When the Prophet Elijah asked his God-appointed successor, Elisha, what he would like to receive after Elijah was taken, Elisha didn’t ask for money, clothing, adequate transportation, or fame. He asked for something that was far more valuable; he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elijah indicated that this would be a hard thing to do, but if Elisha saw him when he was taken into Heaven, his request would be granted. Elisha knew that he received the blessing because he saw Elijah as he was taken up. The miracle we are now discussing is Miracle #1 Drying up of the Jordan River found in 2 Kings 2:13-15. It was the confirmation that Elisha had received his Double Portion Ministry.
13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;
14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
When Elijah was taken, Elisha tore up his own cloak or mantle into two parts and received the mantle that Elijah left as he was taken. This was the same mantle that Elijah threw around the shoulders of Elisha, indicating that Elijah’s responsibilities would be passed onto Elisha. Elisha then walked to the Jordan Rivers, smote the water with the mantle, and yelled, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” The Jordan River parted, and Elisha walked across on dry land. This was Elisha’s first miracle, as his role as successor to Elijah immediately began.
- To take on the ways of God, you have to be willing to walk away from your old ways. Sometimes that means changing some natural things such as your music, speech, and even clothes. Elisha tore up his mantle to take on the mantle of his predecessor, Elijah. Tear up your worldly ways, clothes, and thoughts and go forth in the ways of God.
- Give up what you have to receive what God has for you. I’m sure it was not easiest for Elisha to walk away from his family, fields, and lifestyle, but he did it because he believed the prophet and desired God’s will and way more than his own.
- When our desires line up with the desires of God, we can have the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
- Elisha had to act on what he believed. He believed that he had received a miracle in the form of his double portion, and immediately he put it into use. By smiting the Jordan with Elijah’s mantle, he demonstrated his faith that God had rewarded him with his double portion ministry.
Elisha’s 15th miracle, Making Iron to Swim, was the next miracle related to water, found in 2 Kings 6:1-7. The sons of the prophet were in an overcrowded school, so they asked Elisha if they could go down to the Jordan and build a more prominent building. As the project got underway, an ax head flew off the handle that one of the prophets was working on, and the ax head sank. The prophet cried unto Elisha and told him that the ax head was borrowed. Elisha threw a stick in the water, the ax head swam to the prophet, and he was able to retrieve it. What a sight that must have been to see.
- True Miracles defy the logic of science. Logically speaking, since iron is heavier than water, the ax should never have risen. But not only did this ax head rise, but it also swam!
- Be concerned about the property of others. Had the prophet not cared about the borrowed property of the owner of the ax head, he would not have cried to Elisha. And, had he not trusted that Elisha could rectify the situation, he (and we) would never have experienced this marvelous miracle.
- Our God can do anything!
Elisha’s next miracle related to water is Miracle #4, Waters Filling Ditches Without Rain, found in 2 Kings 3:16-17; 20.
16 And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.
17 For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.
20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
Elisha prophesied that ditches would fill with water without rain falling. He instructed the armies of Israel and Edom to fill all the valleys with ditches, and God would fill them with water without wind or rain. Just as he prophesied, the ditches were filled with water that came from Edom. This gave occasion for two other miracles (to be discussed in a later post) based on their obedience. This miracle and two others would not have occurred had the kings not had the ditches dug.
- Sometimes, your answer to prayer comes from your obedience to instructions.
- My Granny’s famous expression, “Laziness will kill you,” applies here. The men could not be lazy because the ditches had to be dug for them to be filled with water miraculously. Somebody had to do the work. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 2:17
Elisha’s final miracle related to water, Miracle #2, Healing of the Waters, is found in 2 Kings 2:19-22.
19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.
20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
The men of the city fully believed in the ability of Elisha to seek God to fix a bad situation. Apparently, they had a wonderful city, but its water was bad, causing the land to be unproductive. They brought Elisha a new cruse or small cup with salt in it as requested.
One might think that salt would either make the situation worse or do nothing at all when thrown into an entire body of water. But, in the hands of a true man of God, it worked a miracle. The water was healed and the problem with water and land was totally resolved.
- A verse from a song by The Canton Spirituals comes to my mind concerning this situation. It says: Fix it Jesus, fix it like you said You would. The entire city should have been shouting and praising God over this miracle.
- A scripture that applies is Isaiah 55:8-9
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Whatever God chooses to use or resolve our problem, wisdom says to let Him do it His way. (Besides, if it’s not done His way, it won’t be done. Relax and let Him work it out). Whatever the men of the city had tried in the past hadn’t worked, so they received a miracle that blessed everybody. We should do the same.
In our next post, we will examine Elisha’s miracles related to eyes.