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“A Double Portion of Elijah's Spirit”
by Morning Meditation   
December 2nd, 2008

There is one incident forever associated with the translation of Elijah, which, though it largely concerns his friend and successor, is so characteristic of the great prophet himself that we must not pass it over without some notice. It is deeply significant. We are told that, after they had passed the Jordan, the two friends went on and talked. What sublime themes must have engaged them, standing as they did on the very confines of heaven and in the vestibule of eternity. Israel's apostasy and approaching doom; the ministry just closing, with its solemn warnings; the outlook toward the work upon which Elisha was preparing to enter -- these and cognate subjects must have occupied them.

It was in the course of this conversation that "Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee" (2 Kings 2:9). It was a very wide door flung open by the elder to his younger friend. And at first we are surprised to think that Elijah could offer to supply anything for which Elisha asked. Is not this rather the prerogative of God? Surely God alone can do whatsoever we desire when we pray, and even He is limited by the fulfillment, on our part, of certain essential conditions. But we must remember that Elijah was intimately familiar with the mind and heart of his brother. It was not in vain that they had spent those years of ministry together. It was with the object of testing the spirit of his friend that the departing prophet had urged him again and again to leave him. And it was only when Elisha had stood the test with such unwavering resolution that Elijah was able to give him this carte blanche . He knew that Elisha would ask nothing for which he could not exercise his mighty faith, or which God could not and would not bestow. He was only a man of like passions with ourselves, cast in the ordinary mold of human nature but, by close and intimate communion with God, he had reached such a pitch of holy boldness that the very keys of spiritual blessing seemed put into his hand so that he might dispense to kindred spirits the priceless gifts of God. Why should not we strive after and attain similar precious faith? -F. B. Meyer

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