Companionship

2 Kings 2:6 reads: "And he [Elisha] said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on."


Elisha made a decision to stick to Elijah no matter the cost, no matter the consequence, no matter the challenge. When was the last time you made a decision to stick beside a friend in a one-sided commitment-like way? Have you ever had a friend or companion who made that kind of 'vow' to stick beside you in that manner?


We don't know much about Elisha before he is introduced to us in 1 Kings 19, and there, he is in the field plowing with his oxen, and Elijah throws his mantle on him, signifying that he is commissioning him to become a follower and apprentice of Elijah.


12 oxen (at least) would mean that Elisha was a man of rather significant possessions; which means that his immediate obedience to offer these oxen up, serve them to the community in his "farewell party", and leaving his profession behind - was a calculated decision he didn't hesitate to make.


Usually when we give up everything in our lives for something - it's because it's been a dream of ours, and we saw an open door to do it. Sometimes it means that we've been praying about it for a long time, and suddenly we see the Lord opening a clear path to dive right in. Maybe Elisha's party was a result of him celebrating the Lord's answer.


Elisha's response to Elijah most likely also means that he knew exactly who Elijah was. It's rather safe to assume that after the 3.5-year drought and the showdown on Mount Carmel - everyone in Israel (at least in the northern kingdom) knew who Elijah was. So imagine how you'd react if one of the most powerful and influential people at the time shows up at your door (or field) and asks you to become his follower... Probably with great excitement and enthusiasm.


It's also safe to assume, according to his reaction, that the Lord has been working in his heart for quite some time, training him, shaping and molding his character, before we are introduced to him for the first time.


At the same time that Elijah was in that cave experiencing and exploring the depth of his relationship with the Lord (1 Kings 19) - the Lord was at work with Elisha, making him ready for that day he'll become a friend, an apprentice, and a hope for the future for Elijah.


That fills me with hope, as there have been several seasons in my life where I had begged the Lord for a companion; and for the longest time, I thought I am just alone. But the Lord calmed Elijah by saying "there are 7,000 who have never bowed to Baal"... Means that there were others who could be trusted, others who were on the same journey, others who were upright, and loved the Lord, and would sacrifice all for Him. It also meant that out of them there was one that the Lord was preparing as a gift of friendship and companionship to Elijah.


It is this character of Elisha, shaped long before his initial encounter with Elijah, that made him know for sure that he can vow with utter assurance to never leave his side; it was because both men have been so anchored in the Lord before they met each other to do ministry together - that such pure commitment could be made, even if in this Biblical context it is one-sided.


Is the Lord shaping you to become that kind of friend or companion to someone else? Are you "all-in" with how dedicated and disciplined you are in that process of allowing the Lord to shape you?

Are you in need of such a companion yourself?


"We need a few Elisha's in our lives, don’t we? They bring us strength. And they are a rare breed indeed! They’re our intimate friends. They are those who are there for us, with us, available to us—to hear us, to help us, to soften the blows of our critics, to support us in prayer, to stay in our corners, bringing us both encouragement and objectivity." (from Swindoll's biography of 'Elijah')


Do not be discouraged or dismayed, for the Lord has reserved 7,000 whose knees have not bowed to Baal... And in their midst might be your very own Elisha.




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