The group of prophets from Bethel came to Elisha and asked him, "Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?" "Of course I know," Elisha answered. "But be quiet about it." (2 Kings 2:3 NLT)
Elisha does not want to leave his mentor, Elijah. Who can blame him. His mentor walks with the LORD. His mentor is a powerful prophet of the LORD. When walking with his mentor, Elisha feels “at home.”
Then Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground! (2 Kings 2:8 NLT)
Elijah will become one of the most famous prophets of the LORD in all of history. He will stand alongside Moses and Jesus on the mountain when Jesus is transfigured. Elijah truly walked together with God.
When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away." And Elisha replied, "Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor." "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah replied. "If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won't." As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:9-11 NLT)
Not only that, Elijah is one of only three people who’s death is not reported. Enoch walked with God and then was no more (Genesis 5:24). Jesus ascended into the heavenly realms while his disciples looked on (Acts 1:9). Now, Elijah is taken up into heaven in a whirlwind as Elisha watches. Elijah left this world and went on to the next. Elijah was home.
Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River. He struck the water with Elijah's cloak and cried out, "Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" Then the river divided, and Elisha went across. (2 Kings 2:13-14 NLT)
The Apostle, Paul, struggled with the difference between home here and home there. He said that to live here is for Christ, but to die is to gain (Philippians 1:21-24). That’s because here we see in part. Here we know in part. But there we will know fully just as we are fully known (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). When we walk with God here, we get a taste of home. When we walk with God there, we are truly home.
How about you? Do you see the next life with God as being home? Do you look forward to going home? Do you enjoy a taste of home here as you look forward to home there? It really is better when we are home.