“And Elisha saw and he cried, My father, my father the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more and he took his own clothes and rent them in two pieces.”
The prophet Elijah had finished the course that was set for him to walk and the time of departure, from this habitation, had come. He had confronted kings and people as the desolation of Israel progressed and the wickedness of man became more evident. In his first official act, God sent His messenger to the king to advise him that there would be neither dew nor rain for many years until he said so. He withstood Ahab and his wife Jezebel, as he proclaimed the judgment of God against the ungodliness of men. He was sustained by the dwindling brook by the hand of God who sent a raven to feed him. As the drought intensified, God sent this servant into a foreign land to save a widow and raise her son from the dead. His showdown with Ahab (father’s brother) came at mount Carmel where the wicked king asked him, “Are you he that troubles all Israel?” Imagine doing the work which God had appointed and speaking only that which the Spirit gives you and being accused of being the disruptor of the nation and a threat to the moral turpitude of the chosen people of God.
The people were rebuked of the prophet for being double minded and unstable in their ways and after the power of God was manifested in the presence of a multitude of eye witnesses, eight hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the groves were slaughtered by people at the hand of Elijah. Did this produce a wholesale revival in the land? Not in the least! Did this encourage the servant of God in his holy crusade? Absolutely not for he retreated from the veiled threats of Jezebel and retreated into seclusion.
Here, in the wilderness, Yehovah came and revealed Himself unto His servant, by giving him food and meat which sustained him forty days and forty nights. Did this tangible manifestation of the presence and power of God dispel the fears and doubts of Elijah? No in the slightest and when he came to Mt. Horeb, he lodged there in a cave.
Now the Word of the Lord came to him inquiring why he was there to which Elijah does not show forth a man of faith walking in the light of the Lord; no he thinks more highly of himself than he ought and speaks as if God owes him a reward of some sort. He condemns the nation of Israel, as if they were some separate people that God should reject and proclaims that he is the only one left who, loves the Lord and is obedient to His will. God immediately humbling him in the beauty of His holiness as He demonstrates His authority over the elements of this world in a great strong wind, an earthquake and then a fire; but God was not in them. He reveals Himself to His beloved servant in a still small voice; “and when Elijah heard, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went and stood by the entrance to the cave”.
Again the Word of God comes to this servant and asking, “What are you doing here?” Elijah, the natural man, reveals that he has learned nothing from all that God has shown him as he boasts of his piety and faithfulness before God seeking pity and protection because the people seek his life. Does God give him a ‘time out’? Is Elijah granted some personal leave time to get his mind right for the job that was before him? Was he re-assigned because of the apparent mental anguish and emotional trauma he was under? No! Yehovah said unto him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus and when you come, anoint Hazael king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi, shall you anoint king over Israel and Elisha, son of Shaphat pf Able-meholah, shall you anoint prophet in your place” (19:15ff).
Finally, after making known His will to His servant, God revealed that he, Yehovah God of Israel, had reserved unto Himself, seven thousand of His people who had not ”bowed the knee unto Baal and every mouth which had not kissed him”. God had not called this chosen vessel to convert souls unto Him nor turn the hearts of the people to accept the salvation of Yehovah. He has reserved unto Himself all whom He has an eternal personal experience of being of the eternal incorruptible seed. No amount of preaching by the voice of man or forms of prayer offered from the ‘good intended hearts of man’ can ever change one wheat into a tare or even the slightest part of a tare into a wheat destined for the storehouse of God.
In the last official act of his tenure, Elijah confronts the servants of the king of Samaria. He informs them that the kings shall die of the illness he has incurred from his fall and when the king thinks to order Elijah to answer for his edict, 100 military men were consumed by the fire of God before Elijah came to the king. His word was biting and direct when he proclaimed to the king, “forasmuch as you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, not because no God in Israel to inquire of His word, therefore you shall not come down off your bed but shall surely die” (II Kings 1:16).
The king was not condemned to die because he sought counsel from the ‘lord of the flies of that which is torn up by the roots’, being after the ways of Adam, nor was he stricken in his calamity because he did not seek after Yehovah The time of his habitation had come to this tragic end because of the sovereign decree of God. The eternal wrath of God was upon him, being a son of Esau, as he followed after the natural instinct of everyone born of Adam. He walking in his father’s ways to do evil in the sight of Yehovah, continuing in the sin of ‘the contention of the people’ (Jeroboam) which sin caused all Israel to sin. He was struck down because he was of the seed of the serpent that dwelt in an earthen vessel outfitted for destruction. Therefore, according to all that his father had done (yes Ahab but more accurately his father the wicked one – Jn. 8:44), he served Baal and worshipped him offending and irritating the anger of Yehovah, God of Israel. This indeed was a vessel in the great house that was prepared unto dishonour.
