2 Kings 13

2 Kings 13 has the story of Elisha’s last days.  It begins with a description of the rule of Jehoahaz who reigned 17 years over Israel in Samaria.  He was not a good king as “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  That is never a good decision or choice to make.  The Lord “gave them continually” to the enemy and they were in bondage.  But finally a light bulb goes on and “Jehoahaz sought the favor of the Lord” and God listened.  But they didn’t change their ways and he dies and is replaced by Jehoash as king.

He also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  No lessons learned here.  We learn here of what will cause Elisha’s death.  This is a man of God who has done mighty miracles all over the place.  He has stood against kings and done great things.  “Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die”.  You’d think he would die as a martyr or doing God’s work against some mighty enemy.  But Elisha get’s sick and will die from this illness.  But before that happens, Joash comes weeping and crying about the battle at hand.

Elisha gives him a series of steps to complete:

  • Take a bow and arrows
  • Draw the bow
  • Open the window eastward
  • Shoot
  • The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria
  • Take the arrows
  • Strike the ground with them

During the process “Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands”.  And when instructed to strike the ground, Joash only did it three times.  Elisha didn’t tell him how many times – just to strike the ground.  But much like the earlier miracle of the woman and the oil where the outcome was determined by how many jars she had gathered, the same is true here.  “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times”.

And with that, Elisha dies from his illness and is buried.  We still see the power of Elisha in that some marauders from Moab threw a dead man onto the bones of Elisha, and “as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet”.  That had to be a shock.  Elisha may have been dead but the power of the Lord was still in his bones.  We also learn that his prophecy came true as he stated.  “Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel”.  Since Joash had only struck the ground three times when told to do so, that was the number of victories he was granted.  Elisha’s story is one of tapping into the power of God and delivering the message and miracles as God led him!

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