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6 Elijah (6)

Words of the cross

U Kings 2: 1-14
John 20:21-23
T The last training

This is the sixth of Elijah, but it is the last inning which Elijah is raised to the heaven.
It is not clear that when Elijah stood as a prophet, but because his activities period is the latter half 20 years in north kingdom reign of Ahab king mainly, perhaps it would be with around 10 years in all. For several years of the reign of Ahaziah, son of Ahab king, Elijah seems to have spent most on guidance / education of a prophet group. Ahab already died according to the prophecy, but Jezebel still keeps power. Was it her influence? The north kingdom returned to original Baal faith again. And Jehoram king appears next, but a disturbance with countries of the circumference is caused in his times. Elijah is caught to heaven before the times of the turbulence, it is about BC 852.

"And it came about when the Lord was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal."(1), and there is. Gilgal seemed to be a town which went south from Samaria a little, in the mountain of Aphraim, and a prophet school of sponsorship of Elijah was there. Elijah and Elisha went to Bethel and Jericho from there, and moreover they went south to the Jordan. "And Elijah said to Elisha, 'Stay here please. For the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.' But Elisha said, 'As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.' So they went down to Bethel. Then the sons of prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, 'Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?' And he said, 'Yes, I know; be still.'"(2-3), and it is there. And the same thing seems to have been repeated in Bethel and Jericho, too. Elijah was said from God already thus, "And you shall anoint Elisha as prophet in your place."(19:16), and he chose Elisha as a successor. He would be going to make the last training on Elisha here. Here, it appears the sons of prophets who were at Bethel, (also in Jericho), but, it seems to be the flock which is different from a prophet group of Elijah. Elijah was already important leader for Israel at that time. They would be going to watch whether they accepted Elisha as the next leader of a prophet group by being present at Elijah's last. Elisha is going to meet their expectation while wishing "Be, still.".

U The One who uses us

It is not clear why Elijah went to the Jordan, but I imagine that Elijah made a place of the last training to Elisha by crossing a river. The Jordan is not a so big river, but the Jericho outskirts are near to the river mouth, and a flow is considerably hard. Once, it seems to have been this neighborhood that passed so that Israel invaded and attacked in Cannan. When the priests who carried a box of a contract on its shoulder set foot in water of a river, water of upper reaches hurried, and it was stopped, and there was a road there, and 100,000 soldiers crossed a river (Joshua Chapter 3), and it is there, but, in Elijah's mind, it may have been. He would judge that the help of God which enabled impossibility is necessary, for Elisha. There were many prophet groups in those days, and they were trained with one leader and carried a role to spread teaching of one's teacher, but Elisha would be the nobody. Elisha, he did not do a miracle, and had not yet a charisma to lead a group, but Elijah seemed to have thought that the leadership was necessary for Elisha. He took off his overcoat and hit water of the Jordan with it. Then water was divided into both sides and the way which dried appeared, then two people crossed it to the opposite bank. There was the land where Elijah was called by. Perhaps, to Elijah and Elisha, and also to the prophets who came afterward, it would be informed of it from God beforehand. Prophets watch the state on the opposite bank without crossing a river. "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.", "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.", "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so."(9-10) "A double portion of your spirit" is shares of the eldest child, it is written in Deuteronomy as "But he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has,"(21:17). Elisha will be to have wished that Elijah admitted him as a person who came true to eyes of God. Elijah says "You have asked a hard thing,", but it is for God to be decided whether He use Elisha.

V Words of the cross

Prophets look from the opposite bank. And somebody whom there was in that would confirm this record.
Two people walk in some depths from a bank of the Jordan. Then "Behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven."(11), and Elijah stepped on extremely suddenly a whirlwind and rose to the heaven. And I have an impression that it is written down carefully when this is not a death of Elijah. It was a mysterious event, but, in fact, the ascension of Elijah would be this way. This is said to exaggerate mystery of Elijah by some scholars, but surely it is not informed of age of Elijah at all, and in addition, when he appeared, it is missing, and his last is really full of mystery. God oneself may be for it to have been directed the mystery, while considering the role that he will take after this. Malachi giving glory to the last of the Old Testament announces it like this, when Elijah will appear at the time of the end once again, "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord."(4:5). Even in today, the Jews prepare a cup for Elijah, and open a door for a while and look around in the outside whether Elijah may stand there at the meal of Passover, I have heard. Jesus watched him in John of Baptism, and three disciples, Peter, Jacob, and John witnessed that Jesus told with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. It would be stood as a witness of Jesus on the cross. And I wish to hear Elijah's message which conveys on a day of the end.

However, there was a thing that had not been done by him. Elijah avoided Ahab and prophets of Baal, but Israeli people were still addicted to Baal worship, so he had to fix them as selected people of original God. However, as for God, it was still caught him. For an article of his ascension, there were "chariot of fire and horses of fire", but it is only to supposing it what it points at. However, would this fire call Being of sacred God? Both a tank and a horse were the things which charged for a fight, but even though they lost Elijah, the prophets still carried the fate that must fight against every thing which undermined people of God on their back. Fire will show that there is help of God there. Prophets of the back succeeded what Elijah could not do, and Elisha was that first person. Now for us who are going to greet the end soon, there is a thing entrusted which we should carry on like Elisha, too. Jesus was said. "Receive the Holy Spirit.", "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."(John 20:23) The thing entrusted us with is only words of God, and we are invited to the genealogy of prophets, too. We pray to convey this Words of forgiving on the cross as a person loved by Jesus and be full of love.