ROLE OF PROPHET ELISHA (2 Kings: 2-8)
He purified the water which used to cause miscarriages by throwing salt in the water. It was the word of God spoken by Elisha which was the true purifier of the water (chapter 2:19-22)
He cursed the boys who made fun of him. 2 she-bears came out of the wood and tore 42 of the boys to pieces. (2:23-24).
He filled the streams with water when the King of Israel and his allies ran out of water on their way to attack the king of Moab (3:1-27)
He helped the poor widow to pay her husband`s debts by using the oil jar to fill several jars which she later sold. The olive oil which unexpectedly continued flowing from its vessels recalls the miraculous provision of oil and flow for the widow who sheltered Elijah. (4:1-7).
He helped the barren rich woman from shunem to conceive and she was to give birth to a baby boy (4:8-17)
He restored back the life of the woman`s son. The woman placed the baby on Elisha`s bed and went to look for him. This portrayed that the woman had faith in him. God manifested his power over life and death by restoring the son`s life. (4:18-37)
He cured Assyrian army commander (Naaman) of a dreaded skin disease. Obedience to Elisha`s simple instructions produced healing. Naaman declared god to be the only God. (5:1-15)
He punished Gehazi with a dreaded skin disease because of his greed when he took a gift from Naaman without Elisha`s consent. In this case it wasn’t right for Elisha to accept gifts (5:16-27)
He advised the King of Israel to treat the Assyrian soldier fairly and even allowed them to go back. The Assyrians stopped raiding the Land of Israel (6:8-23)
He saved the people of Israel from famine by reducing the costs of their supplies. They would be able to buy 3kgs of best wheat or 6kgs of barley for one piece of silver (6:24-7:2)
Elisha`s influence helped the rich woman from shunem to regain her property after spending 7yrs in exile.
He mysteriously recovered the axe-head which fell in the water. This portrayed Elisha as a man who possessed extra ordinary powers. (6:1-17)
More of Prophet Elisha is explained in the video below.
THE ANOINTING OF JEHU AS KING OF ISRAEL (2 Kings 9;1-13)
Jehu was a son of Jehoshophat and grandson of Nimshi. He was a commander in chief of Israel`s army.
Elisha called one of the young prophets and requested him to go to Ramath in Gilead. He was to go with a jar of olive oil and was to trace Jehu.
They went to a private room where the young prophet poured olive oil on Jehu`s head and he said “The Lord the God of Israel proclaims / anoint you King of my people Israel”. At once Jehu`s fellow officers spread cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on. They blew trumpets and shouted “Jehu is King”.
REVOLUTION CARRIED OUT BY JEHU
- He killed who succeeded Ahab and threw his body in Naboth`s field in order to fulfill the Lord`s prophecy (9:14-26) Jehu knew that Joram supported Baal`s worship as his father Ahab.
- He killed King Ahaziah of Judah (9:27-29)
- Jezebel was also killed on his order. She was a wife to King Ahab and a designer of Baal worship (9:30-37)
- He killed Ahab`s descendants who were supporting Baalizim. He killed all his officers, close friends and the priests (10:1-11)
- He killed all the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah who were going to pay their respects to the children of Queen Jezebel and the rest of the royal family.(10:12-14)
- He mobilized all the worshipers of Baal and requested them to meet in a temple and ordered the guards to kill them. This portrayed comprehensive elimination of Baal worship and just removal of the officials of the cult. (10:18-31)
- He didn’t obey all the laws of the Lord with all his heart.
- He only destroyed one form of worship (Baalism) and introduced another form (Idolatory). He initiated the sin of King Jeroboam who led Israel into the sin of worshiping the gold bull calves. They set up in Bethel and Dan (10:28-29)
- He failed to defend Israel`s territories and in the end she lost some territories. King Hazael of Syria conquered some Israel`s territories (10:32-33)
A COMMENT ABOUT THE DEATH OF NABOTH (1 Kings 21:1)
The king requested to sell the vineyard which was close to his palace. Naboth refused because the land belonged to God. He was not supposed to sell the land, he just inherited the land and in Israel a family and its inherited asset were meant to be inseparable, by selling the land, Naboth would be defiating from the demands of the law. Naboth was just a caretaker, he preferred spiritual wealth to material wealth, he respected god more than the King.
