2 Kings 2:14
Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the waters. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. And when he had struck the waters, they parted to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over.
Sermons
Calling Upon the God of AnotherDaniel Baker.2 Kings 2:14
Elijah's GodCharles Cross.2 Kings 2:14
Elijah's GodHomilist2 Kings 2:14
God's Attractiveness as Seen in the Devout LifeJ. Robertson.2 Kings 2:14
Good Men, Witness of God2 Kings 2:14
Man's Cry and God's ResponseHomilist2 Kings 2:14
Power, or One's Might for DutyW. Hoyt, D. D.2 Kings 2:14
The Lord God of ElijahE. H. Evans.2 Kings 2:14
The Prophet as Incarnating the DivineJ. Matthews.2 Kings 2:14
Where is the Lord God of Elijah?Dinsdale T. Young.2 Kings 2:14
The Departure of Good MenD. Thomas 2 Kings 2:1-14
Elijah TranslatedH. Crosby, D. D.2 Kings 2:1-15
Elijah TranslatedMonday Club Sermons2 Kings 2:1-15
Elisha's Love for ElijahL. A. Banks, D. D.2 Kings 2:1-15
EvensongF. B. Meyer, B. A.2 Kings 2:1-15
Life's EventideF. S. Webster, M. A.2 Kings 2:1-15
The Ascension of ElijahCanon Hutchings, M. A.2 Kings 2:1-15
The Christian a Native of HeavenAlex. Maclaren, D. D.2 Kings 2:1-15
The Departure of Good MenHomilist2 Kings 2:1-15
The Translation of ElijahJ. Parker, D. D.2 Kings 2:1-15
Elijah Taken UpJ. Orr 2 Kings 2:7-15
The Mantle of ElijahL. A. Banks, D. D.2 Kings 2:13-14
The Prophet's MantleAlex. Whyte, D. D.2 Kings 2:13-14
The Beginning of Elisha's WorkC.H. Irwin 2 Kings 2:13-18

I. DIVINE POWER TESTED. Elisha wanted a token that God's presence and power were with him. To obtain this he used Elijah's mantle as he had seen Elijah use it. He smote the waters, and said, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" We learn from this a twofold lesson.

1. The best way to prove the power of Divine grace is to exercise the gifts we have. "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." We shall not accomplish much in the world if we stand gazing up into heaven.

"We may not make this world a paradise
By walking it together with clasped hands."

2. All effort should be accompanied by prayer. Elisha knew that the mantle of Elijah was of little use, unless the Lord God of Elijah was with him. "Apostolical succession" profits little if there be not also the baptism of the Holy Ghost. If we would succeed in our business, we must look for the Divine guidance, help, and blessing. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."

II. THE DIVINE PRESENCE MANIFESTED. "When he had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over." If we had faith to undertake great things for God, then we might expect great things from God. Are we attempting as much as we might for our Lord? Are we putting his Divine promises and power to the test? Have we not his own assurance, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world"? Why should our efforts be so feeble, when we have all the resources of Divine grace at our disposal? The Divine presence was manifest not only to Elisha himself, but to the sons of the prophets also. When they saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha." If we are walking with God, abiding in Christ, the evidence of it will soon be manifest in our lives.

III. DIVINE PURPOSES DOUBTED. Although, as we have seen above, the sons of the prophets knew that Elijah was to be taken from them, yet they were slow to believe in his actual removal. They asked Elisha's permission to send fifty strong men to seek for Elijah, "lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley." Elisha knew how vain it was, and forbade an expedition so futile. But in response to their urgent and repeated entreaties he gave them permission to send. After the exploring party had been searching for Elijah for three days in vain, they at length gave up the quest and returned to Jericho. So the human heart is ever reluctant to submit to God's purposes. Because we cannot see the meaning of some good man's removal, we think it was ill-timed. Yet God's work does not depend upon the human instruments whom he uses. No doubt there is something beautiful and pathetic about this affection of these young men for their old teacher. But when he was gone, why spend their time in profitless brooding over his loss, instead of showing his spirit, and fulfilling his desires by throwing themselves heartily into their work under Elisha? The Church of Christ best shows its regard for the workers of the past and for their work, not by standing still where they have left off, but by carrying forward and improving the work they have begun. There are ever-new conditions of life opening up, and these must be considered as well as the memories of the past. - C.H.I







Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
I. THE GOD OF ELIJAH CALLS HIS SERVANTS TO TASKS IMPOSSIBLE TO UNAIDED HUMAN STRENGTH. God's servants in all ages are called to dare and do the impossible. In the common duties of our life we move constantly in that region. To conquer eight hundred and fifty priests of Baal was great; to conquer eight hundred and fifty thousand sinful influences assailing us week by week is as great. Elijah's energy exhibited the normal state of man's faculties inspired by God. We may share the same strength and achieve heroic things for Christ. The God of Elijah is with us, and will qualify us if we are but entirely consecrated to Him.

II. THE GOD OF ELIJAH IS HE WHO MAKES THE OPPOSITES OF LIFE CONSPIRE FOR THE GOOD OF HIS SERVANTS. To the view of a shallow philosophy the universe is made up of opposite and contradictory forces that cannot be reconciled. The faith that declares, "As the Lord liveth before whom I stand," sees in that light the contradictions of life harmonised in the one purpose of infinite goodness. So it was in the life of Elijah. There is the law of heredity, and the law of freedom and spontaneity. Faith unites and utilises both in the production of a new and original character. There is alternation in Providence. The years of plenty are followed by years of famine. Faith draws from each special benefit. Prosperity nurtured his inner life. Famine gave him his opportunity to drive home his lessons. John Bright and the Irish Famine in Free Trade Agitation. The faithless and faithful in society. The storm and the "still small voice." His historic career, — his posthumous influence. Faith united all these facts, and made them tributary to his work.

III. THE GOD OF ELIJAH REQUIRES US TO LIMIT AND SUPPRESS ALL THAT MAY HINDER OUR ONE LIFE-PURPOSE. He was not aesthetic, but he won on Carmel.

IV. IN THE GOD OF ELIJAH WE SEE REVEALED THE LIMITLESS PORTION OF THE GOOD. He satisfied Elijah. Surely He will suffice for us!

V. THE GOD OF ELIJAH IS THE STRENGTH OF THE HUMBLER PROPHET.

VI. THE GOD OF ELIJAH LOVES TO HAVE HIS GOODNESS, WISDOM, POWER, MIRRORED IN HIS SERVANTS' LIVES. Our knowledge is to reflect His thought, our benevolence His love, our strength His might. At the beginning of all enterprises, in contact with corrupt states of society, when we lament fallen heroes, when we face the difficult, we should catch the spirit of Elisha, and go on from conquering to conquer.

(J. Matthews.)

