We can become fearful and doubtful about the course our lives are taking. But just as God was faithful to Elijah, God will be faithful to us. In the end, we will clearly see God’s plan.
Paper, pencils, a familiar article of clothing, magazine clippings showing people wearing different kinds of clothes
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- If something you are wearing today has great meaning for you, share that symbolism with the group. Provide as much detail as seems appropriate: when and how you got it, how long you’ve had it, what it represents, etc.
- You’ll receive a magazine clipping of a person. Share with the class your opinion of the pictured outfit: What does this clothing choice say about the person? Does it help or hinder the person’s image? Can you guess the person’s character based on the outfit?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- When Elijah’s ministry was passed on to Elisha, it was symbolized by the passing on of Elijah’s cloak. What can we learn from the strong ministry of these two Bible characters?
- Thought Questions
Read 1 Kings 19:1-4. Even though we have witnessed God’s leading in our lives, what things might cause us to want to give up, as Elijah did?
- When we pray our hearts out for an answer, but God seems silent.
- When we pray for someone we love to accept Jesus, but they keep choosing to live in sin.
- When we don’t fully comprehend the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus, and live in guilt.
- When the Second Coming seems delayed and we begin to have doubts that it will ever happen.
- When we see Christians who claim to follow Christ but who don’t speak or act as the Savior did.
- Ahab tore his robe; when we sin, we should engage in a physical act that shows our humility.
- God’s mind can change as God chooses to do so.
- There are no regrets when our repentance leads us to salvation.
- Forgiveness is always available to us, so we don’t need to worry about how we live.
- When we sincerely humble ourselves and are repentant, God has compassion for us.
Read 1 Kings 2:1-18. What lessons can we learn from Elijah “passing on the torch” to Elisha?
- Just as Elijah was faithful and was rewarded with heaven, someday we will be, too.
- When the generation before us is gone, we have responsibility to continue their work.
- We need mentors to guide the next generation, as Elijah did for Elisha.
- It is both thrilling and humbling to be chosen and used by God.
- God chooses common, everyday people to serve in heaven’s cause.
Read 2 Kings 2:13-18. Even though the prophets had watched the miracle of Elisha parting the water, some still questioned what had happened. How are we sometimes like them?
- We trust God when things are going well, yet we doubt when troubling times come.
- We read about all the miracles in the Bible, yet we still question if they really happened.
- We doubt stories of miracles in others’ lives, believing they are merely coincidental.
- We witness a miracle in our lives and for a while are on fire for God, but in time our enthusiasm dies.
- We don’t always listen to the advice and counsel of those God has placed to lead us.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to the larger group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Elijah escaped death and went to heaven in a chariot. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, yet 2 Kings 13:14 says that he suffered from an illness and died. How do you explain this seeming unfairness?
- Option 2: Make two lists: (1) how Elijah and Elisha were similar and (2) how they were different. Now consider what matters most and least to God when a person is called to serve.
- Option 3: Is there someone in your church—perhaps a new believer or a young person—who you could mentor spiritually? If so, ask him or her to help you teach a class, visit sick members, or help with a community outreach program. As you work together, gently build into that person the values you believe are important in that ministry.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Do you feel like Elijah, tired of running from your challenging life and just wanting to give up? Don’t! Find someone to talk to. Work on removing or managing whatever stresses you can, and go to God daily for the strength to handle the things you can’t change.
- Are you willing to be used by God, even if you have to suffer at the end of your life as Elisha did? If you’re willing to be that radical for God, let it be known. Then look for opportunities for God to use you every day.