Here and then gone. Elijah was there one minute talking with Elisha, having conversation and sharing who knows what. Then, God sweeps in, and in an instant, Elijah is carried to heaven. Read 2 Kings 2:11-12.
As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:11-12 NASB
Elijah had fulfilled God’s purpose in his life. He had come to that place where it was time for him to receive his eternal reward and be made perfect in God’s sight. Elijah was carried away to heaven, making him one of only two people that The Bible records never faced of death.
Why did God choose to carry him to heaven instead of allow him to experience death like the rest of us? The Bible really doesn’t say specifically. It does mention that people knew that something was going to happen. Here and in the verses prior, the prophets and Elisha clearly know that Elijah is going away from them today. However, they did not understand necessarily exactly what that would look like.
God can do anything differently at any point that he wants to. It didn’t matter that this had only happened one time before, God brought Elijah home. Are we focused on the journey home? Are we looking forward to it and do we focus on how we can be ready when God decides it’s time? Are you ready to return home?