READ: 2 Kings 11-13
THINK: This is a pretty crazy and depressing part of Scripture as it briefly recounts the stories of the kings of both Israel and Judah as they largely ignored God and led their people in pursuing idolatry and pagan worship. There is a lot to be said about that, but the part of this section that jumps out most to me is the death of Elijah.
It’s almost impossible to overstate what an incredible blessing he was to his nation during his lifetime. At the beginning he was just a guy plowing a field, but he turned into an amazing prophet of God who performed miracles and spoke truth in a broken land even when nobody else stood with him and his very life was endangered by those in power.
Sometimes the legacy of a man is seen most clearly at the end of things. And at the end of Elisha’s life even a wicked king understood his significance and, more importantly, the deep importance of seeking God. Jehoash, obviously, failed to fully recognize and accept God’s providence, and his nation paid the price. But it is striking that even he, a king who “did evil in the sight of the LORD” went to Elisha in his moment of need. As much as he must have despised or ignored Elisha when he had the opportunity, he very clearly respected him.
And Elisha’s legacy lived on even after his death! When some men threw a dead body into his tomb, the guy came back alive after touching Elisha’s bones. That’s crazy. But I think the Bible includes that story to show how the impact Elisha made by obeying God lasted beyond his lifetime. There’s an old story of a monk who was shipwrecked along a journey and washed ashore on a small island. He had only a bag of seeds with him. Before he died he planted the seeds. Almost 20 years later, some travelers came upon the island. They found a skeleton, a note, and an island overflowing with luscious fruit trees. The impact of the monk grew after his own death.
I want to have a legacy like Elisha. I want to be so committed to God and to speaking his truth and love and building his kingdom that even those who oppose me know that I’m worth coming to for counsel in times of crisis. I want to live a life of impact, and I want that impact to happen during my lifetime but continue after I’m gone. We all can’t be Elisha. But if we’re willing to fully submit to God, we can all have an Elisha-like legacy.
PRAY: Submit yourself fully to God. Ask him to show you what and who he wants you to be, and live to make an impact and leave a legacy.