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20. Elisha’s Miraculous Ministry-Part III

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Kings 6:1-8:6

Outline:           I.     A Miracle of Recovery                             II Kings 6:1-7

II.    A Miracle of Compassion                       II Kings 6:8-23

III.  A Miracle of Mercy                                   II Kings 6:24-7:20

IV.  A Miracle of Provision                            II Kings 8:1-6

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The prophets decide they need a larger meeting place so they go near the Jordan River where there are trees, cut them down, and build there.  One of the prophets loses his borrowed axe in the river.  It is recovered by Elisha when he threw a stick into the water and made the axe handle float.

Aram [Ben-Hadad] is at war with Israel and sets up raiding camps in various parts of Israel’s eastern border.  Elisha knows of these camps and warns the king of Israel [Jehoram].  This frustrates Aram’s king who learns from his officer [probably Naaman] that Elisha, not the king’s men, is responsible for this breach of information.  The king of Aram wants Elisha captured.  When the Arameans arrive at Dothan, Elisha prays, the hills are filled with the Lord’s army, and the Arameans are blinded.  Elisha leads the Arameans into the city of Samaria and to King Jehoram where there eyes are opened.  Elisha tells the king to give them a banquet and to treat them kindly.  The king does that and the Arameans stop their raiding.

Later Ben-Hadad decides to march on Samaria again and lay siege to it.  Israel is evidently weak because of a long and great famine.    Food was expensive and very scarce.  The conditions were so bad that the king learns the people are killing their children for survival.  Jehoram blames Elisha for these conditions and vows to kill him.  The king sends his messenger to Elisha and follows him.  Elisha is aware of what is happening.  The king accuses the Lord for their problems but Elisha assures them the famine and siege will end the next day.

Four men with leprosy decide to seek help from the Aramean camp and/or die there rather than die outside Samaria.  They find the Aramean camp vacant because the Lord caused them to sense they were being attacked by the Hittite and Egyptian armies.  The Aramean camp was loaded with money and food.  The four lepers went back and reported this to Samaria and the king after taking enough food and plunder for themselves.  The king thinks this is a trap but decides to send out scouts to investigate.  They return and report that the “rumor” is true.  There is such a mad scramble for food that the Samarian gatekeeper is trampled to death.

Elisha had sent the Shunammite woman and her son away from Israel because of this famine [see Lesson18].  She was gone for  seven years, living in the land of the Philistines.  She returns and asks that her land be restored to her.  Perhaps her “old” husband has died.  Elisha’s former servant confirms her story and the king [Jehoram] restores her land.

Lesson/Applications:

See Romans 8:28;35-39. 

  1. To those who love the Lord and are called for His good purpose [Christians], God gives the gift of discernment.  Seek this gift so you may always do His Will, ministering to others on the Lord’s behalf.
  2. God is sovereign over both the good times and the bad times.  Good and bad have the same purpose, to draw us closer to God and to learn to depend on Him.
  3. God grows His Body [prophets/Church] through our obedience and faith in Him.
  4. Life is full of “small” trials.  Call on the Lord to receive His Wisdom and direction in avoiding these traps.  Be hospitable toward your enemies when He has granted you victory [see Romans 12:17-21].  God is also sovereign over our peace.
  5. We should pray for our leaders, that they will humble themselves before God and their people, that they acknowledge and recognize that the difficulties they have in governing is God’s way of getting our attention.  Pray for our leaders that we as a people might receive God’s mercy in place of God’s wrath.
  6. God miraculously provides for all who acknowledge Him as Lord and depend on Him for all their needs.

Pray and God Will Reveal Himself.

Pray and Miracles will Happen!

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