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Scripture Story: 1 Kings 19:15-21; 2 Kings 2.

Commentary: Prophets and Kings (or Royalty in Ruins), chapters 17, 18.

focus on prophets

Photo by Jacqui Janetzko

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“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ “‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.” (2 Kings 2:9, NIV)

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“To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to stand in our lot, saying, ‘Here am I; send me.’. . . “Ministry comprehends far more than preaching the word. It means training young men as Elijah trained Elisha, taking them from their ordinary duties, and giving them responsibilities to bear in God’s work—small responsibilities at first, and larger ones as they gain strength and experience” (Prophets and Kings, p. 222).

what do you think?

Rank the following people in terms of how much they guide you. (Circle 5 if they offer you a great deal of guidance in life, 1 if they offer no guidance, or some number in between that indicates the amount of guidance they give you.)

1 2 3 4 5
My friends
My mom
My dad

A teacher
Television stars
Myself
My pastor
Another relative
God

Are there any other sources of guidance in your life? If so, who?

did you know?

The name Elijah means “Jehovah is my God.” The Hebrew version of the name Elisha means “God is my salvation.” In Latin, Elisha is a girl’s name and it means “sweetly blissful.”

According to Jewish tradition, Elijah lived in a cave on Mount Carmel in the 9th century BCE, during the reign of King Ahab and his wicked wife, Queen Jezebel. The Hebrew form of the name Jezebel means “not exalted.”

INTO THE STORY

“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, ‘and then I will come with you.’

“‘Go back,’ Elijah replied. ‘What have I done to you?’

“So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.”

“Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’

“‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.

“‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.’. . .

“The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, ‘The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.’ And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. . . .

“The people of the city said to Elisha, ‘Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.’

“‘Bring me a new bowl,’ he said, ‘and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him.

“Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.”’ And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.

“From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ they said. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”

(1 Kings 19:19-21; 2 Kings 2:7-10, 15, 19-25, NIV)

OUT OF THE STORY

The Bible passage contains four primary stories about Elisha. Next to each story below write the lesson that you think God wants you to learn from it.

1. God uses Elijah to call Elisha (1 Kings 19:19-21).

God’s lesson for me:

2. Elisha requests and receives a double measure of the Spirit (2 Kings 2:7-10, 15).

God’s lesson for me:

3. The water is healed (2 Kings 2:19-22).

God’s lesson for me:

4. Elisha is jeered (2 Kings 2:23-25).

God’s lesson for me:

punch lines

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8, NIV).

“It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:2, 3, NIV).

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8, NIV).

“The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed” (Proverbs 3:33, 34, NIV).

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21, NIV).

further insight

“The Lord desires us to use every gift we have; and if we do this, we shall have greater gifts to use. He does not supernaturally endow us with the qualifications we lack; but while we use that which we have, He will work with us to increase and strengthen every faculty.”—Ellen G. White, Christ Object Lessons, pp. 353, 354.

connectingtolife

Sabbath

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:5.

1. When you were younger, did you ever get lost or separated from your parent? Describe how that made you feel.

2. If you were to go anyplace in the world to explore, where would you go? Why? Who would you want as a guide with you?

3. Do you believe we need a guide to get us through life? Why or why not? Who has been a guide for you?

4. In what way did Elijah serve as a guide to Elisha?

Sunday

Read 2 Kings 2.

(Use the Notes pages at the back of your Bible study guide to write your answers to the rest of this week’s questions.)

1. God uses Elijah to call Elisha (1 Kings 19:19-21).

What is your calling? Is there someone God has put into your life as a mentor? If so, who?

2. Elisha requests and receives a double measure of the Spirit (2 Kings 2:7-10, 15).

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone talk about the Holy Spirit? How would you describe the Holy Spirit to a friend? What can the Holy Spirit do for you? In Acts 2 we read of how the Holy Spirit came to the disciples at Pentecost in a dramatic way. How do you think the Holy Spirit comes to people today? Do you think God will grant you a double portion of His Spirit if you ask?

3. The water is healed (2 Kings 2:19-22).

Ellen White offers this commentary on the story of the healing of the waters:

The healing of the waters of Jericho was accomplished, not by any wisdom of man, but by the miraculous interposition of God. Those who had rebuilt the city were undeserving of the favor of Heaven; yet He who “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust,” saw fit in this instance to reveal, through this token of compassion, His willingness to heal Israel of their spiritual maladies. Matthew 5:45.

The restoration was permanent; “the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” 2 Kings 2:22. From age to age the waters have flowed on, making that portion of the valley an oasis of beauty.

Many are the spiritual lessons to be gathered from the story of the healing of the waters (Prophets and Kings, p. 231).

What do you see as the “spiritual lessons to be gathered” from this story? What symbols do you find in the story (the cruse, salt, spring, etc.)?

4. Elisha is jeered (2 Kings 2:23-25).

What does this story teach us about respecting God’s chosen representatives? Do you think God acted too harshly against the young people? Why or why not?

Monday

Read 1 Timothy 4:8.

Can you think of anyone today who has been blessed by God with a double portion of the Holy Spirit? Share who you think that person is and why you believe he or she is doubly blessed by God.

Tuesday

Read Romans 12:6-8.

Ellen White tells us: “To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others” (Prophets and Kings, p. 222). What is this “work for others” that God has for you to do? Discuss possible service projects your youth group could get involved in.

Wednesday

After reading the Punch Lines, write one parable that illustrates the lessons that the combination of these texts teach us.

Thursday

Read Luke 6:38; Song of Solomon 4:15.

Chapter 18 of Prophets and Kings ends with these texts: “‘Give, and it shall be given unto you;’ for the Word of God is ‘a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.’ Luke 6:38; Song of Solomon 4:15” (p. 234).

What does this promise mean to you?

Friday

Read 1 Peter 2:21.

Consider this question: God has given me a unique mix of spiritual gifts. What are these gifts and how is He calling me to use them to build up His kingdom—this week?

Whom has God called you to mentor? What’s keeping you from doing it?

this week’s reading*

Prophets and Kings (or Royalty in Ruins), chapters 17, 18.

*Royalty in Ruins is a special adaptation of Prophets and Kings, created for you by the Ellen G. White Estate and Pacific Press. Get more information about it at http://www.cornerstoneconnections. net/article/191/about-us/conflict-of-the-ages-companion-books#. URlhF1rBO9s. By following the weekly reading plan, you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.