Magic Cloaks?

Adam Stout

READ : 2 Kings 2:1-14

Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted. (v. 8)

Clothes have come a long way in my lifetime. My niece has shoes that light up when she walks. My dad has a hat with a fan built into it. But even with all the new technology, no store in the mall is selling anything like Elijah’s cloak.

Elijah was walking with his apprentice, Elisha, when they arrived at a river. Rather than looking for a place to ford, Elijah simply rolled up his cloak and smacked the river with it. The river parted, and the men walked across on dry land! Later, Elisha took the same cloak and hit the river with it. It parted again and he crossed over. What’s going on? Is this a magic cloak?

The same question might have gone through people’s minds years later when a woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed (Matt. 9:21-22), or when the handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched the apostle Paul began to cure diseases (Acts 19:11-12). Did these garments all come from some sort of magical clothing store? But Scripture reveals the secret: it is the Holy Spirit who does these miracles. God’s Spirit works in mysterious ways—through prayers, words, circumstances, even clothes! But God cannot be bought or sold. His power is available to us only on his terms.


Holy Spirit, teach us how to hear you, recognize you, and love like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.