Friday, June 28, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 4

2 Kings 4


-Three miracles of the man with a “double portion” of the Spirit of God, Elisha, are described with detail in this powerful chapter of Scripture. The first miracle involves a widow woman from one of the sons of the prophets and her two children who were about to be taken as slaves due to her debt from having no means. She calls upon the prophet for help with the caveat that her deceased husband “feared the LORD” as a true servant. Elisha’s response must have seemed very strange when he simply instructed her to go borrow more stuff in the way of vessels to hold oil. The LORD multiplied the oil for her and her two children’s provision so that she could go and sell the oil to pay her debt and live on the surplus (2 Kings 4:1-7). *Application* God’s provision comes from unexpected sources at just the right time when we fear Him and walk by faith. This widow sought out the man of God in a desperate state and received blessing for going to the right Source. So should we. When we have need, do we try to fix our situation in our own strength? Or, do we go directly to the Father in Heaven who has limitless supply and power to provide? Do we seek Godly counsel in matters when it is apropos? There are still men and women of God around who can give wise counsel and intercede in situations where there is legitimate need. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. God can provide, even miraculously.

-The second miracle involved the Shunammite woman who had extended kindness and provision to the prophet Elisha as he had passed through her town. She perceived that he was a holy man of God, and thus had her husband build an addition to their home as a walled upper chamber with a bed, a chair, a table, and a lampstand so that he could stay with them every time he passed that way. One day, recognizing the care she had been so considerate to give him, he asked her what he could do for her. Along with his servant, Gehazi, they discerned that she was barren, and Elisha prophesied over her that she would bear a son by that time the next year. She had a hard time believing it, but it came about just as the man of God had said. This miracle is reminiscent of Sarah’s conception of Isaac in Genesis (Genesis 17:15-22; 22:1) and Elizabeth’s conception of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25). It came about when the son had grown up that he was afflicted in the head and died. The Shunammite woman immediately took him and put him on the man of God’s bed in the upper chamber and went directly to Mount Carmel where Elisha was. Two times she exclaimed, “It is well” to her husband and to Elisha’s servant Gehazi as she proceeded undeterred toward the one who she knew could help remedy the situation as the LORD’s servant. Elisha had no revelation of the matter as she came before him (2 Kings 4:27), but he was determined to help her in this desperate situation. He sent his servant to lay his staff on the deceased boy’s face, and then at the Shunammite woman’s insistence and persistence he followed her back to Shunem. The lad had not yet awakened from the staff being placed on him, so Elisha went mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hands to hands lying stretched out and prostrate on the dead boy in an effort to revive him. The child eventually became warm as the LORD brought life and breath back into his body. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes back to life! A miracle had occurred, and the woman who had cared so deeply for the provision of the man of God was rewarded in manifold blessing of renewal and awakening in regard to her son (2 Kings 4:18-37). *Application* Persistence is a virtue recommended by the LORD (Luke 11:8-9; 18:1-8). Also, our good works of grace and provision will always be rewarded in greater degree in reaping benefits far beyond our greatest expectations (Luke 6:38, Galatians 6:9). These are words of life and prosperity. Live by them!

-The third instance in this passage involves more multiplication of supply in time of need. The sons of the prophets found themselves in famine, probably due to the wickedness of the nation at this time in their idolatrous history (Deuteronomy 32:19-24). Poison had gotten into the pot from gathering unknown wild vines and gourds, but Elisha spoke over it and no harm came. Now a man from Baal-shalishah came and brought bread and first fruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha commands the food be given out to eat to the people, and according to the word of the LORD all were fed with left overs (2 Kings 4:38-44). This miracle is reminiscent of the multiplication of the loaves and fish during Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:35-44; 8:1-21, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-14). *Application* God can make streams even in the desert (Isaiah 35:6). He is the God who can turn events and multiply His abundance to every need you have. Have faith and trust in Him for the impossible!


Verses to Memorize: 2 Kings 4:9, 43

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