2 Kings 2.11
“And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it …“
This is an amazing, dramatic conclusion to an amazing, dramatic life, and it was the way God confirmed that He had granted Elisha’s request to receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. But there’s deeper meaning here, and again more symbolism. This was the final demonstration of God’s message through Elijah from the very beginning—that Yahweh is superior to Baal.
“Elijah” means “Yahweh is God.” His very name is a statement that Yahweh is the true God, and that Baal is a false god. A counterfeit. An impostor. Bible scholars point out that this is the key to understanding Elijah’s miracles. Consider this:
Baal claimed to be the lord of the storm and rain, but God demonstrated through Elijah His authority over the storm and rain.
Baal claimed to be the lord of fire, but God demonstrated through Elijah His authority over fire on Mt. Carmel.
Baal claimed to be the god who mounted up in the clouds, but God through Elijah’s departure demonstrates that He has authority over the heavens.
Elijah’s departure is the fitting and dramatic conclusion to his life’s mission—to demonstrate God’s superiority over Baal and to communicate to the people of Israel (and to us) that we must turn away from false gods and stay faithful to the covenant with the Lord.
God is calling.