2 Kings 2:1-14
Fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood observing them at a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground (2:7-8 CSB).
The Bible tells us reality of the supernatural. With our physical senses, we experience the natural realm constantly. This is the usual and the normal. Anything supernatural is a very unusual experience. But it does happen! When Sharon and I saw the pictures of three new arteries that grew on my heart in answer to prayer, we had a glimpse of God’s supernatural power. (The arteries weren’t there when I had a heart attack, but they were there a year later after prayer.) When we see people who have lived in rebellion against God suddenly turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:28b NIV), we also experience God’s supernatural power in what is called the new birth.
God is able to reveal his will to mankind. The Lord told Elijah, Elisha, and the company of the prophets what he was going to do, and they were able to understand his revelation. In the Bible, God speaks plainly to us. Our failures to understand are related to our failures in listening. Some people are unwilling to invest the time required to listen. Many are prejudiced against what the Lord says and do not want to listen. Others listen through the grid of the traditions of people and only hear what they have been told to hear. And we could give other examples. But when we simply and attentively listen, we discover that God’s word is plain. The men in this account knew what God was going to do. As God was able to speak to them in dreams, visions or some other way, so he is able to speak to us through his written word. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV).
God is able to act in the natural realm with supernatural power. Remember the crossing of the Jordan river, when Israel crossed into the Promised Land. God acted through Elijah to do something similar for his two prophets. Here was something beyond natural experience. I have said to people in Pennsylvania, “Which of you rolls up his coat, strikes the Delaware River, and crosses over on dry ground when you want to go to the Jersey shore?” They probably use one of the bridges to cross the river. But in this account, we are talking about supernatural power, displayed according to God’s will. It prepared the younger prophet Elisha for what the Lord was about to do for Elijah.
Elijah would not keep the usual human appointment with death. God would act to take of Elijah alive from this world. Death brings separation. You talk with someone, but then death seals their lips and you can speak with your loved one no longer. You experience the pain of separation. But this pain of separation would not be the suffering caused by death, but the shocking intervention of the supernatural. Elisha was talking to Elijah when suddenly a chariot of fire separated the two. Elisha then saw Elijah go up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Why did God act with his supernatural power then? Because he wanted to make his power known and honor his servants. The Lord chooses his times to so act. One day, he will take his people to be with him forever. Some will be raised from the dead. Others will rise alive to meet the Lord in the air. Our faith looks forward to supernatural acts, all done by the great power of the true and living God.
Grace and peace, David