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17. Elisha Scores Political Points

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Kings 3:1-27 

Outline:           I.     Jehoram’s Rule and Influence                 II Kings 3:1-9

                               II.    Jehoshaphat’s Influence                           II Kings 3:10-14

                              III.  Elisha’s Guidance                                          II Kings 3:15-20

                              IV.  Moab’s Defeat                                                 II Kings 3:21-27 

Context/Discussion/Comments:

                 This account in II Kings 3 could have been included in the Lessons about Jehoram, king of Israel, or Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.  But I decided to include it with the exploits of Elisha because through his prophecy, Elisha’s stature with the heads of government increased greatly.  Elisha went from being unknown to being known, from being in the shadow of Elijah to being God’s chief prophet.

                 Jehoram, king of Israel, ruled 12 years.  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord but he was not as evil as his father Ahab or his mother Jezebel.  Jehoram removed the sacred altar of Baal but continued to worship false gods.

                 Moab was conscripted to provide Israel with sheep and wool but they rebelled after Ahab died.  Jehoram gathers his army to fight Moab and convinces Jehoshaphat to join him.  Edom also joined them and the 3 kings brought their armies into the desert of Edom and ran out of water.  Jehoram is surprised by the lack of planning and Jehoshaphat wants to speak to a prophet of the Lord God.  An official of Israel’s army mentions Elisha, a prophet who served under Elijah.  Jehoshaphat approves of Elisha in that he and  Jehoram had heard of Elijah.  So the three kings go visit Elisha, the prophet.

                 Elisha asks Jehoram why he is there to see him and not his idolatrous prophets of Baal.  Jehoram explains that it is God who brought them [former enemies] together.  Elisha says he would not even speak to them if Jehoshaphat wasn’t with them.  Elisha calls for a harpist to play while he calls on God and awaits His answer.  The Lord reveals to Elisha that the 3 kings should dig trenchs throughout the valley.  Rain and storms will not come but the trenches would be filled with water for their armies and animals.  The Lord also reveals that He will hand Moab over to them including their cities and they are to bring devastation on the land of Moab.  The next morning the desert trenches were filled with water flowing from Edom.  It all happen during the morning sacrifice which was probably offered by Jehoshaphat.  Moab hears they are about to be attacked and everyone who could fight was summoned to their  border with Israel.  They arrived in the morning and the water looks like blood to them.  Moab thinks the Israeli army has slaughtered each other and proceeds to cross the valley to gather plunder.  When Moab reaches the Israeli camp, the Israelites rise up to fight and slaughter Moab.  Israel destroys Moab’s towns, cuts down trees, stops up springs, and tosses rocks in their fields.  After falling to the Israelites, Moab turns to fight Edom.  But Edom turns them back too.  Moab retreats and the king sacrifices his firstborn son. 

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. Changes in leadership always causes changes in loyalty.  Sudden changes cause instability.   Continually consult the Lord for His Wisdom in avoiding the problem of instability and loyalty.  Do not approach God as an afterthought or when all else has failed.  Approach God before receiving any new assignment from the Lord.
  2. Respect is natural between all who love the Lord.  We have all been baptized by the Holy Spirit and are members of one body, the Church.  Do not jeopardize this friendship by associating with those who dishonor Christ Jesus.
  3. It is acceptable for Christians to meet with those who worship false gods but we are not to engage in any activities that gives others the appearance that we have a close relationship/association.
  4. Seeking God solves problems.
  5. As Christians [we who call upon God daily for wisdom, guidance, and discernment], we are obligated to share His insight, wisdom, and direction with all who honestly and genuinely seek to know God’s Will.
  6. We should not pass up any opportunity to praise God or confront sin.
  7. Background music can be a means to clear one’s mind and turn one’s heart to listen to God.  Soft music is better than loud music so that you can clearly hear “God’s still small voice”.  Enter your right environment to hear God clearly.
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