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by | Feb 7, 2024 | Inheritance

“Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, … Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know it; keep quiet.’ Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.’ … Then Elijah said to him, ‘Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ … Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.’ And Elisha said, ‘Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.’ And he said, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.’ And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ And he saw him no more.

(2 Kings 2:1a, 2-4a, 6a, 8-12 ESV)

It must have been a difficult day for them both. Elijah’s life on earth was ending that day, and Elisha knew it; and the two of them, teacher and student, were very close. No wonder Elisha was so grumpy when the other prophets kept talking about it; it wasn’t something he wanted to dwell on.

But not talking about it wouldn’t stop their separation from coming. And so Elijah asked his disciple, “What do you want me to give you before I go?” Elisha knew exactly what he wanted: a double portion of the Holy Spirit to be on him for his own future ministry. No wonder Elijah said that was a hard thing to promise! For that kind of gift is under God’s control only; nobody can make that promise but God Himself.

But Elisha did get what he wanted as an inheritance! And from that day on he followed in the footsteps of Elijah, doing the same works. And he served the Lord as prophet.

We, too, inherit the Holy Spirit—not from Elijah but from our Lord and Savior Jesus. He gave up His life for us on the cross, to transform us from rebels and sinners to children of God Himself. And now that He has risen from the dead, He gives us the gift of the Spirit, to live within us with the life of Jesus. Death will have no power over us, just as it has none over Him; and the Spirit helps us to grow more and more to resemble Jesus in all our actions.

We Pray: Dear Lord, give me Your Spirit. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 6, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you ever inherited anything?
2. If so, from whom? What was it?
3. What would you ask God for, if He gave you the desire of your heart?