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Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.”

May I introduce to you two of the
greatest men in the Bible? Their names are pronounced almost exactly a like. One
is named Elijah and the other is named Elisha. Elijah was the older of these
two men. He it was who was called by King Ahab during a famine a troublemaker.
Ahab blamed Elijah for causing this famine. Elijah pointed his finger to Ahab
and said I did not cause this famine you did!
Elijah was a great man, a
powerful man, and a man’s man. God deliver me from sissy men and their fish
handshakes. “Preacher don’t you love everybody? Yes, but I don’t’ like
everybody!” Ha! I do not want a sissy man shaking my hand and tingling. Elijah
was a powerful strong masculine man.
It was he who challenged the
prophets of Baal to a contest to see who could pray down fire from Heaven to
consume a sacrifice on an altar. It was he who told the prophets of Baal to put
their sacrifices on the altar and pray to their gods and if their gods sent
fire to consume their sacrifice then Elijah would worship their gods! If that
did not work then Elijah would pray to his God and if his god sent fire then
they would worship his God.
They put their sacrifice on the
altar and prayed for their god to answer but no god is going to answer except
the true and living God. So they prayed! Now I like Elijah – he made fun of
them! They cried, “Oh Baal, hear us, hear us, and send fire!” Elijah said, “Why
don’t you cry a little louder for he may be dear or he may be on a hunting
trip.”  Elijah said maybe he is
pursuing or hunting – he’ll be back!
The Scriptures says they were so
upset they actually cut themselves in frustration. Elijah steps up and says men
I am about to show you who the real God is! Elijah says, “I want you to pour
seven barrels of water on the sacrifice. Oh, don’t worry our God can send fire
on a wet sacrifice as well as a dry sacrifice.”
Elijah then prays after the water
is poured on the sacrifice and says show these men that thou art the living
God! The fire then came down and consumed the sacrifice. Elijah is a great man!
In our story there was a younger
man named Elisha. A very wise man and he said, “I’m going to hang around Elijah.
I’m going to watch him and I’m going attempt to emulate him in my life and in
my ministry.” Elijah and Elisha had been to a place called Gilgal and Elijah
decided to get to Bethel for the Lord told him to go to Bethel.
Elijah said to the younger man
Elisha, “You stay here and I’m going on to Bethel.” Elisha said, “As the Lord
liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee.” So, Elijah went to Bethel
and then Elijah said to Elisha, “I’m going to go to Jericho and you stay here.”
Elisha once again said, “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not
leave thee.” Every young man of God should hang around men of God and so it was
with Elisha at Bethel and at Jericho.
Then Elijah said, “I’ve got to go
to Jordan and Elisha you stay here.” Elisha said for the third time the same
thing, “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee.” So,
Elisha goes with Elijah!
Word got out that Elijah was
going to be taken up into Heaven. He was not going to die but a chariot would
take him up into Heaven. Elijah said to Elisha, “Is there anything I can do for
you before I go?” Elisha said, “I’d like a double portion of your spirit to
fall on me.” I like a young preacher like that! Elijah said, “If you see me go
up into Heaven and you catch my mantle then a double portion of my spirit will
fall on you. However, if you don’t see me leave it will not be so.”
So, Elisha stayed right beside
Elijah. He would not let Elijah out of his sight. Finally came the horses and
chariot from Heaven to take the man of God up into Heaven. Elisha saw it!
Elijah dropped his mantle and Elisha picked up his mantle. Elisha smote the
same Jordan River Elijah had smitten before and shouted, “Where is the Lord God
of Elijah?” That is a good question but I have a better one, “Where are the
Elijah’s of the Lord God?”
Elijah hung around Elijah the man
of God and Elisha received his mantle. He took the mantel and smote the Jordan
River and the Jordan River parted just like it did for Elijah. Though both were
great men Elisha did receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
performed seven miracles
performed fourteen miracles
Elijah was discouraged one time
for Jezebel said she would kill him. Elijah said oh not you will not for you’ll
have to catch me first. The truth is Elijah had no choice but run for it; for if he
had whipped her how would that look and if she whipped him he’d been destroyed
for sure!
Elijah became discouraged, but we
have no record Elisha ever became discouraged. Elijah had a better-known name but
the truth is Elisha was a better man. Elisha was more successful at fighting
idolatry than Elijah. Elisha never ran from a woman where as Elijah did.
The Scriptures tell us that a
whirlwind came, horses and a chariot came from Heaven and Elijah is taken to
lingering illness
No pain
that racked his body
No death
bed that lurked
No family
that lingered beside his bed as his body withered
No doctor
that attended
gradual decay
strength that waned
What a fortunate man! He was
caught up into Heaven! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Jesus came while you were
reading this article? What a deal for Elijah!
May I take you from this event to
another event?
A dark
A sick
prophet named Elisha
A gradual
decline in his health
A lingering
A slow
and painful death
earthly house of his tabernacle being dismantled bit by bit

Note the difference for here is
Elijah being caught up into Heaven and does not die. On the other hand here is
Elisha gradually wilting away to nothing physically. He suffers the pain of a
gradual death with his family watching him as he lingers and lingers and
lingers with his earth house being dismantled piece by piece.
Please forgive me but to me this
just does not make sense! I thought Elisha was the best Christian; best of the
two, and in my opinion deserved the blessings of God more than Elijah.
Elijah the less deserving was
caught up into Heaven without pain, suffering, lingering, and gradual decay.
Where as Elisha the strongest of the two, the better of the two, the more
productive of the two, the one greater used of God of the two, lingered, and
died a gradual death while being the lesser of the two escaped the sting of
death. The truth is I do not understand!
Elisha was visited on his
deathbed by King Joash and the king rubbed salt into his wounds by quoting “The
chariot of Israel and the horseman thereof”
reminding him of Elijah’s
translation to Heaven. He had to compare Elijah’s departure to his. He had seen
how Elijah had been taken to Heaven without death. Here Elisha is lingering,
suffering, agonizing, and pain as he slowly and painfully enters into the jaws
of death.
Elisha died and never knew why he
had to die and yet Elijah didn’t! Elisha died and never knew why he had to
suffer and Elijah didn’t! Elisha died and never knew why he had to gradually
wilt away and Elijah didn’t! It just does not make sense? Elisha was more
valuable to God and to man than Elijah. It doesn’t make sense nor does it seem
Shortly after Elisha’s death
there was an invasion by the Moabites. Elisha is dead and Elijah is caught up
into Heaven with Elisha dying a slow and lingering death. The Moabites are
attacking and Elisha is dead.  In
an emergency they took a dead man’s body to the grave of Elisha. They lowered
that dead man’s body down into the grave and when the dead man’s body touched
the body of Elisha the dead man came to life again. This dead man is living
because he touched the dead body of Elisha. I would imagine that up in Heaven
Elisha had a spell while Elijah just looked with awe!
If you compare a man being taken
to Heaven in a chariot to a man whose body can give life to a dead man there is
no comparison. Elisha did receive the biggest blessing because he continued to
give life to dead men.
However, Elisha did not know
about this until he went to Heaven. The truth is there is always a “why.” There
was a why but Elisha did not know about it until he died and until he went to
There is
a why
It is not
always revealed here
It is the
people who suffer the most who touch the most people
people who touch the most lives live the longest

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