Elijah (my God is self-existing) was sent of God to preach the sovereign righteousness of God. He was not intimidated by man or the flexing of the arm of the flesh as he spoke the Word of God before both the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. When each and every labour assigned unto him by the eternal purpose of God had been completed in the exact order and at the very moment deemed necessary of God, he was delivered from this habitation and returned unto God. His servant, whom he had ordained in his place, watched these proceedings and when he saw what had just happened he did not proclaimed praise unto the man Elijah, but rather praise unto the name of the sovereign God of Israel.
God had sent Elijah unto Elisha for the purpose of revealing unto him that Yehovah God had assigned him the position of prophet in the land. They were not kin and, up to the point when Elijah anoints him, there is no record that they even knew each other for as the one was confronting the wickedness of Israel the other was plowing a field with twelve yoke of oxen (I Kings 19:19). But in the time appointed of Yehovah, Elisha was made willing in the day of His power and he arose and went after Elijah and ministered unto him.
“my father, my father the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof”
Elijah had presented the Word of God to the people of Israel as the abomination that would make desolate continued. He was strong in the faith of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah but he was as weak and helpless as every earthen vessels. He was given to be tempted in all points, like as unto we are, and he failed like as unto every child of grace does in the flesh. Although it is inherent to the natural man to reject the wonderful demonstrations of the sovereign power of God over all things and to praise the creature rather than the Creator, Elisha was not given to this error. He saw the chariot of fire appear with the horses which came between him and Elijah as the whirlwind ascended up into heaven. He witnessed a supernatural event that appeared unto him in a form which he understood as the word of Yehovah came to pass in time and space. His words were not because he had just lost his mentor who was very dear to him for even up until the happening, Elijah was crass and aloof unto Elisha.
Elisha was a child of grace born from above whom the Spirit had anointed to be the spokesman of God. His word was unto his Father who is the vehicle by which all things move. The chariot is a reference to a wagon or means of carrying that contains and transports cargo or persons. Elisha was not saying that Elijah was a man that carried Israel any more than he was inferring that he was his father. He was stating that his Father in heaven, ‘My God, self-existing’ is He that contains, commands and carries Israel.
He not only confessed that it is Yehovah God which conveys all things into their proper position for the purpose of fulfilling His perfect will but he also refers to the Almighty as the one who rides upon the forces that lead the chariot along the given path. The horsemen thereof is an allusion to the one who spreads his legs around the horse, or whatever means there is of conveyance, and holding the reins thereof, directs the means to perform as he directs. Thus the wagon with all contents is propelled at a prescribed speed, dictated by the one who controls the means of motion, along a designed set course unto a desired location. Neither the cart nor the horse wanders about aimlessly seeking for their path in hope of sometime arriving at an imagined destination. The ‘self-existing One’ has predestined all things pertaining to existence, conveyance and arrival at His designed location in the allotted time for the good pleasure of His perfect will. Elisha (My God deliver) observed the testimony of confirmation as the hand of God removed Elijah and gave witness to this in his proclamation.
Had Israel walked a path that was contrary to this perfect will? Were the people of Israel exonerated because it was God who drew them with the cords of man unto His desired end? Can the thing formed say unto He that formed them, What are you doing? Can the instrument in the hand of the Master object to the manner in which it is used? Is the tool praised for fashioning a work of art or condemned for the destruction of beauty? Nay but Oh man, who are you that reply against the Almighty? He indeed has fashioned and properly equipped each portion of His creation to complete that which is necessary for the time and place of His Beloved. He has conveyed all persons and objects to the exact location as the heavens declare His glory and even though the natural man can neither see nor understand what is transpiring, yet He causes all things to work harmoniously together for them that love Him, to the called according to His purpose.
The abomination of Israel is inherent in the nature of Adam; therefore the number of the beast is the number of man. God had afore ordained that the people should be drawn away after the desires and pleasures of the flesh, being aligned with and identified as the common people of the land, unto the end that no flesh should glory in His sight. He has not retained the nation of Israel as His chosen people upon whom He has shown His love. The children of Jacob became a mighty nation which God had separated from all other nations of the world in type to show the pattern of heavenly things. The heavenly reality is that the Salvation of Yehovah is upon they whom He has loved with an eternal love and according to that great love, He causes them to walk upon the path specifically designed for each one, fraught with difficult hills and dangerous dark valleys, by His faith. The flesh shall fail to meet or approach the standard of holiness but the prisoners of hope shall never fail.
All who are born from above, being taught of the Spirit have this assurance of hope. The world desires to partake of this but the natural man cannot receive the things that pertain unto the Spirit; therefore man devises his own means which indeed have deceived him into thinking he is the shaper of his destiny.
