So they went on, and fifty of the prophets followed them to the Jordan. Elijah and Elisha stopped by the river, and the fifty prophets stood a short distance away. Then Elijah took off his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it; the water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground.(2 Kings 2:6b-8) Good news Translation
We (that’s me and the Holy spirit) aren’t the first person to conclude that water is a physical substance which allows God to manifest his glory. Elisha understood it too.
We’ve made the case that God’s first creative act was to manipulate water molecules to cause nucleosynthesis. We’ve also made the case that Jesus’ first miracle was to manipulate water molecules to turn water into wine by using nucleosynthesis.
We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.– Matty’s Razor
In our passage today Elijah is getting ready to leave the world. He’s going to be taken up into heaven by God and Elisha and a group of other prophets are going to watch. Elijah asks Elisha what he wants as a blessing before he leaves:
There, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken away.”
“Let me receive the share of your power that will make me your successor,” Elisha answered.(2 Kings 2:9) Good News Translation
Elisha got the double portion of the spirit of Elijah that he asked for. Over the course of his ministry he goes on to perform several water based miracles. Indeed, he started immediately by replicating the miracle that Elijah did.
- Elisha parted the waters of the Jordan River: And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. (2 Kings 2:14)
- Elisha healed the waters of the city of Jericho: And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake. (2 Kings 2:19-22)
- Elisha helped the King of Israel overcome a revolt by the people of Moab in a remarkable way. He predicted that a flood of water would pass over the land and so he had the Israelites dig many ditches. When the water flowed over the land it filled the ditches, and as the sun rose in the morning it reflected off the water and it looked as if the land was full of blood. Assuming that the Israelites had been destroyed the Moabites came into the camp and were ambushed. (2 Kings 3:13-27)
- Elisha caused oil to pour out of a cruse until as many vessels as could be found were filled up. (2 Kings 4:1-7)
- Elisha purified some poisonous stew by putting corn meal into it. (2 Kings 4:38-41)
- Elisha cured Naaman of leprosy by having him wash in the Jordan River seven times. (2 Kings 5:1-14)
- Elisha caused an iron ax head to float on water. (2 Kings 6:1-7)
- Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
- believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
- confess your sin.
Elisha wasn’t afraid to manifest the glory of God. He knew that God can do anything. It also appears that he knew that water was a means to facilitate miraculous acts. Elisha probably knew nothing about atoms and molecules and the way in which God has power to form and reform physical matter. He didn’t know about nucleosynthesis, but he certainly knew that even God needs a physical substrate to work with, at least in this physical realm.
God made the universe from water without breaking the first law of thermodynamics. God himself is outside and beyond creation, he’s not constrained by it. And yet God has chosen to be bound within it by the physical laws that apply to a universe derived from water. He chose to make a universe which is governed by physical laws in order to give us life. Matter wasn’t created, it was changed from one form to another. Every action has an equal and an opposite reaction. Elisha instinctively knew this, and that when he needed God to do miracles, using water would make it easy.