The Bible is so weird. A prophet performs miracles by slapping his coat on the water, is taken away from earth by a chariot of fire and his successor has his bullies mauled by bears. (Sensitivity to male pattern baldness is timeless, apparently.) So weird.
The Lord and Elijah’s spirit settles on Elisha, making him a particular powerful prophet. My commentary points out that him tearing off his garments not only shows respect and mourning to his mentor, but is symbolic of him shedding his old self. He now bears the image of the Lord through inheriting Elijah’s spirit. Sound familiar? When we come into relationship with God, we shed our old selves and inherit the Holy Spirit, bearing Christ’s image.
Reading the last few verses of chapter 2 got me thinking. How seriously do I take this? A group of disrespectful boys were viciously killed for rejecting the Lord’s power and authority (in Israel at the time, this crime was punishable by death). I’m uncomfortable with that. Mostly because I live in a culture, more specifically a part of the country, where God’s power is constantly mocked. His authority is greatly rejected. How many times have I defended it?
Christ calls us to meekness, not a defensive spirit. But I know (in myself), what it looks like when I protect my own image instead of protecting his. Join me this morning in asking God when I have been guilty of this and repenting.