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Two days ago we read 5 chapters in 2 Chronicles. It was a lot to read. We are now reading it from a different viewpoint with different details (easier details). (I point that out so that if it seems familiar you don’t think you are going crazy)
2 Kings 1: We begin with the Judgement on Ahaziah. He fell through the lattice and wants to consult with Baal-Zebub of Elkron. This is not the fertility Baal, this one is worshipped in Ekron, (border of the Philistine territory).
Baal-Zebub is a false god that was thought to have the power of prophecy. His name means “Lord of the Flies”. The Lord that controls the flies is Belzebub-that’s right, the devil! Put that in your head for a minute! (and yes, that is why they named the book that, because of the pig head on the stick scene they worshipped).
Chapter 1 is not a hard chapter but I wanted to point out that they keep mentioning Elijah’s fashion sense. His belt and cloak. This will be the same outfit John the Baptist wears as he comes in the ‘spirit of Elijah’ and that is why he is mistaken for Elijah (if that confuses you, we will get there in 3 months so just ignore).
“Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram (Jehoram) succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.”
2 Kings 2– Here is the travel map for this chapter: (clearly a man was driving…just kidding)
Elijah and Elisha are sitting in a group of prophets who all know that Elijah will be taken up to heaven. Elisha is taking every moment to stay with him before he goes. Elisha, like a son, asks for a double portion of his spirit (lower case ‘s’). He was asking for a double portion of his strength for ministry. A blessing only comes from the Lord so they left it in God’s hands.
And then it happens!
Elijah is taken into heaven alive never to be seen again. Wait….that’s not true! (In my opinion, and it is only an opinion, we will see him again. I believe he is one of the 2 witnesses in Revelation for several reasons….but let me stay on task.)
In 1 Kings 19 when Elijah fled, he was showing a “lack of faith”. He JUST saw God bring fire from heaven and completely consume a soaking wet offering yet he was afraid of Jezebel’s reaction?? When God approached him, he said he was the only one left. Oh dear…we are ALL replaceable! He then says:
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
Elisha now begins his “prophetic ministry” (I made that phrase up I think) by showing that God was with him, just like many in the past such as Moses and Elijah. We will actually see a close parallel between Moses and Elijah. He begins with the parting of the Jordan River and then the water is purified at Jericho.
I have to put the end of 2 kings 2 in this blog. The short version is 3 years ago exactly today: me, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law took 9 kids on a hike in the Smokey Mountains. Due to a storm that came in, and the forest fires the year before destroying the trails, we got lost for HOURS. It was the second scariest moment of my life. Long story short (too late) we lost my middle child on the mountain (it really wasn’t anyone’s fault if you heard the longer version). Police and rangers were involved and we were losing sunlight. We turned a corner and we were staring at a family of bears. In my head, my daughter must have been killed by the bears. Well, she wasn’t and I packed up the next morning (from the trauma) and headed back to Nashville and went to church that Sunday, and THIS WAS THE SERMON….I am NOT making this up!
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25 And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
I about fainted in Church! Clearly, I researched the heck out of this paragraph that week!
Chapter 3-this is a repeat story from 2 days ago but let me address the water that looked like blood.
20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water. (It is the rainy season)….
22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood. 23 “That’s blood!” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder, Moab!”
Edom means RED. The rocks there were red. Petra was built on a red mountain. The rivers (the sediments) would be red from the rainy season. Hello, that’s why the sea is called the Red sea! BUT God used it in a mighty way for the victory of the battle. He is so amazing!
Chapter 4– Sorry this is long, but we could spend a month on these 4 chapters, so much we are skipping BUT Elisha performs a miracle with the oil-providing for the widow (oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit)
The Shunammite’s son– random thoughts
- In the beginning, do you think she was flirting with him to try to make a baby (the old fashion way)?
- She obviously did not tell her husband the severity of her son’s condition because he says “It’s not a New Moon or a Sabbath”. Translation- Can this issue wait till my day off? Ain’t nobody got time for this, I am working.
- The staff is a symbol of power: God’s authority BUT he was never going to let Gehazi use it to heal him. First, he is not a messenger for the Lord, and second, he is not a great guy…he probably would have charged them if it worked. Elisha…get up off your butt and go!! Just like David…we get LAZY.
Death in the Pot!- I am so using that phrase the next time my husband cooks meat!
- The famine was getting so severe that what was left was either rotten or poisonous, but flour (representing bread) provided for them.
Man, we skipped a lot of details….the next time we do this read-through (sorry to say I won’t be doing it next year so make sure you stick with this) we will cover the rest.