Elijah lived and served his God, and as proof of his authority God answered him on several occasions by sending fire from heaven. So it is fitting that God should take His servant from this scene in the “chariot of fire”.
1 KINGS 21 : 1-29
Maybe we could say that God is here giving Elijah the satisfaction of making both Ahab and Jezebel aware of their impending judgement. So the narrative sets up for us the scene of Elijah’s final confrontation with this evil pair.
“Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, This is what the LORD says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property? Then say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood- yes, yours!” “And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’
Yes, God would bring His judgment upon this evil pair, but not by His servant Elijah. The lesson to us is that God does see the injustice that His servant has to endure, but not in all cases will God permit that offended servant to see how he deals with the offender, and will not allow that offended servant to be the tool or instrument of His judgment. God’s judgment was inflicted upon them as recorded in 1 Kings 22: 29-39; and 2 Kings 9:30-37.
GOD’S ENEMIES ARE ALSO HIS SERVANT’S ENEMIES
“Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD (There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)
Ahab recognized the fact that he was an enemy of God and thus Elijah as well, and we can sense that somehow the seriousness of his situation was finally becoming evident to him. But unfortunately, as is often the case, Ahab had gone too far and the day of God’s grace could no longer be extended.
And so, as God’s servants, we too must be aware that we face the enemy in every area of our service, and we need to be constantly led by the Spirit of God and to seek His protection; ; J.B. Phillips translation of this passage drives the message home: ‘The very fact that they are your enemies is plain proof that they are lost to God, while the fact that you have such men as enemies is plain proof that you yourselves are being saved by God”.
ELIJAH DEPARTS THIS EARTHLY SCENE
After appointing Elisha as his successor, as ordered by God, they both journey toward Gilgal: “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.”<2 Kings 2:11 NIV>