Written by: Christopher Sernaque
This morning we begin the 2nd book of Kings. The reading was 8 chapters and so we have a lot of ground to cover. Take it in pieces, not all at once. 2 Kings opens up with Moab rebelling against Israel and King Ahaziah becoming bed-ridden and ill after falling through a lattice in his upper chamber. Rather than ask the Lord for healing Ahaziah enquires of Baalzebub the god of Ekron to ascertain whether or not his health would improve. This, of course, was a slap to the face of God who told Elijah to go and inform Ahaziah that he will surely die. The King responded by sending 3 bands of men, two of which were burned up for their arrogance. Thus, we learn two lessons from this incident. God cannot be replaced with anything or by anyone. Additionally, humble gratitude serves as a bulwark of protection from the fires that consume arrogance.
The second chapter of 2nd Kings records the account of when Elijah was taken to Heaven on chariots of fire. Because this chapter is so unique I highly recommend reading or re-reading it. Elijah, to test the faith of Elisha, kept telling him to remain at several schools of the prophets. Elisha’s reply each time was one of loyalty and love; he would not leave Elijah. Both prophets eventually crossed the Jordan river together after Elijah miraculously parted the river with his mantle. When Elijah asked of Elisha what he desired, Elisha wanted a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah. Elijah promised that if Elisha saw Elijah ascend, then he would get the double portion. Sure enough, Elijah was translated, and Elisha got to see the whole thing. When it was time to cross the Jordan again, Elisha used Elijah’s mantle that had fallen as he ascended. Tears came to my eyes when Elisha asked the question, “where is the Lord God of Elijah?” My heart thought about what it would be like to now have to fill the shoes of those that I love and admire after they are gone. I know that I am not sufficient enough to fill the roles of those who have provided and guided me. That may be why Elisha asked such a question. How else could he fill the shoes of Elijah without the Lord guiding his steps?
(2 Kings 4:9) The fourth chapter deals with the various miracles wrought by the Holy Spirit through Elisha. However, verse 9 arrested my attention. This verse indicates that this woman, after spending time with Elisha, recognized him as a man of God. Elisha’s trust, not in himself, but in the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is what made him a man of God. In this same chapter, Elisha was God’s instrument to perform a resurrection of the woman’s son. When the child came back to the life he walked “to and fro.” The Bible predicts that in the last days the people of God will run “to and fro” (Dan 12:4) Will there be resurrections in these last days? Resurrection in the Bible also typifies victory over sin. (Rom 6:1-6) By God’s grace, we can get victory, even in these troublous times. (Mt 1:21)
(1 Kings 5:8) Personally, I love the bold and passionate response that prophets give. When the king of Israel heard that Naaman the Syrian Captain was coming to be cured of leprosy he panicked and tore his clothing. Elisha confidently responded that the king need not overreact, for Naaman will soon know there is a prophet in Israel. While we must never become self-reliant, we can exhibit Godly confidence in a tough situation.
2 Kings 6:16: And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
(2 Kings 7:3-9) The nation of Syria had besieged Samaria, Israel, and we now find that Samaria is starving. Four leapers sat at the gate of the city and decided to beg the Syrians for food. The Lord miraculously made the Syrians hear the sound of an approaching army and they fled, leaving their encampment deserted. Rather than selfishly keep all of these blessings to themselves, the lepers shared the good tiding with everyone! Share the good news today with someone!