Lessons Learned from the Miracles of Elisha: A Series. (Lesson Eight)
Miraculous Utterances: A Measure of Fine Flour for a Shekel (2 Kings 7:1-2; Hazael becomes King Over Israel (2 Kings 8:7-11)
Following Elisha’s single-handed capture of the Syrian army and their release (See Lesson Six), Israel fell upon hard times. The King of Syria besieged Samaria again, creating severe famine for the Israelites. (See Lesson Seven). Cannibalism occurred, and the people ate unclean animals such as asses’ heads and dove’s dung. Moses predicted behavior such as this if the people went into sin in Lev. 26:29, and it came to pass just as he said it would.
29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
The King of Israel was very distressed by the cannibalism and starvation in Samaria and became angry at Elisha, blaming him for the problems in Israel. He even sent a messenger to kill Elisha because of the troubles in Samaria. But Elisha sat in his house with the elders, and God spoke to him concerning the messenger coming to murder him. He told the elders to catch and hold the messenger, preserving his life. It was at this time that God sent a word through Elisha that changed the plight of the entire city. That miraculous utterance is found in 2 Kings 7:1-2.
1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
Following this utterance, the circumstances in Israel were changed within less than twenty- four hours. The Syrians abandoned their tents, horses, donkeys, and fine foods. The four leprous men (See Lesson Six) returned to inform the Israelites of their fortune, the famine ended, and the people were fed. The man whom the King sent to kill Elisha and who was responsible for tending the gate to the city was also the one that spoke words of unbelief when Elisha prophesied that plenty would come. It was to this man that Elisha spoke the infamous words, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shall not eat thereof.” Just as Elisha prophesied, that man died without tasting a bite of the food. The fulfillment of that prophecy is found in 2 Kings 7:17.
17 And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.
- Every person who would go to take a life must remember that they have a life that can be lost.
- Trust God no matter how hard the trial appears, for He can and will bring you out.
- Godly men are often hated, simply because of their stance in God Psalms 34:19 says Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
- 2 Chronicles 20:20 Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
The next Miraculous Utterance of Elisha is found in 2 Kings 8:7-11, Hazael becomes King of Syria. Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, became ill and sent Hazael to Elisha with gifts, asking if he would recover from his illness. Elisha let it be known that he could recover from the disease, but he began to cry, knowing that Hazael would murder Ben-Hadad. Elisha’s greatest sorrow, however, was related to the intensely evil things that Hazael would ultimately do against Israel when he became the king of Syria. Hazael was unaware of the depth of the evil in his own heart. However, he immediately went home and murdered King Ben-Hadad, eventually doing all of the evil against Israel that Elisha said he would do.
7 Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,”
8 he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
9 Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless,[a] the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die.”
11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.
And the prophet begins to weep, verse 12, expressing his pain over what he sees that Hazael do to Israel once he becomes King.
12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
Hazael doubts that he will do all of the evil that Elisha proclaims will come to pass. But, when he learned from Elisha that he would become the King of Syria Hazael he immediately went back and murdered King Ben Hadad, putting Elisha’s prophecy into motion. 2 Kings 8:13-15.
13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”
“The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.
14 Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.”
15 But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king.
Lesson Learned: We often think that we are better people than we are, but without Christ in our life, we are all depraved. 1 Samuel 16:7 says But man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. Just as Hazael did not believe that he was capable of the evil deeds that Elisha knew that he would later perform, we, without Christ, have the capability to sink into unimaginable sinful lows.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we know that the ungodly will hate us just as they hate You and Jesus for your holiness. Strengthen us so that we are able to stand in the evil day. We know that trials and afflictions will come against us, but You are well able to sustain us as we take a firm stand in holiness. We love You and thank You for your darling Son, Jesus. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.
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