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Meditations by John Dean

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Chariots of Fire

(2Kings 2:11 ISV)  As they continued on, talking as they went, suddenly chariots blazing with fire and pulled by fiery horses appeared, separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a wind storm to heaven!

Nothing is more uncertain than life because no one knows when their appointed time for leaving this world will be. There is no doubt that Elijah knew that his time was drawing near even though he did not know the exact moment. He and Elisha were simply walking along and talking about the ministry when the “suddenly” in our text happened.

“Blazing chariots of fire pulled by fiery horses” seemed to appear out of nowhere. There was no indication that Elijah and Elisha saw the chariots and horses coming. They just appeared “suddenly” and separated the two men.

Even though Elijah did not see the “chariots of fire” coming I do not believe that he was surprised when they did appear. Because he and Elisha both walked in a realm of the spirit that few men had walked in, I doubt that either of them were shocked by the sudden appearance of the chariots.

I believe that under normal circumstances most folks do have some feeling as to when their time is up…as is the case in the following story.

While being driven through Pennsylvania a few days ago on my way to a speaking engagement in Pittsburgh, we drove through the sleepy little community of Shanksville. This little community had a population of only two hundred and forty-five people. Shanksville was so small that it was not even known to most Pennsylvanians, much less the world.

However, on September 11, 2001 the little rural community of Shanksville, Pennsylvania would not only be forever known to the world, but would also become a hotspot for tourists. It was on a very normal quiet sunny morning at 10:03 a.m. when United Flight 93 would plunge into the earth and take the lives of forty passengers and crew.

This aircraft was hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists who had planned to use it as a weapon on an intended target. However, upon knowing the hijackers intentions 40 brave strangers aboard the plane banded together to retake the plane knowing their fate.  They all died in this effort while keeping the plane from its intended target.

As I walked around the memorial in the little town of ShanksvillePennsylvania that day I, like everyone else, remained silent. The sadness that griped my heart was almost more then I could bare. Forty brave people knew in advance that they only had minutes to live…and then they would all together pass from this world into eternity.

When it was time for Elijah to go…the Lord  sent chariots that were seen. I wonder, when these forty brave people went to be with the Lord, did He also send chariots for them that were not seen? Perhaps He did because He is no “respecter of persons.”

Father,
I am sure that the story in Shanksville, Pennsylvania or the Elijah story is not as much about them as it is about You. I really believe that You care so much for us that at our home going You send a special envoy to escort each of us into Your presence and to our reward.

Amen

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