The Curse of Change - II Kings 2:16-18
March 19, 2024, 8:33 AM

16. "Look," they said, "we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley." "No," Elisha replied, "do not send them." 17. But they persisted until he was too ashamed to refuse. So he said, "Send them." And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him.   18. When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, "Didn't I tell you not to go?"

It is hard to adjust to a new minister or a new way to do ministry. The former prophet, Elijah, was well received and people were hesitantly following Elisha. They yearned for the familiarity of their old leader. It was God who decided a change was in order, not Elijah nor Elisha. Change is hard for people. Change can be a curse that resists divine purpose. Frequently, due to a reluctance to adapt, God intervenes by replacing leaders to usher in a fresh anointing and manifestation of His Spirit.

Jesus spoke of a new work of God with a new covenant. Luke 5:37-39 “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.'"

Elijah didn’t die. God took him. Elisha was committed to the Lord and had learned from Elijah; When the chariots of fire separated him from his mentor, he responded in shock and cried out in grief.

When Elisha returned to the school of the prophets, he reported what had happened. They didn’t want to believe it. They didn’t want to accept him as their leader. It was the curse of change. They wanted Elijah back.

The principles of God did not change. The power of God, His Word and His purpose did not change, but the ways of God in that day did change. The culture changed and the person to lead them was different and did not do things the same way, even though God’s hand was on them both.

There are churches which know the fundamentals and stick with them. There are churches which have adapted to the world and changed the very message of God. Many churches continue in traditions, or with innovation, but unfortunately their main focus is not on the Lord.

As ways of doing services in our churches may change, what is the most important is the doctrine which does not change; the truths of God do not change, but how that truth is communicated and celebrated can be adapted to each new generation. Those who don’t recognize God in it, will be like the sons of the prophets who went into the mountains to try and find Elijah’s body.

Application: Look where the movement of God is changing people’s lives. Where are people coming to faith in Christ? Where do we see righteousness and good works, and those whose passion for God and His Word is growing? There God is doing a good thing even if it is in new ways and with new people.

Prayer:  Lord, we pray that You would give us eyes to see the opportunities you put before us and use these means to advance Your kingdom and Your righteousness, never seeking glory for ourselves in any of it.