Elisha would not let Elijah shake him. Most scholars believe the point of his not leaving Elijah’s side was to test whether Elisha would count the cost of discipleship, probably a final test to see if he would persist. We see something of our own call here—to forsake all for the glory of the Name. The question for us, like Elisha, is will we persist and persevere? This is the sign of the true disciple: delighting in God above all else and persevering in the faith and the mission. Elisha was a true disciple, for he had forsaken all, burning the plows, to follow Elijah. And this wouldn’t be the last time disciples would forsake all to follow a great prophet!
Elijah went on to his eternal reward without tasting death because God is in control of death and can overrule it. Elisha saw his mentor taken away, just as he hoped, but he also was sad and showed signs of sorrow over his loss (v. 12). Yet he would get up and persist in the mission to which he was called.
This text leaves us with some questions: Will we count the cost? Will we persist? Will we seek the glory of God over our own? Will we rely on God’s power to speak God’s Word faithfully in places of darkness?
What tests of your perseverance in the faith are you currently facing?