2 Kings 2:2b But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”
Elijah gives Elisha permission to opt out of their final travels but Elisha replies with the words above. It is repeated in verse four and then again in verse six. The point is made. Elisha is staying with Elijah until the end. Much of the Old Testament is about Covenant Loyalty; that is an agreement made between parties that they keep with faithfulness. In the Old Testament book of Ruth there is a verse that was sometimes used in weddings. It goes, “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me’” (Ruth 1:16, 17). You can see why it might fit a wedding. Funny thing though; it is a daughter-in-law speaking to her mother-in-law, not lovers or husbands and wives. Just like the above is a prophet and his mentor. I’m a big believer in marriage and I’ve seen fairly close up how the breaking of marriage covenants can damage lives. But marriage is only one way people remain faithful to each other. When they do so, they are mimicking God’s faithfulness to all of us. There are always plenty of reasons to leave. There are always plenty of ways to leave. Don’t leave. Remain faithful to God, to your faith community, to those closest to you. How can you strengthen those bonds this week?