I try to write several times a week. Sometimes I have to wrestle out some words. Other days, like today, I whistle while I work because I've had an experience worth sharing, or else, I've come upon something in scripture that jumps out and jostles me into excitement.
Several days ago I was reading in 2 Kings how the prophet Elisha sent his servant Gehazi on a mission. He told him to tuck his cloak into his belt and to run with Elisha's staff to a boy who had died. Remember that... tuck cloak...run
I remember filing the tuck your cloak phrase so that I could go back to study it a little more in depth. Just five chapters later we see Elisha giving the same command to a another man from the company of prophets.
Tuck your cloak into your belt...and go. 2 Kings 9:1
Elisha was commanding the young prophet to anoint Jehu king over Israel. He then told him what to do after. He instructed, after anointing Jehu,
Open the door and run; don't delay. (v.3)
The young prophet did as he was told. Observers saw a man with a tucked cloak ask for a private meeting with Jehu. The man anoints Jehu, and then he runs off. Scripture tells us that those watching called him a maniac. Him going about this business appeared anything, but ordinary.
The command to tuck your cloak is similar to God's command that we find twice in Job when He tells Job to Brace yourself. It's like the imperative Jeremiah gives when he says, Get yourself ready. These verses are saying, Be about your (right) business.
Cloaks were long. I'm supposing the fact that Elisha twice tells prophets to tuck their cloaks before running, that they're able to hurry a little better with the tail of the cloak lifted off the ground. Maybe better noted, I don't recall the command, Take your cloak off.
Nearly the entire night a driving wind pelted rain against my bedroom window. The tile in the kitchen felt wintry on my bare feet this morning. Which reminds me of a few things. Get your coat.
We need our covering.
God clothed Adam and Eve because their own fig leaf outfits weren't adequate. Cloaks, coats and covering are mentioned throughout scripture, but my favorite mentions include
- that we're clothed in garments of salvation Isaiah 61:10
- We put on righteousness, it clothes us. Job 29:14, Psalm 132:9
- We put on Christ. Romans 13:14
We can't do without Jesus.
We need instructions.
Too often, we have Jesus, but we forget to consult Him, or remember Him when we go about our day. We do our thing, hoping He'll bless it. What is Jesus calling you to? Scripture will tell us. Prayer will inform us. We have a habit of running without listening to our master's call (not to take our cloak off, but) to tuck in our cloak. Interestingly, righteousness is referred to in Isaiah as the belt.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. Isaiah 11:5
We need to be tucked into Jesus to be able to do anything right or good or purposeful.
Get your instructions before going.
We need to be feverish about doing God's business.
I don't hide the fact that Peter is my favorite Bible character. He's impulsive and he's completely passionate. I relate.
In 1 Peter 1:13, he tells us to be sober...alert...ready. In my estimation he exemplifies that readiness while fishing after Jesus' resurrection. John 21 tells us that Peter and the disciples have been fishing, but have caught nothing. Jesus calls to them from the shore. Peter recognizes Him and jumps in the water, but not before...putting on his outer garment. Maybe some would see him as being a little tetched in the head, or as some maniac (remember the running young prophet?) I see Peter in his inadequate self, always knowing he needs his covering.
The other disciples row to shore in the boat. Peter couldn't wait. When he heard His master, he put on Jesus...went to Jesus. He got about the most important business.
So what do you say? Put on your coat today.
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