05 December 2011

Brampton - Elijah and Elisha

< 29th November 2011 | Index | 12th December 2011 >

This evening we dip into 2 Kings and make some interesting discoveries about Elijah and Elisha. There are some clear hints of Jesus in these chapters.

Elishah returning the widow's son
Sean and I hadn't met for several weeks so it was good to spend the evening together again. Instead of a time of prayer and listening, this time we thought it would be good to dip into the Bible for a while. Sean has been working his way through 2 Kings recently, and we mostly focussed on chapters 3, 4 and 5.

Before he was caught up into heaven, Elijah asked Elisha if there was anything he could do for him. And Elisha asked for a double helping of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9). Sean wondered why he'd made this request because it had been hard enough for Elijah with just a single portion! It's a good question and I don't have an answer.

We wondered about the names Elijah and Elisha, it seems clear that 'jah' is the shortened form of Yahweh (the Almighty's name), and 'Eli' is the short form of Elohim meaning 'Mighty One' or 'Almighty'.

It turns out that Elijah does indeed mean 'Yahweh is my Elohim' or 'Yahweh is my Mighty One' (or 'Yahweh is my God' in traditional language). And Elisha means 'Elohim saves'. This is similar to the names Joshua or Yeshua (Jesus) which mean 'Yahweh saves'. Joshua led the people of Israel into the promised land. And Jesus leads his people into the Kingdom of Heaven. So in a sense, Elisha is like Jesus. But we already know that Jesus spoke of John the Baptist as being Elijah. So Elijah and Elisha are like John the Baptist and Jesus.

This idea is confirmed by the miracles Elisha did. He raised the widow's son, he fed many people with a few loaves of barley bread, he healed Naaman of leprosy.

And when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain he talked with Moses and Elijah. In a sense he took Elisha's part, the part of one with a greater share of the Spirit than Elijah.

I don't feel I have understood these topics fully. Far from it! But we got far enough to know that these are very important chapters and there may be some fundamental truth to be unearthed. This is one to have another look at when I have more time.

< 29th November 2011 | Index | 12th December 2011 >

1 comment:

  1. The main reason why so many find the church irrelevant is that it does nothing for them. Many churches hardly do anything to serve their local communities. I suggested at one church meeting that we should consider laying a wreath on Remembrance Sunday as something that we could do to show our face in the community rather than hiding away in ur own building. In business they use the idea that I you have get to know people then like then then trust them enough to buy their products. Laying a wreath like that would be part of the know we are there so that people will eventually accept what we have to offer. It really has got that basic in many communities today.

    There are loads of opportunities to serve the community. Support with debt management, job clubs or other help to find a job, reconxile workshops for those considering setting themselves up in business (the reconxile materials are the only ones I know that suggest each session starts with prayer), You can tell that the area I live in has one of the highest unemployment rates in the England. Every church though is surrounded by sick people or those shut in at home for other reasons. Many churches have rooms that they can hire to slimming groups etc. The community needs us yet we are sitting in our churches praying without putting legs on our prayers.

    If a church can be trusted to help those who come through its doors then God will trust them with more people. Until we do things that show people that their lives will be improved by joining a church and finding a faith of their own then why would they bother even thinking about doing so. The future is in our own hands!

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