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto Yehovah, saying, I will sing unto Yehovah for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and the rider He has cast into the sea” (Ex. 15:1)
The devices of man are given to him of God but he finds no power to perform anything beyond the set boundaries. God gave power and strength to Egypt because He had designed that she was to be the means whereby Israel was to be protected and grow into a mighty nation. But Yehovah rides swiftly upon the designs and devices of Egypt a she with all her idols are moved at His presence as the hearts of the people melt in His presence (Is. 19:1).
The praise of Elisha was unto the One who rules and commands over every thought, word and deed of every part of His creation majestically riding prosperously because of truth, meekness and righteousness (45:4). Man may think he shall escape the wrath of God and like Adam in the garden disguise himself to avoid the righteous judgment of God but the Almighty hand of the Great King over all the earth has cast that horse and his rider into the sea. The ways of man shall not deliver him from the righteousness of God for the wages of sin is death.
The sea represents every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue of this world (Rev. 17:15) unto which God has given to be deceived by the pride of their hearts. Each son of the dust, like their father Adam, has concluded that God neither sees what man does nor is He concerned with the insignificant events. Good is called evil and evil good as the heart and mind of the natural man is consumed with the cares of this life and the delights of the flesh. The perfection which is the Holiness of God is made common by the sin of the contention of the people (Jeroboam), the blood of the sacrifice is trampled upon and the indigenous people of the land love to have it so. Thus having their eyes blinded to the truth and their ears stopped to hearing the Word of God, man and all his seed continues to ride like Ephraim in his ignorance, plow like Judah in the labours of his hands and break up the clods of earth like Jacob; but all is vanity.
“Speak unto Zerub-bable, governor of Judah saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations and I will overthrow the chariots and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down every one by the sword of his brother” (Hag. 2:22)
The work of God was finished before the foundation of the world and manifested in the creation of all things. In the fullness of time, each event comes to pass with precision and grace as the will of God is performed and His purpose maintained. The praise of Elisha was unto the sovereign self-existing one who has overcome the word. He has put all His enemies under His feet for He has power over all flesh. Nothing can stand before Him as He demonstrated to Elijah for He is the One who contains, protects, transports His people through their habitation in the body of this death and delivers them unto Himself when time is no more.
The chariot is singular and all inclusive like the driver and the passengers are one in Him. The many devices and inventions of the flesh collectively cannot overcome His will or prevail against His called-out assembly. He has ridden the red horse of His judgment against Himself as he who knew no sin became the sin of His people. His blood separates His people from the wrath of God with a covering protection and it identifies them as the redeemed of the Lord. Though there are wars and rumors of wars, though there be atmospheric insecurities, though there be social and economic catastrophes, yet the vehicle of Yehovah continues without interruption, to convey His people back to that city whose builder and Maker is God.
And when in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the Law, He did not present Him as a world leader sufficient in charisma and charm. He came forth as a servant of God lowly and riding upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass. When the Deliverer came to abolish the Law, nailing the handwriting of ordinances to the cross and fulfilling the Law in righteousness, He was indeed the Great King over all the earth, yet He made Himself of no reputation. He, being the head of the body, delivered His people, being the anointed body, by shedding His blood for the remission of sin. He showed the strength of the arm of the flesh to be impotent and the means of man to be ineffective. He confounded the wisdom of the wise with the simplicity of His creation and has made the preaching of the shed blood to be foolishness unto them that should perish.
He has poured out upon the house of the Beloved and the inhabitants of the coming forth of peace, the spirit of grace and of supplication. They have looked on Him whom they have pierced and mourned for Him and one that mourns for a son, and have great bitterness for Him as one that is bitter for the loss of the first-born. He came forth to smite every horse with astonishment and every rider with madness as He opened His eyes upon the house of Judah, smiting them with blindness. Thus the Word is hid from them that perish as the governors of Judah say in their hearts with the inhabitants of Jerusalem; my strength is in the Lord of Hosts.
The blasphemies of this great woman and her children are against the King and the citizens of Jerusalem which is from above. But the chariot, the riders, the power, the purpose, the methods and the means for the house of praise is Yehovah of hosts. Many shall call upon his name but only a remnant according to grace are called by His name. The natural man desires the life that the Israel of our God has and to reign in His kingdom; but the life of the inner man is eternal and His kingdom is not of this world.
Joash, the evil king who witnessed the death of Elisha, repeated this phrase when Elisha died in hopes to curry favour with God. God was not impressed even though this wicked king had proclaimed the truth yet he died in his sin.
Every child of grace is sanctified by God the Father and preserved and called in the Anointed salvation of Yehovah which is the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 13, 2017