dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


A Double Portion

"When they had crossed [the Jordan], Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so." (2 Kings 2:9-10)
I wonder what kind of answer Elijah expected. I wonder if Elisha thought for a while, or gave his answer immediately. I tend to think the latter, but either way, he made a startling request: a double portion of Elijah's spirit.

Think about this with me for a moment. It is a common thing to say, "I hope to be half the [you fill in the blank] that so-and-so is." It seems like a nice way to honor a person. It seems humble. But Elijah did not ask for a half portion--or even a full portion--of the spirit of Elijah. He asked for a double portion.

I think that what Elisha didn't ask for is significant. He didn't ask for a double portion of Elijah's power, nor to be able to make twice Elijah's accomplishments. Elijah's power was from God, and Elisha did receive power--maybe even a double portion, if the number of miracles that 2 Kings records is an indication. But Elisha was not interested in the mere outward manifestation of the hand of God.

Elisha longed for the hand of God in his life. He wanted a passion for the Lord. And so he set his eyes on the Lord, not, ultimately, on Elijah.

That's the other thing I've been pondering: by asking for a double portion of Elijah's spirit, Elisha was indicating that Elijah was not his standard. Role models are good, but when our eyes are fixed on role models to the point that their model becomes our standard, our eyes are no longer on the Lord.

How could Elisha ask Elijah for a double portion of his spirit? A man might go to one he admires and say, "Give me some of what you have." But he does not go to him and say, "Give me more than what you have." Elisha would not live his life trying to "be like Elijah," or simply trying to follow in Elijah's footsteps. God gave the spirit of Elijah. And God could give Elisha an even greater measure.

So what about us? How can I learn from this story? How can you?

Do you read of Jeremiah's boldness in speaking the truth, and think, "That's nice. Maybe God could help me to be a little bit more bold." Do you ask--not just to be more bold, but to be that bold?

Do you look at David's heart for God and say, "Gee, I wish I were a bit more like David"? Or do you say, "Lord, make me a man after your own heart"?

Do you look at the Gospel-centered passion of the apostle Paul and wish that you had a little bit of it? Or do you ask God to give you that same great Gospel passion?

Or more. Dare you ask?

Labels: ,


Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Dude, that's an excellent observation! Thanks for taking the time to write it down!

Many Yowling Rats' Xylophones Ring Without Bothering Iguanas

5/06/2008 10:22 PM

Blogger The Stranger said...

Many thanks Sonic. This came at the correct time. ^_^

5/07/2008 11:29 AM

Blogger Megan said...

That's a great point Jason.
And I wonder how many times I have said to God, 'Give me what he's having... oh and make it a double.'

I liked you point here:
But Elisha was not interested in the mere outward manifestation of the hand of God.

Elisha longed for the hand of God in his life. He wanted a passion for the Lord.

Oh that I would have the same wisdom in my requests.

5/08/2008 8:28 AM

Blogger Jason said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone.

There are lots of times that I've been journaling during my devotions about things that I'm learning by reading the Word and thought, "That might make a good blog post." But turning a journal entry into a post always takes more time than I expect, so I often don't.

So it's good to know that you found this meaningful; it makes spending the necessary time worthwhile.

This story--one that I "know" so well already--really hit me. But I want the impact to be lasting. Next time you see me, ask me if it's still impacting the way I pray.

5/08/2008 9:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great insight. It's cool to see God's active Word at work.

5/31/2008 12:12 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home