Monday, July 8, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 6

2 Kings 6


-Three significant events take place in this chapter revolving around the prophetic and miraculous ministry of Elisha. First, as the sons of the prophets are expanding their living space along the Jordan River, Elisha shows the power of God over the natural order of things as he makes an axe head float in the water of the Jordan River so that a worker could gain back something he had borrowed from another (2 Kings 6:1:7). *Application* Even in the midst of a very busy ministry and time, Elisha made it a priority to go with the sons of the prophets and care for them in very tangible ways. Don’t become too busy in your life to care for those who matter the most to you and deserve your care, time, and attention. Who knows, the LORD might even work a miracle or two for you!

-Second, the Arameans plot to capture Elisha fails as he is privy to every advance and plot they devise due to the word of the LORD that comes to him. This section shows the supernatural ability of the prophet to see into the spiritual realm for courage, hope, and promise. He is not afraid because he knows the LORD and His armies are with him. He also encourages his attendant to stay strong and beckons the God of the Universe to open his eyes to see the Almighty’s armies encamped about the hills of Dothan for protection. The Aramean marauding bands are struck with blindness and then led to Samaria where they are given over to Israel. At this point mercy is shown by the word of the prophet Elisha. He instructs mercy on the enemy by setting bread and water before them before sending them back to their master in Aram, or Syria. This ended the raids of these marauding bands of Arameans in Israel (2 Kings 6:8-23). *Application* Romans 12:21 tells us not to be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good. This is an example of that as we see the LORD fight for His people and give them the love in their hearts to bless instead of destroy. Blessing our enemies and sacrificing to help them in their time of need is the best way to restore good will and bring reconciliation. It reminds us of Jesus’ words to bless those who persecute us and to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:11, 44, Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14).

-Third, the siege of Samaria is described in its brutal detail as Ben-hadad, king of Aram, eventually sends in a full scale invasion of all his army to Israel. Times get very desperate as we see in this text, even to the point of cannibalism among the citizens of the city. This sends the king, Jehoram, into mourning and the wearing of sackcloth. He also wrongly gets mad with Elisha over the situation. This could be for several reasons. One, he may have trusted the word of Elisha that deliverance would come from the LORD and it had not yet come. In this case his impatience would be showing greatly. He may have thought Elisha gave him bad advice in the matter and that not even God could help them in this predicament. Second, there was obviously an ongoing conflict between the kings and the LORD’s prophets going on here. The prophetic predictions of doom and gloom may have given the king opportunity to accuse Elisha of being a troublemaker and agitator of the peace in his kingdom. In this scenario the king is acting out in frustration to the situation. Third, it could be that the king was expecting more of a miracle than he got because of past experiences and the power he knew Elisha had. He could have easily remembered other times when the prophets of God eased famines and brought back good times of prosperity (1 Kings 18:41-46). The king probably expected in this case that the man of God would come to Israel’s rescue and it was not forthcoming, which caused him anger (2 Kings 6:24-33). *Application* We tend to react in much the same way as the king of Samaria in our troubling situations. The next chapter is what we don’t see in the spiritual realm, and we have a tendency to grumble, complain, moan, groan, get angry, mope around, lose faith, and give up hope. This does not honor God and gives His enemies reason to celebrate. Keep faith in the troubling times of your life. Remember that God is good and His deliverance is right around the corner (Read chapter 7 of 2 Kings).


Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 6:17

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