"And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send." 2 Kings 2:16
In the verses prior to this one the Lord has taken Elijah up into heaven in a chariot of fire and Elisha has received his mantle. The sons of the prophets saw from a distance what had happen. This brings us to this morning's verse. These prophets wanted Elisha to let them send out fifty men to look in the valleys and mountain tops for Elijah- in the event the Spirit of the Lord had "dropped him off" there. Elisha told them not to go. They continued to be persistent in their request until finally Elisha was ashamed to tell them no again. After searching for Elijah for three days they could not find him. When they returned not having found Elijah, Elisha reminded them that he had told them not to go and look. If only they had listened they would have saved themselves three days of searching and travel up and down mountains and valleys.
Aren't we like these men at times- more often than not? We just have to "see for ourselves". We don't want to take another's word for it. We aren't satisfied until we find out for ourselves. We have to prove it for ourselves. In some cases this isn't a bad thing- there are times we should "check it out" for ourselves. But it becomes a waste of time and just a distraction when we do it after God has "spoken" to us already about it. We could save ourselves a lot of grief and misery if we would just listen to what the Lord says to us and let that be enough.
When we don't trust the word of the Lord, we will wind up in the wilderness, down in the valley or climbing the mountains wasting our time and having nothing to show for it, just like those in the scriptures above. We will only wear ourselves out, become frustrated and start murmuring and complaining. And we will always wind up back at the place where we started. Then we will condemn ourselves by questioning, "Why didn't I listen in the first place? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble!" (Does that sound familiar? It does to me!)
This story sounds so familiar to our everyday lives. If you have children you know what I am talking about. You can tell them something but they don't always believe you, sometimes they think they know better and have to find out for themselves. Like the rest of us, they have to learn it the "hard way". The lesson for us today is: just listen to the Lord, He knows what He is talking about. Believe what He says.
Have a great day. Don't have to learn the lesson the hard way-- listen and believe the Lord when He tells you something.
For further reading:
2 Kings 2:14-18