Before Elijah departs to heaven, Elisha asks to receive a double-portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). In addition to receiving a double-portion of Elijah’s spirit, Elisha receives much of Elijah’s ministry. Elisha opposes Joram like Elijah before him opposed Joram’s parents, Ahab and Jezebel. Elisha blesses a woman afflicted by grave sorrows as Elijah did before him. Even though we are in the second of two books named “Kings,” it really is this transition of these two prophets that provides an essential lesson about the eras of the kings in both the north and the south, from the time of David to Jehoiachin. Good kings pay close attention to God’s true prophets the way Jehoshaphat listens to Elisha. Kings need to hear from God, and God is willing to communicate truth to them in these days, but unfortunately many of them are too wicked to obey.

Leaders need the truth, and the book of Kings pays much attention to the differences between those who will heed the truth from prophets and those who choose to ignore their words. Today when we read about the prophets and kings, let us learn to pay careful attention to all God says, lest we become wicked like Israel’s kings, preferring false voices over the truth.