We earlier saw that Moses appointed Joshua to succeed him. Though preparing someone to carry on our ministry or lead our tribe when we’re gone is a wise move, the Bible has too few examples of this occurring.
Elijah and Elisha are a noteworthy exception. After Elijah anoints Elisha to succeed him as prophet, he mentors his protégé.
With Elisha trained to take over as God’s prophet, both men know Elijah’s time on earth is about to end. Elisha insists on staying with his mentor for as long as possible. Elijah asks his protégé if he has any final requests.
He does. He asks to inherit a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
“This is a most difficult request,” Elijah says, “but if you see me as I am taken from you, God will provide what you’ve asked.”
They continue walking. Suddenly, a chariot of fire, drawn by horses of fire, appears and separates the two men. Elisha watches Elijah ascend toward heaven in a whirlwind. And that’s the last Elisha sees him.
Yet the fact that Elisha sees Elijah as he’s taken confirms that God will grant Elisha a double portion of his mentor’s spirit.
What a powerful way for him to begin his work for God.
Is there someone we can mentor to continue our ministry when we’re gone? Do we live our life in such a way that someone would want to inherit a double portion of our spirit?
[Read Elisha’s story throughout 2 Kings 2–8 and 13:14–21.]
Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.