Bible Study on the Prophet Elisha
The Rapture of Elijah - Swing Low Sweet Chariot!
by I Gordon
 ↩ Kind of reminds us of God's question to Solomon when God asked him 'Ask for whatever you want me to give you.' (1 Kings 3:5) Mmmm, now what would I like? Let's see, maybe 3 more wishes! More than likely, the sick would like to be well, the single may want to have a partner, the poor might want to be better off. If God came to you and was willing to give you whatever you ask for, would you ask for something spiritual or something physical/material? Tough question but if we are honest with ourselves, it is more likely that what we would ask for in something in the latter category. That is what makes Elisha's response all the more remarkable.
 ↩ Elisha saw his great need of God and the Holy Spirit. He had heard, and knew the reality, of that which the sons of the prophets kept saying on each step of the journey - 'Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?' It is more than likely that the sons of the prophets were jealous! For God didn't pick them! When it came to having a successor to Elijah God went to an uneducated plowman instead of these 'prophets'! Always, always, always remember that God isn't after your education, qualification, or sophistication. The only B.A initials that you need after your name is one - 'Born again'. It was said of D.L Moody that he was the only man who could pronounce Jerusalem in one syllable! He was a simple shoe salesman and by all accounts butchered quite a bit of the Queens English! But through the Spirit that was upon him, D.L Moody was a powerful vessel for God and one of the greatest evangelists the Christian church has ever known.
 ↩ The same goes for us. Sometimes we read of great spiritual gifts in the Bible and truly desire to possess them. But with great gifts comes great responsibility. Your time will not be your own. Sometimes young believers desire to be a great Bible teacher. That is good for it is important. But heed James warning that 'not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.' Desiring spiritual gifts is great. It is encouraged in the Bible and should be desired. But in doing so you have not chosen an easy thing. Be assured that there is always a price to pay. In fact, it isn't just desiring spiritual gifts that is 'a difficult thing'. Anyone who asks and desires to know God better has asked a hard thing. For true growth, is growth in grace. And God grace, and His power, is made perfect in weakness. And weakness, means not being in control of your situation. Hence, it is always a 'hard thing'. But it is God's way.
 ↩ It is believed that this originated with the African Americans during their years of slavery. They had a hope of the Lord's return, and would sing 'Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home. Well I looked over Jordan and what did I see? Coming for to carry me home. A band of angels, coming after me... Coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot...'
 ↩ Although, it is very very likely that Elijah will see death at one stage. You will remember that the last verse of the Old Testament ends with a promise that Elijah will come again before the great and terrible day of the Lord. (Mal 4:5). We know that while John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah, even Jesus said that Elijah is yet still to come (John 17:11-12). We know that during the first half of the tribulation, two mysterious witnesses appear on the scene. It is likely, although still speculation, that one of these will be the return of Elijah. Note also that they are given the power to call forth fire or to shut the sky from raining (Rev 11:5-6). Both of these miracles were those that characterized the ministry of Elijah (see 1 Kings 17:1, 18:37-38, 2Kings 1:9-14).
 ↩ Easy question for those that have read Genesis 5:24 or Hebrews 11:5. The first was of course Enoch.
 ↩ This saying 'My father, my father, the chariots of God and its horseman' was a phrase known in Israel. And it wasn't just limited to Elijah. One day, it would be said about Elisha himself. If you have a look at 2 Kings 13:14 you will see that as Elisha was dying, the king of Israel used this exact same phrase about Elisha himself for he knew that Elisha was the strength of Israel just as Elijah had been before him.
Related Series Posts
- Elisha's Journey - How far do you want to go?
- Elisha's Journey - How far do you want to go? (Part 2)
- The Rapture of Elijah - Swing Low Sweet Chariot!
- A tale of two vessels
- Good Old Fashioned Kindness!
- Good Old Fashioned Faith!
- Elisha, Naaman and the offense of the cross
- 2 Kings 6: Open my eyes...
- 2 Kings 6:24-7:20: Faith's Breaking Point
- 2 Kings 8:7-14: When God Weeps