Transitions: Passing the torch: Part 2

By Dr. John W. Lewis - Religion Writer

Are we to follow a man? Serving under God’s man is educational and right. We should be Godly examples for others to emulate. Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

God had to make sure that Elijah’s torch was burning bright before he could pass it on to Elisha. Elijah had his down time of unproductive behavior. Running from Jezebel and praying to die under a juniper tree. But God’s gracious touch restored him and commissioned him. I Kings 19:9, “And he came hither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold the word of the Lord came to him and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

What God was saying was, Elijah it’s too early to quit, I’ve got work for you to do. Get your torch and let’s go. Thank God he picks us up dust us off and puts us back in the race. Passing the torch means keeping something worth passing.

For Elisha to receive the torch he must keep up with the torch bearer. II Kings 2:1-3, “And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah unto heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said uno Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day?” And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”

Three times Elijah told Elisha to stay put and three times Elisha said no way I am not going to leave you.

We who would receive the torch must keep our eyes on the torch and be available for service when opportunity knocks on our door.

The bar is made to be raised. II Kings 2:9, “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit and got it. Some would say that is just to much to ask for and I would say it is to be expected. James 4:2b, “Ye have not because ye ask not,” Why not strive to carry the torch with more zeal and power than our fore fathers. II Kings 2:14, “And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD GOD of Elijah? And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Eisha went over.” With the same God we can have the same results. The God of Elijah is still on the throne today waiting for new Elishas to pick up the mantle of God’s power and blessings.

Passing the torch once again is recognized and respected by God’s people. II Kings 2:15, “And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.”

The key to torch passing is keeping it lit and listening to God for divine direction in His selection.

Thank God for all the torch bearers that have gone on before us.

Anchor Baptist Church

456 Jamison Rd.

Washington Court House, OH


By Dr. John W. Lewis

Religion Writer