April 12th

2 Kings 4-7

  • 4:1-7 – The Lord provided for the woman when it seemed impossible. He multiplied the oil to make it profitable for her so she could take care of herself and her son.
  • 4:8-10 – Above and beyond hospitality
  • 4:11-17 – Elisha was blessed and then asked the Lord to bless the woman in return.
  • 4:18-25 – This child was promised to the woman as a gift from God, and now he dies. The woman’s faith is greatly tested. She puts him on his bed and shuts the door so no one else will know he died. She seeks Elisha to explain what’s going on with her son since Elisha was the one who told her she would have this child.
  • 4:32-44 – Note that there are three miracles in a row. A resurrection, providing food where there is none, and providing more food than there actually was. Any time there are three of something in Scripture, we should pay attention. Elisha is clearly connected to and filled with the power of God.
  • 5:9-10 – Though Elisha invites Naaman to his house, he does not let him in. This is strange considering the hospitality culture of ancient Israelites.
  • 5:11 – Naaman wanted a grand, miraculous healing and thought Elisha’s instructions were a farce.
  • 5:15-16 – It was not unusual for faithful Israelites to turn down gifts from other nations. This was to show their commitment to the provision of God and so no other nation or god could take credit for the Israelites’ well-being.
  • 5:17—It would have been considered improper to offer a sacrifice to the God of Israel unless one was standing on Israelite soil. Gods in the ancient world were considered to be tied to physical locations. Naaman is asking for soil from Israel so that he can properly worship God- and begging forgiveness because he knows that he will have to enter the temple of another God because his king will require him to.
  • 5:20-27 – Gehazi did not trust the Lord for provision and saw an opportunity. He lied to both Naaman and Elisha and his punishment was receiving the leprosy Naaman had.
  • 6:1-7 – This was not just a party trick or Elisha showing off. The man’s accident with the axe head was done while attempting to be more faithful. Elisha used God’s power to bless his faith.
  • 6:15-19 – Elisha’s servant is given special sight to see what’s going on. The Aramean army is not struck completely blind, but just blind to Elisha’s true identity.
  • 6:20-23 – Though a rare occasion in the Old Testament, the Arameans and Israelites are able to resolve the situation peacefully.
  • 6:25 – People are buying donkey heads and dove poop. Clearly the famine was really bad. They were so desperate they were eating the least desirable part of an unclean animal and paying high dollar for dove poop – which they were probably burning or using for other household tasks – not eating it.
  • 6:26-31 – While this story is absolutely horrifying – here is some background: Joram was the king of Israel. His sins as well as the sins of the people had gotten so out of control that some of the curses associated with breaking their covenant with God had started to occur. Though Joram’s response in verse 31 suggests that the famine and reactions by the people are God or Elisha’s fault, it was actually caused by the ongoing sin of the people.
  • 7:3-20 – The four lepers were Israelites, this is why they tell the king when the Syrians’ camp is empty. The Israelites, like Elisha prophesied, had abundant, affordable food.

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