The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’” vs. 52 Kings 2:1-8
Elijah was remembered as the first of the great prophets of Israel, one who vigorously defended the Lord against the prophets of Baal. As he grew older he was given an associate, Elisha, who became his partner in the ongoing battle against idolatry. Eventually it became time for Elisha to take over the ministry entirely, and as the day drew near, Elijah visited his followers in several towns along the Jordan. At each place the company of prophets ask Elisha, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And each time Elisha replies, “Yes, I know; be silent.” While we don’t know the precise meaning of that response, the simplest explanation is that Elisha just didn’t want to be left alone! For one thing it would be hard to replace a prophet like Elijah, and it’s doubtful that Elisha felt prepared. We see that sort of thing regularly in the succession of pastors in our congregations. It can be a scary prospect to stand in the shoes of a much-loved and respected leader. And secondly, Elisha would miss Elijah! We know that feeling too, if we’ve ever faced the departure of a dear and trusted friend. It’s the sort of thing that, like Elisha, we might not want to talk about!
Thought for the Day: What can happen when a beloved pastor leaves?