July 17


II Kings 6-9

We are in the Nation Stream reading from The Message.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, Elisha is simply a fascinating character and servant of you.  Make and commission more like him. We pray you use us dynamically the way you used Elisha.

6 – Elisha’s miracles continue. Here is a nature/gravity miracle that is, in terms if physics, equivalent to Jesus walking on water. And it isn’t a magic show. It’s the repairing of a problem and letting the ministry continue because of God using Elisha in a spectacular way.  His involvement during times of war is impressive.   Elijah’s power and access to the spiritual world of angels is used in a magnificent way.  Huge angels of armies appear, the enemy army is struck into blindness and confusion. Then an enemy army is “captured” by mysterious circumstances and Elisha insists they be fed and comforted.  It’s near tongue-in-cheek comedy that works. That army leaves Samaria fed and fine and never attacked again.  The famine and cannibalism gets conveniently blamed on Elisha by the Israelite King (huh?!). The King wants Elisha dead and sends an executioner.  Elisha’s not too troubled however.

7 – Elisha declares the famine will be a non-issue within a day, but the king’s attendant won’t get a bite of the bountiful food that will be found.  The story of how this happens is strange and shocking and fascinating when the enemy camp “hears” a huge army stampeding in their direction.  Thank you God for sending angels again!  The deserted camp is loaded with food and weapons and lucre and … God supplies again as Elisha is simply manning his ministerial post and speaking for God.  I hope these stories are hitting you the way they way they are hitting us: God has unlimited power and all things are possible with Him. He can do today what He did in Bible times now. And He intends to reach even more since there are more people today, and only the power of God can accomplish such a great endeavor. Pray God uses us like Elisha, shall we?
8 – The woman whose son was brought back to life had left for 7 years because of the famine. She returned and the King was determined that the property she had vacated was returned to her; all of it plus profits during her vacant years. The king’s heart for her, because of Elisha’s involvement in blessing her, triggered yet more blessing.  The influence of Elisha is colossal – in case anyone needed to hear that! Elisha goes to Damascus in Assyria and prophesies as to coming events – the dying king and his successor and the treachery that is coming upon Israel from Damascus.  Checking back at I Kings 19:15-18 clarifies matters and explains the emotion [that has a history behind it]. Hazael is going to be brought in to punish Israel for their horrible sin. Remember that during these chapters we are well prior to 800 B.C., Israel has been in blatant rebellion for over a century, Hazael is newly made king in Damascus and … we’ll get back to him later.
Meanwhile Jehoram is made king. His story is further told in II Chron. 21. He had a good father and grandfather, but married Jezebel’s daughter and what good can come of that? He murdered his brothers as they seemed to be competition for him. OK, where can this sorry guy’s life go from here? –> Arabs and Philistines attacked Jerusalem. God inflicted him with an agonizing disease that would make a staunch proctologist cringe as his bowels gushed out of him and it killed him.  Pause and remember that “going bad” never ends up good.
Ahaziah is king of Judah next. He too was related to Jezebel and Ahab – it isn’t rare the way kings have tried to find peace via intermarrying where/when/who they shouldn’t. He was gone in a year. The details of his death are in ch. 9; next.
9 – Jehu led Israel as king for 28 years. It was a furiously effective campaign to rid the country of Baal / Ahab&Jezebel / Joram & Ahaziah; wicked kings related to Jezebel / ALL Ahab&Jezebels’ workers & relatives / all Baal worshipers / Baal pillars and the Baal Temple.  Needless to say, the young prophet anointed Jehu and high-tailed it to get out of his way! Jehu would have had dozens of Nascar trophies had he lived today. He was boisterous as they come, intrepid, without an ounce of pity for people he was called to eliminate. It took a zany man to eliminate this vile religion that has invaded God’s land. Jehu did his job. His final deed in this chapter was to order that Jezebel be thrown from the palace to her death. It happened. Jehu then took his sweet time before casually ordering Jezebel to be buried . . . too late for the dogs had devoured her. Wickedness and wicked lives end up in wickedness and wicked places, don’t they?

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