Over several days, I have encountered the word “cloak” during my study time. I have highlighted the word in the following passages along with personal application.
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
While discussing 1 Kings 19 with one of my sons, I noted Elijah’s cloak is mentioned twice. The first time the cloak is used as a protective covering as Elijah prepares to face God after hearing His gentle whisper. The second time Elijah places the cloak on Elisha’s shoulders, signifying passing the mantle of leadership from one generation to the next. In both cases, God’s servants respond to His calling.
Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.
The day after I read 1 Kings 19, I stumbled on Mark 13. Verse 19 triggered a connection to Elisha receiving Elijah’s cloak while working the field. Elisha leaves the field and his family to follow Elijah. In Mark 13, Jesus is describing the signs of the last days. He warns His disciples to be on their guard against false prophets and those claiming to be Christ. He says the elect must not be deceived. Much like Elijah listening to the wind, earthquake, and the fire before hearing God’s call in a gentle whisper, Jesus’ words resonate a protective, distinctive quality known to those who follow Him. Much like Elisha who left his fields behind once Elijah’s cloak was placed on his shoulders, I am to abandon my former life and pursue a new one by following Jesus, assuring inclusion in His gathering of the elect.
Then I read this passage from Sarah Young’s devotional. In these days of darkness described in Mark 13:24-25
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
and when God calls me to serve Him as He did Elijah and Elisha, I am to reflect God’s Love to others like a dazzling raiment, confident in Mark 13:31: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”