIVES TOO.
BETH-EL WAS A PLACE OF PROMISE
GOD PROMISED JACOB THAT HE WOULD GIVE
THE VERY SAME LAND THAT HE WAS STANDING ON
TO HIS DESCENDANTS.
GOD HAS MADE PROMISES TO US TOO.
HE SAID HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US.
HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR US
SO THAT WE CAN BE WITH HIM FOREVER.
HIS BIBLE IS CHOCKED FULL OF PROMISES FOR US TO CLAIM
THERE WAS A COMPANY OF PROPHETS AT BETH-EL.
ELIJAH OFFERED ELISHA THE OPPORTUNITY STAY AT BETHEL, BUT ELISHA WOULD NOT BE LEFT BEHIND.
SO ELIJAH AND ELISHA TRAVEL ON TO JERICO
JERICO WAS A PLACE OF VICTORY
THIS IS THE SAME JERICO THAT THE ISRAELITES MARCHED AROUND FOR SEVEN DAYS.
THIS IS THE SAME JERICO THAT WAS GIVEN TO THE ISRAELITES BECAUSE GOD HIMSELF
KNOCKED DOWN THEIR WALLS.
GOD FOUGHT THIS BATTLE FOR THEM
ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS BE OBEDIENT
JUST LIKE WHAT GOD SAID;
NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER,
BUT BY MY SPIRIT SAYS THE LORD GOD. Zechariah 4:6
IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE VICTORY IN OUR LIVES
THEN WE MUST TRUST IN GOD'S SPIRIT TO BRING IT ABOUT.
I'M TRUSTING GOD TO GIVE US VICTORY HERE IN ALBION.
THERE WAS A COMPANY OF PROPHETS AT JERICO.
ELIJAH OFFERED ELISHA THE OPPORTUNITY STAY AT JERICO, BUT ELISHA WOULD NOT BE LEFT BEHIND.
SO THEY MOVED ON TO THE JORDAN.
THE JORDAN WAS A PLACE OF PERSERVERING
(Genesis 32:10 & v24-32)
THIS IS THE PLACE THAT JACOB WRESTLED ALL N IGHT WITH THE ANGEL AND PREVAILED.
IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT JACOB WAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED.
HE WAS SANCTIFIED TO GOD.
HE WAS A DIFFERENT MAN,
HE WAS SO DETERMINED TO BE BLESSED BY GOD THAT HE REFUSED TO LET GO UNTIL HE RECEIVED THE BLESSING.
THE JORDAN WAS A PLACE OF PREVAILING
JACOB'S NAME WAS CHANGED TO ISRAEL.
AND ISRAEL MEANS HE STRUGGLES WITH GOD
THE JORDAN WAS A PLACE OF SEPERATION
THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE TWO AND A HALF TRIBES DECIDED TO NOT GO ON INTO THE PROMISED LAND.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO DON'T GO ALL THE WAY IN TO THE PROMISED LAND.
THEY ARE CONTENT TO GET UP TO THE BORDER AND THEN NOT CROSS OVER.
THERE ARE PEOPLE TODAY THAT HAVE A LITTLE RELIGION BUT DON'T COMMIT TO GO ALL THE WAY WITH GOD.
THEY HOPE THAT A LITTLE RELIGION WILL GET THEM INTO HEAVEN BUT THEY DON'T WANT THEIR RELIGION TO GET IN THE WAY OF THEIR DOING ANYTHING THEY WANT TO.
THERE WAS A COMPANY OF PROPHETS AT THE JORDAN.
ELIJAH STOPPED ASKING ELISHA IF HE WANTED TO STAY.
HE WENT OVER TO THE JORDAN AND STRUCK THE WATER WITH HIS ROLLED UP CLOAK.
THE WATER PARTED.
ELIJAH'S LAST REQUEST
USUALLY IT'S THE PERSON LEAVING THIS WORLD THAT GETS THEIR LAST REQUEST GRANTED.
BUT ELIJAH IS MORE INTO GIVING THAN INTO GETTING.
HE ASKS ELISHA WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU.
I AM SO IMPRESSED WITH ELISHA'S REQUEST
HE ASKED FOR A DOUBLE PORTION OF GOD'S ANOINTING POWER TO BE UPON HIM.
I PRAY FOR THAT TOO.
SOLOMON ASKED FOR WISDOM TO LEAD GOD'S PEOPLE
AND ELISHA ASKED FOR GOD'S ANOINTING SPIRIT TO REST ON HIM SO HE COULD BE GOD'S PROPHET TO GOD'S PEOPLE.
IT'S OBVIOUS THAT ELISHA WANTED MORE OF GOD
I THINK HE FELT SO INADEQUATE THAT HE FELT HE NEEDED A DOUBLE DIP IN GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT.
Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
WE NEED TO RECEIVE THE SPIRIT'S POWER.
WE NEED TO BECOME WITNESSES AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT JESUS IN ALBION, JACKSON AND TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.
JOHN 14:12 IS AN AMAZING VERSE
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
DO WE DARE TO PRAY FOR A DOUBLE PORTION OF YOUR SPIRIT O' GOD?
ELIJAH SAID THAT IF YOU SEE ME WHEN I'M TAKEN AWAY THEN YOUR REQUEST WILL BE GRANTED.
THEN CAME THE CHARIOT OF FIRE
AND THE HORSES OF FIRE.
ELIJAH WENT ONE WAY AND ELISHA WENT THE OTHER.
AND IMMEDIATELY THE WHIRLWIND TOOK ELIJAH
UP INTO THE AIR.
THEN ALL THAT WAS LEFT WAS ELISHA AND ELIJAH'S CLOAK LAYING THERE ON THE GROUND.
IT CAN BE HARD TO BE LEFT ALONE.
THERE COMES A TIME WHEN THE ONE WE HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH FOR YEARS IS TAKEN AWAY
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHICH WAY TO TURN.
WHEN WE ARE LEFT ALONE
AND WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THE THINGS
THAT OUR MATE DID CAN BE OVER WHELMING.
JUST LIKE THE COWBOY THAT WE MENTIONED EARLIER
WE FEEL LIKE WE HAVE BEEN RUN OVER
BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE.
BUT THERE ON THE GROUND WAS ELIJAH'S CLOAK.
THE SAME CLOAK THAT ELIJAH HAD USED TO PART THE WATER OF THE JORDAN RIVER.
WE HAVE TO PICK UP WHAT'S LEFT AND GO ON.
AND WE HAVE GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP US GET THROUGH EVEN THOUGH IT'S HARD.
IF WE WILL ASK GOD FOR A DOUBLE PORTION OF HIS SPIRIT HE WILL COME AND EMPOWER US TO BE
UNFORTUNATELY LOSS IS A PART OF LIFE.
HARDSHIPE ARE A PART OF LIFE.
DEATH IS A PART OF LIFE.
AND NO ONE IS IMMUNE TO THESE THINGS.
BUT AS CHRISTIANS WE HAVE GOD TO HELP US THROUGH.
HE CAN USE THESE HARD TIMES TO GROW YOU INTO A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER.
HE CAN USE THESE HARD TIMES TO TURN YOU INTO A SPIRITUAL POWERHOUSE.
SOMETIMES THE HARD TIMES
ARE CRITICAL FOR OUR GROWTH