It was a great thing when we could get people to ask questions about God. Philosophers talked a great deal about "the God-consciousness." Here was a man who had the "God-consciousness" wondrously developed. This man Elisha, when he asked this question, was not simply solicitous about God in general — he wanted a particular type of God. He wanted not any god nor every god, not any aspect of the tree God, but the Lord God of Elijah. But was the Lord God of Elijah different from the god of other people? The implicit doctrine of this question seemed to be that He was. Did God reveal Himself in a hundred different ways through a hundred different personalities? He did, and that was the great fact that appeared in the text. It must be so, for God was infinite. Most people would dismiss this statement as a foolish platitude. But if we realised what it meant it would be obvious that God transcended intellectual conception. Let us not be distressed because we cannot understand God. Nobody could understand Him. As one of the greatest modern theologians had said, "It takes a God to understand God." In the ultimate sense no man could by searching find out God. Therefore, if we had an infinite God, He must be capable of expressing Himself in a hundred, in a thousand, ay, in ten thousand different ways. "Every man painted his own picture of God," and every man must be warranted in doing so if God was infinite. One individual saw God from a certain angle, another individual saw Him from a different one; different churches saw Him from different standpoints; but all were right, for God was infinite. Elisha wanted the type of God he had seen manifested in Elijah. It was a glorious doctrine, this doctrine that God revealed Himself through personality. Jesus Christ was in the supreme sense what every man is in a lesser sense — God's Word. A word was the manifestation of a man. What a grand opinion we should have of some people if they never opened their mouth! When we spoke a word we were known; a word was the expression of a personality. And Jesus Christ came down to this earth to articulate God to man. And what Christ did supremely every believer did in a lesser degree. Elisha had got all his theology from Elijah. Elijah never wrote a word; he left no volume of theology behind him, but there was no prophet who had made such a permanent impression on Israel and on the world. He lived his theology, and he gave such a revelation of God to his people that when he was gone they said, "Where is the God of Elijah? — the God of Elijah for me." Some of us had gathered most of our conception of God from some noble personality. That was our aim in life as believers to give a theology to men, to live a theology before men. Infidelity could answer argument, but argument wag no answer to life. What sort of a God was the God of Elijah — God as represented in the teachings, and work, and life of Elijah? He was a God of wondrous power. We wanted a God of that sort to-day. The God of Elijah was a big God. What a little God some people had. Some people had a very shrivelled theology nowadays. People were doing to-day what the Israelites of olden times were charged with doing — they were limiting the High One of Israel, limiting the Illimitable. What a ghastly irony! There were people who were turning nature into a dungeon, imprisoning God in His own creation, chaining Him with what they called "Natural Law." There were people nowadays who instead of having the God of Elijah had a God, to whom it was practically no use to pray. But what were natural laws but God s methods of working? Elijah s God was a God of marvellous power in Nature. It would be wonderfully refreshing to have a little more of the God of Elijah to-day Elijah's God was a supernatural God. He was a miracle-working God. The God of Elijah was a God who would have right done at all costs. Did some one say Elijah represented a very stern righteousness — that we should not like a stern Master to-day? He was sure we should not. Elijah would not be at all popular nowadays. Did some one say that if Elijah had lived in these Christian days his sternness would have been modified? Surely it was not too great a stretch of the imagination to say that in the last glimpse we had of him, on that snow-clad mount of Christ's transfiguration, he spoke no longer of justice but of redemption. But people said, "We believe nowadays in God's Fatherhood." But "Fatherhood" must be defined. It did not mean indifference to right and wrong. The manifestation of God that Elijah gave meant righteousness. Fatherhood was the great attribute of Elijah in the eyes of his disciple. He revealed God not only as a God of wondrous might, but as a tender Father. How tender that strong man could bet The Lord God of Elijah was also a God of intense zeal. We did not get that God very much in these days. It was an unpleasant fact that the great majority of people were outside the churches to-day; but what was worse was the fact that the majority of Christians were content with this state of things. It was an unpleasant fact that there was such a dearth of conversions, but it was worse that Christians were not concerned about it. Elijah's conception of God allowed him to pray. There are people to-day whose theology scarcely permits them to pray. Elijah was a most remarkable man for solitary communion with God. We must be men of prayer if we would be living manifestations of God.

(Dinsdale T. Young.)

The meaning of the word Elijah is that Jehovah is God; and to impress this truth, carried in His own Name, on the hearts of a people that wished to forget Him, and that were always prone to worship other gods — this was the object of his wonderful career.

1. Now, the first point I wish to dwell upon is this, that the name, the Lord God of Elijah, carries in it a revelation of a God that we need believe in in these days. Once we get a name revealed in this Book, or by God Himself, it cannot be asked what there is in a name. There is a great deal in a name if it is revealed from on high.

2. Again, the Lord God of Elijah is a God who can wield all the powers of nature and providence to bring down a rebellious people to acknowledge Him.

3. Again, the Lord God of Elijah is a God who honours all who honour Him in every age. Now, Elijah was a man of great faith. He asked for things that were never asked for before, but he was never disappointed.

4. There are special occasions when we cannot help exclaiming, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" and one of them is when our leaders are taken from us. This was one such occasion.

5. Then, again, we are surprised that leaders are taken away in a time of great indifference with regard to religious truth.

6. Then, lastly, where is the Lord God of Elijah? Let me tell you. He is now ready as ever to clothe any man with power from on high who believes in that power and believes that he cannot do without it. The self-sufficient man will never get it. Where is the Lord God of Elijah? He is there, alive to the service of the most obscure of His servants; He reckons them all, and rewards them.

(E. H. Evans.)

