This was Elisha's reply when Elijah asked of him, "What can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Hum, a double portion...You have asked a difficult thing," replied Elijah, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours."
Now, lest you think that Elisha was a selfish or greedy prophet, let me explain his request. Elisha was requesting the blessing of the firstborn, a double portion. He was not asking to be twice as popular as Elijah nor to perform twice as many miracles. Elisha was asking to be the successor of Elijah and to be privileged to carry on his ministry.
And indeed when Elijah the prophet was taken up to heaven, Elisha saw it and received a double portion, a double anointing from Yahweh. As Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak, he received Elijah's mantel, which was indicative of his spirit and his power that was being passed on to Elisha. It was then that Elisha struck the waters of the Jordan and it divided to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over on dry ground. I love hearing this story again and again as this company of prophets recite this miracle over and over.
Shalom, my name is Abigail. It is a Hebrew name which means ‘my father rejoices,' and it is I who am a friend of Elisha and it is I who is allowed to sit at his feet to hear the prophet's stories as they recount Yahweh's miracles, many times over. You think not, me a mere woman and a widow, allowed to sit at the prophet's feet.
Well, let me explain. It is true that Hebrew women have a lowly stature. Men think little of us except when they're hungry, or a... when they have other needs. And if you are a widow like me, you are the very lowest who will likely die of starvation if no family member will care for you.
So how is it that I have befriended this most famous prophet Elisha? It is I who care for this company of prophets. I cook and clean for them, although they eat little, and it is I who clean up the chamber pots. I do those things that no one will. I am the lowest of them all yet I am allowed to walk among these prophets, to listen and to learn all about this prophet Elisha (who is my friend) and to see how Yahweh works through him, to speak His words.
Here is another story I've heard them tell: At one time the town's men told Elisha that they're water had gone bad. Elisha told them to bring him a bowl with some salt in it. Then he took the salt and threw it into the spring and spoke the Lord's words, "I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive."
Another time a group of young people were jeering at Elisha, making fun of his bald head. Elisha put a curse on them "in the name of the Lord" and two bears came out and mauled them to bits.
And then there was a time that three kings had gathered for war. They had run out of water for their men and they asked Elisha what to do. Elisha was hard put to help them out, but relented because of his great respect for Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah. The Lord spoke through Elisha, "Make this valley full of ditches. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water and you, your cattle, and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you. You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones." (2 Kings 3:16-19) And it all happened, just like Elisha had said!
This is my favorite story: A widow with two sons told Elisha that she was very poor and someone was coming to take her sons as slaves. Elisha said to her, "How can I help you and what do you have in your house?"
She replied, "Nothing except a little oil."
Elisha instructed her to go ask all her neighbors for empty jars, as many as she could find. Then he told her to go into her house and fill all the jars with oil She did all this and found that every jar was full of oil. Can you imagine! Then he told her to go sell the oil, pay off her debts, and to live on what was left.
Oh, and there was the time that Elisha was used by Yahweh to bring a boy back to life. I mean, HE WAS DEAD and he was resurrected! And another time Elisha restored a pot of poisonous stew. And then there was the time that bread was multiplied for 100 men to eat. For the Lord said, "They will eat and have some left over."
And here is my last story to tell you of the mighty deeds of Yahweh, in which He worked through Elisha: Naaman, a commander of the army of the King of Aram, had leprosy. He went before Elisha in hopes of being healed. As he approached Elisha, Elisha spoke these words to him, "Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."
Naaman became very angry and did not want to do this. You see the Jordan was very dirty and he was a man of high stature, and surely this act was beneath him. Yet Naaman's servant actually talked him into it and Naaman followed Elisha's instructions. He dipped himself into the Jordan seven times and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. It was a miracle! I wish I could have been there to see for myself, but I will gladly remain here among these prophets to hear them tell these wonderful stories.
Yes, Elisha is truly my friend, although few words are spoken between us. But our eyes meet often and he knows why I'm here. He knows I'm listening and learning. He knows my heart.
It's also true that you've never heard of me, there is no record of my account. But you see, although I appear to be the lowest of them all, what I do does not define who I am. I am a daughter of Yahweh and I have His heart. I long to be His vessel, to pour out His miracles, and to speak His words.
I have learned so much about Yahweh's faithfulness. He is a God of miracles and He is true to His word. And I know why He has positioned me here, near His prophet Elisha. I too desire this double portion, this double anointing from Yahweh. And Elisha can see it in my eyes. That is why he allows me to linger in a corner to watch and to listen and to learn.
As I passed by Elisha one day, he touched my arm. I looked up, our eyes met, and he spoke these words, "You ask a difficult thing, my friend. But always remember, all things are possible with Yahweh."