The Clothes Make the Man
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 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 2:13-14
The idiom, “The clothing makes the man,” implies that a person’s character is judged by his clothing and appearance. We tend to make quick judgment about people based on the type of clothing they are wearing, or the lack thereof. This morning, we are considering the mantle of Elijah that was passed to Elisha. We want to see how this mantle made Elijah and Elisha the kind of men that they were.
We see the PECULIARITY in the mantle.
The mantle was typically a garment of outer clothing made of fur or fine material. Elijah was described as a “hairy man,” which referred to the furry exterior of the mantle he wore. It symbolized that he was a prophet of God. It represented the calling of God upon him. When he was told to find Elisha and induct him into the ministry, he indicated God’s calling on Elisha by casting his mantle on the young man. A calling of God is not to be taken lightly. It is a high and holy calling. It is a calling to a life of full-time service in proclaiming God’s Word to a sin-sick world. The uniqueness of the calling speaks of the man’s character, consecration, and commitment. The mantle immediately spoke of the man and his holiness, his humility, and his homiletics.
We see the POWER in the mantle.
Elijah wrapped the mantle up and smote the waters of the Jordan, and the waters were divided hither and thither. Elisha replicated the same miracle at the same location. The mantle was symbolic of the power of God. This power is God’s gift for spiritual service. This power does not come to us without a cost. We must be worthy of this power. We must be asking and begging God for this power. We must be focused and attentive on the Lord, His Word, the Holy Spirit, and our spiritual priorities in order to be deserving of this power. The moment our eyes are not on the Lord, we lose our grasp and use of this power. The mantle gave power over the natural. We must remember that we must put off our old clothing before we put on our mantle. Apart from God’s power, we are just like other men and have no influence whatsoever.
We see the PASSING of the mantle.
The mantle passed from Elijah to Elisha. We must note that it was not a normal passing of the baton. Elijah’s mantle fell from him as he was being taken up. The mantle falling out of the sky reminds me that a man can receive nothing except it be given him from God. God wants the mantle to pass from prophet to prophet, from servant of God to servant of God. God wants us to pass down His criteria for service. God wants us to pass down His capability for service. The sons of the prophets said, “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.” They saw the Jordan part for Elisha. The passing of the mantle reminds me that it is to be worn well and indicative of God’s favor. It should not be exploited, wasted, or neglected. It is to be used to glorify the Lord, and be an encouragement to other people.
Like Elisha did, it might be time for us to change our garments and ask God for a double portion of His power and faith for serving Him. This is the continuous secret for success in serving God.
Take time to be holy, and in sincerity, ask God to let the mantle fall on your service for Him.
Have a Spirit-filled God Morning!