The Rev. T. R. Stevenson says, in a sermon quoted in the Chinese Recorder: "During a recent visit to Japan I met with a gentleman who mentioned an incident which I can never forget. One rarely hears anything more impressive. He knew a missionary in China who one day encountered a Chinaman. The latter had been in the habit of watching the conduct of the former, and that very narrowly. He said, "I want your God to be my God." The missionary answered, "What do you mean?" "I wish to be of the same religion as you. Why do you? Because if your God is like you, He must be good."

There was a boy dying in one of the English counties. He had heard Whitefield, with his marvellous voice, and glowing heart, preach about the Lord Jesus Christ, and the impression never left him. While yet a child, he had to die; and as the fever flush mounted to his brow, and as the fire burned in his eye, he said, "I should like to go to Mr. Whitefield's God." What a testimony! what a recommendation! I say to Paul to-day, as he tells me of how God's grace was sufficient for him, "I should like to go to Paul's God."

(J. Robertson.)

"God of Queen Clotilda," cried out the infidel Clovis I. of France, when in trouble on the field of battle, "God of Queen Clotilda! grant me the victory!" Why did he not call upon his own god? Saunderson, who was a great admirer of Sir Isaac Newton's talents, and who made light of his religion in health, was, nevertheless, heard to say in dismal accents on a dying-bed, "God of Sir Isaac Newton, have mercy on me!"

(Daniel Baker.)

Elisha caught the mantle of Elijah, whose marvellous translation to heaven he witnessed. Smiting the waters of Jordan, as his master and predecessor had done, with the same mantle, Elisha cried, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Elijah had gone. Had God also gone? The parted river proved that Elijah's God was with Elisha.

I. ELIJAH'S GOD. To see what kind of a God Elijah served, glance at some of the leading events in the prophet's life. Dense darkness hangs over Israel (1 Kings 16.), idolatry being rampant. Elijah's challenge to Ahab (1 Kings 18.). The prophet's threat of famine fulfilled. God's care over him by the brook Cherith. The unfailing oil and meal at Zarephath. The widow's son restored to life. The contest on Carmel. The God that answereth by fire. It seems as if God puts Himself into Elijah's hands, and the prophet receives whatever he asks for — a famine, or fire, or life for the dead, or the restoration of a nation to God. Why did God so honour Elijah? Because Elijah honoured God.

II. GOD'S ELIJAH. Do we want Elijah's God? If so, we must be like Elijah. Notice the prophet's —

1. Boldness. He was not afraid to stand alone.

2. Intense earnestness. His supreme desire was the salvation of Israel.

3. Earnest prayer. "He prayed earnestly."

4. Strong faith. He relied absolutely upon God — before Ahab, by the brook, on Carmel, etc.

5. Purity. His character would bear the test of God's searching eye. As the Lord God liveth, before whom I stand.

6. Obedience. He obeyed God implicitly.

7. Constant communion with God. The Lord was his chief companion.

8. Power, with God and with men. Do we want character. The Almighty is always on the side of His Elijahs.

(Charles Cross.)

Homilist.
Elisha had now taken the place of Elijah, his master, and was going forth to prosecute Elijah's duties and to continue his work. We notice here: —

I. THERE ARE DIFFERENT WORKMEN, BUT ONE MASTER.

1. God does not need any one particular man Elijah was great, powerful, and good, but his departure did not hinder the Master's work.

2. It is the master-power that carries on the Master's plans. Elijah was nothing without God. Neither was Elisha. How deeply Elisha felt his powerlessness! He did not cry out "where is Elijah?" but "where is Elijah's God?"

II. THAT THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS IS AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OURSELVES. Elisha had seen the works of his predecessor, and knew that those works had been performed in the strength of the Lord. In that same strength he could also be helped.

1. The advantage of studying God's work in the past.

2. The faith which appropriates that work.

3. The urgency of prayer. Elisha's cry was a prayer, an appeal.

III. THE CUMULATIVE POWER OF THE MINISTERIAL OFFICE.

1. Each minister inherits not only what his predecessor obtained, but what his predecessor did. And during the past thousand years all the knowledge, power, and experience of the whole army of preachers has been amassed and bequeathed to us. Elisha used Elijah's old mantle. He was content to follow the old paths. The new is not always best. At the same time neither the old nor the new can profit. It is the God we want, and He is always the same; and His revelation is made more complete through every succession of His servants.

