Read 158.) II Kings 2:1-6:7 and 8:1-22. This begins about 853 BC. Elijah is about to be taken up by the Lord. Elisha, his servant and ‘prophet-in-training’ knows of this. We read the record of Elijah’s 9th miracle, when he strikes the Jordan with his cloak, and they cross over on dry ground. Elijah then asks Elisha what he would like, before he is taken away from him; and, Elisha wisely requests a double-portion of Elijah’s spirit! The rest of our reading is all about that. Don’t read it, without trying to picture in your mind the very things that are told us in all of this, as it is fascinating to meditate upon. It was an incredible time in the history of Israel. We don’t read but 5 verses before Elisha is now the Lord’s prophet, and performs his first miracle! The 2nd is of Elisha being used to heal the water of a well in Jericho. They have a fresh sweet well of water there to this day!
We have an amazing thing in II Kings 3. Verses 4 thru 7 are another instance, where Jehoshaphat, as good a king as he was, again violated the clear principle of being separate from the wicked, after he was warned by God! We saw this in I Kings 22:1-4 and 22:43, but especially in II Chron 18:1-3. See how he was warned by God with 19:1-3, and yet he persisted in allying with the wicked, as 20:35-37 attests, along with what we read right here in II Kings 3:4-7, as this also took place after he had been warned of God! Even the best will always have their flaws, failings and weaknesses.
What next comes of this is Elisha’s 4th recorded miracle of the supply of water in the desert for 3 armies and all their animals. The result, following, was a great victory, given by God over Israel’s and Judah’s enemies from Moab to their east. Chapter 4 relates Elisha’s 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th miracles, to match that number Elijah had performed. There was the multiplication of oil, similar to Elijah’s in 17:7-16. Elisha raised a boy back up from the dead, like Elijah in 17:17-23. Elisha was used to detoxify poisonous stew; and he also fed 100 men with the provisions enough for only 20. Chapter 5 records Elisha’s 10th miracle, affectionately referred to as “Snow White and the 7 Dips”! It’s the healing of Naaman of his leprosy. An 11th would be the passing of Naaman’s leprosy to Elisha’s own servant, Gehazi. Chapters 6 & 7 record yet 4 more miracles! From 6:1-7, Elisha makes an axe-head float! There’s a truly amusing account in 6:8-24. Enjoy it! What follows is most amazing! God caused a massive Aramean army to flee, and to leave all their goods and provisions, that Israel might be relieved of a severe drought and famine. We end with 8:1-22, and will we read any more of Elisha’s exploits from the Lord? These are incredible accounts, all to prove God’s existence, and to elicit a response of faith from all His people. Where are they? The last 7 verses speak of the transition of kings in Judah, from Jehoshaphat to Jehoram. What did he learn under his father and from Elisha? That’s next. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell