All my life, or at least as long as I could remember, Brett Favre had been the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. And he was pretty good. smile emoticon But he was getting old. Every year you wondered if he would call it quits. And then the questions would come – what would life be like for the Packers without Favre? Sure, we thought Rodgers would be good. But who could be sure? Would they enjoy the same kind of success? We all know how that turned out.
Perhaps the same kinds of questions were being asked as Elijah made his final journey. Time and again, the sons of the prophets told Elisha, “Don’t you know Elijah is going to be taken away today?” Elisha knew. Would he be able to fill those giant shoes? Would he be able to stand up to kings and proclaim God’s law? Would he be able to perform great miracles? Would he be able to preach the still, comforting gospel? We all know how that turned out.
Nothing really changed. Elisha continued the same powerful ministry that Elijah had toiled in before him. God still worked the same way. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. While we packer fans might smile at our good fortune to have two superstar quarterbacks one after the other, the ministry of God’s word has always been and will always be the same. That’s because the one truly working is the Spirit of God through the Word. Whether it’s Elijah, Elisha, John, Jesus, Peter or you, God’s word remains powerful. God’s Spirit remains the one pulling the strings. And with that Spirit in the word of law and gospel you can do mighty, heavenly things – you can proclaim judgment to kings or comfort and forgiveness. You can do much greater things than calling fire down from heaven – you can preach Christ and Him crucified.
Was Elijah irreplaceable? Not at all. The power is in our God – Father, Son, and Spirit.