2 Kings 13

2 Kings 13 moves from a view of Judah’s king to now Israel’s King Jehoahaz.  Unlike his counterpart in Judah, this king “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” just as his father and grandfather before him.  “The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel….he gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Syria”.  So what do we do when things aren’t going well?  We cry out to God which is exactly how “Jehoahaz sought the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him”.  God never leaves nor forsakes us.  But He does desire us to come to Him humbly and obediently.

The Syrians had ransacked Israel and “there was not left to Jehoahaz an army of more than fifty horsemen and ten chariots and ten thousand footmen”.  The kingdom was under the control of the Syrians most of the time of his reign.  Jehoahaz dies and his son, Jehoash began to reign.  He made the same mistakes as his father – “did what was evil….did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam….he walked in them”.  The king learned that “Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash king of Israel went down to him and wept before him”.  Even though he was evil and not walking with God, he did recognize that God was in control and Elisha was his prophet.

Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands….you shall fight the Syrians….until you have made an end of them”.  That is quite a change from the way things have been the last few decades.  Elisha tells the king to “Strike the ground with them”.  And the king did but he only struck three times and stopped. Elisha said “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”.  Later in the chapter we see that God allowed them to strike down the Syrians three times, but no more.

“Elisha died, and they buried him”. But that wasn’t the end of his miracles.  Elisha was in his grave and while they were burying another guy, a band of marauders came along and they threw this other dead guy “into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet”.  Even in his death Elisha was filled with God’s power. We serve the same God as Elijah and Elisha and the other prophets.  God is not dead, nor is His power.  We need to stay connected to the source and remember that He is alive!

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