and it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. And he said, You have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so unto you; but if not, it shall not be so (II Ki. 2:9–10).
There have never been two Prophets quite like Elijah and Elisha. The name “Elijah” means “Jehovah is God,” and figures Law. “Elisha” means “God is Salvation,” and represents Grace. Elisha has now been some ten years with Elijah—a testing time—and the last test now comes.
The Scripture indicates that Elisha knew that Elijah was going to be taken. Exactly how, that he did not know! Consequently, Elisha will not let the great Prophet out of his sight. Irrespective that Elijah told him first to remain in Gilgal, then to remain in Bethel, and finally to remain in Jericho, Elisha, prompted by the Spirit of God, knew that he must not let Elijah out of his sight. He hungered and thirsted after Righteousness; consequently, he would be filled (Mat. 5:6).
And then, at the miracle of the parting of the waters of Jordan, Elijah said to his protégé, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you.” The answer from Elisha was instant, “Let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” Elisha wanted the Power of God. He was little interested in anything else.
For what is the modern Church seeking?
Then Elijah said to him, “You have asked a hard thing.” A better translation from the Hebrew would be, “You have staked a great claim.” And that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit wanted him to do. Far too many Christians presently are staking insignificant claims, or rather none at all. The Church desperately needs those who will “stake a great claim,” i.e., “ask for the impossible.”
To be frank, it was impossible for Elijah to give any part of his spirit to Elisha, much less a double portion; however, the Lord could do such; to be sure, the Lord did so such! There only was one requirement:
Elisha was not to take his eyes off the great Prophet. If Elisha observed Elijah as he was translated, he would receive his request; if not, “it shall not be so.” To be sure, the moment this tremendous spectacle occurred, i.e., the translation of Elijah, and done so by a “chariot of fire, and horses of fire,” Elisha was intently observing, and he received exactly that for which he asked—a double portion.
The “double portion” is exactly what I want from the Lord, and it should be exactly what you want. Grace promised it to Elisha, and Grace gave it to Elisha. Grace will do the same for us! We must not be satisfied with the status quo, or even what has been. There awaits a double portion for all who will believe.
Elisha got exactly that for which he asked. He performed exactly twice as many miracles as Elijah.
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