IV. THE NECESSITY OF PUTTING GOD TO THE PROOF. How many are content with crying out, "Where is God?" They cry, but don't put Him to the test. It is so.

1. In our religious experience.

2. In our daily work.

3. In our numerous trims.It is no use to cry unless you act. Elisha cried and smote the water. Then God proved His presence. The evil condition of the world now is because we cry so much and trust so little.

(Homilist.)

Homilist.
I. THE RELIGIOUS CRY OF HUMANITY. "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" This question comes out in all hearts, in all religions. Where is God? Where is He who made me and for whom I am made, and who alone can satisfy my nature? Where is He? Oh that I knew where I might find Him? etc. It is a cry rising from the deepest depths of human nature, old as the ages and wide as the race.

II. THE MERCIFUL RESPONSE OF GOD. When he "had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over." Elisha wanted the manifestation of the God of Elijah, and for this purpose he smote the waters. The response of God here to the cry was —

1. Symbolical. It came not in words, but in things. The response was —

2. Prompt. No sooner did Elisha touch the waters than they divided. He was not left in suspense. The answer was at hand. The answer of this question is always at hand. The response was —

3. Satisfactory. "And Elisha went over." Every man who earnestly asks this question may find a satisfactory answer, and cross the stream of all difficulties.

(Homilist.)

I was riding one night in the late winter on the elevated road through the Battery Park in New York City. As I looked out of the window I saw that the electric lights were blazing with almost the brilliancy of the sun. Their sharp scintillating beams fell on the branches of the trees that filled the park. But as those beams fell upon them I noticed that not a single leaf-bud stirred. I saw, too, that all the leaf-buds and all the twigs were eased in ice, and the imprisoning ice flashed back haughty gleam even to the powerful electric light. I began to think, if those trees were never to be touched by any other light there could never hang upon them any beautiful wealth of summer foliage. There is no force in that shining to push into movement the latent energy folded in those leaf-buds. There is only one force which can stir the trees to energy, and that is the marvellous power of the spring sun. Do you not think that Christians are often very like the folded dormant buds and the icy branches? Much light and various falls on them — light of knowledge, of worship, of Sabbaths, of preaching, of harmonious song, of culture; all the wonderful light of our Christian civilisation. But often they do not seem to stir much; they do not greatly grow; some churches, if they have a prosperous time financially, are not much discontented if there are no conversions. After all, is a tree with its leaf-buds folded snugly in and its branches ice-covered so bad a symbol of many a Christian, many a church? Is there any power that can stir them, as in the spring-time the wonderful sunlight stirs a tree, sending the life-currents thrilling through all its substance, swelling the leaf-buds till they must push out their folded banners, piling on to each least twig the succulent growth of another season One cannot believe the Scripture and say anything but yes to such a question.

1. There is the old gospel. Paul calls it the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). What a power it was in the city of the Caesars! What a power it is!

2. There is the living Christ. The powerful hand of Him who is death's victor is on the helm of things.

3. There is the abiding Holy Spirit. The reason why Christianity is not a history merely, like the reigns of the Caesars, is because the abiding and vitalising Holy Spirit is in the world, charging the historic truth of Christianity with present energy. There is the power of the Spirit.

4. There is for Christians the promise of power. To such as have already become the sons of God, there is a promise given of still greater attainment, the power of the indwelling Spirit. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me. Plainly, such power will make duty easy and triumphant.The conditions of the gaining of such power are well illustrated in our Scripture and its surroundings,

1. Determination to have it. Elisha would not leave Elijah (vers. 2, 4, 6).

2. Determination to have it notwithstanding dissuasives. The sons of the prophets could not put sufficient obstacle in Elisha's way (ver. 5).

3. Such determination to have it as to dare to ask for it. "And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me" (ver. 9).

4. Such purpose to have it as keeps us in communion with Christ at all hazards. When Elijah went beyond the Jordan Elisha would go over with him (ver. 8).

5. Such determination to have it as makes us resolutely obedient to the conditions of its reception. Elisha would see the rapture of Elijah (ver. 12). Brave use of what power we have, sure that in the using more power will be imparted. "And Elisha took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and smote the waters." Christians or churches need not be like trees in winter with folded buds and branches ice-incased. There is melting, energising power for them.

(W. Hoyt, D. D.)

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