Near king Ahab`s palace in Jezreel, there was a Vineyard owned by a man named Naboth.
REASONS THAT LED TO HIS DEATH
- Ahab`s greed over the Vineyard. Ahab was aware that ancestral land was not to be sold but when Naboth refused to sell the Vineyard. Ahab became so depressed and he decided to follow the wicked plan arranged by his wife.
- Ahab`s marriage to a foreign woman who imposed her cultures to the King. She influenced the King to take over the Vineyard.
- Ahab was weak at making decisions concerning sensitive issues.
- Ahab`s lack of commitment to God. As a King, Ahab had to be a role model for the rest.
- Naboth`s faithfulness; he insisted on observing the mosaic law which hindered the Israelites from selling their motherland.
- Jezebel lacked respect and commitment to God as a foreigner.
- Jezebel accused Naboth falsely for cursing God and the King. He was stoned to death.
- Jezebel was so manipulating. She manipulated Ahab, the officials and the people.
- Ahab`s ignorance towards the implications of grabbing the Vine yard.
Jezebel encouraged her husband to go and take the vineyard. The Lord sent Prophet Elijah to condemn the act. Ahab was to face God`s wrath. The Lord was to bring disaster on Ahab`s family, get rid of every male in his family, the dogs were to eat Jezebel’s body in the city, relatives who die in the city were to be eaten by dogs and anyone who die in the open country was to be eaten by vultures.
Ahab tore his clothes, took them off and put on a sack cloth. This was a sign of repentance. The Lord pushed the disaster to Ahab`s sons because Ahab was repentant.
LESSONS FROM THE ACCOUNT
- People should weigh their partner’s decisions
- There is a serious warning against using force and power to deny others a right to own property.
- People should always marry within their cultures.
- People should respect people`s lives.
- People should accept rebuke from religious leaders
- People should be grateful for what they have.
THE DEATH OF AHAB (1 Kings 22:29-39)
King Ahab requested King Jehoshaphat of Judah to assist him attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. They entered into an alliance with Jehoshaphat but Jehoshaphat insisted that Yahweh`s council be sought before any action was taken.
Ahab consulted the 400 prophets who prophesied victory for the King. It`s believed that the 400 prophets were Ahab`s Yes men.
Jehoshaphat insisted that they should consult another prophet and Ahab mentioned Micaiah`s name but he confessed that the never prophesies anything good.
Ahab requested the court officials to go and fetch Micaiah, on the way one of the officials cautioned to prophecy success for the King because all other prophets prophesied victory for the King but Micaiah promised to say what the lord would say.
When the King asked Micaiah whether they could go and attack Ramoth, Micaiah responded positively that the Lord would give them victory, Ahab was not convinced so he requested for the truth Micaiah told him that he saw the Israelites army scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd and in the vision the lord said that “These men have no leader, let them go in peace” this pointed to Ahab`s death on the battle field. Such a prophecy distinguished the true prophets were inspired to tell a lie by a lying spirit which was sent by God to lure Ahab to his death.
Prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face and asked him “since when did the lord`s spirit leave me and speak to you” King Ahab ordered one of his officers to arrest Micaiah and throw him in prison while there, Micaiah confessed that if you return safely then that would imply that the Lord hadn’t spoken through him.
Zedekiah`s intervention as a spokesman for the 400 prophets portrayed that he disapproved Micaiah.
The 2 Kings went to attack Ramoth. Ahab tried to disguise himself but unfortunately a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the Joints. He died and in this way he fulfilled Micaiah`s prophecy and Elijah`s words. The dogs licked up Ahab`s blood outside Samaria As they licked up the blood of Naboth.
LESSONS FROM THE ACCOUNT
- Christians should consult God before human beings.
- Christians should let God`s will be done unlike Ahab who wanted to be told what he wanted to hear yet God`s prophecy was different.
- Christians should respect God`s representatives on earth unlike Zedekiah who humiliated him and slapped him.
- Christians should own their mistakes unlike King Ahab who knew his fate and disguised himself so that someone else was killed in his place.
- Christians should be willing to sacrifice their lives for the Lord i.e. like Micaiah who accepted to be put in prison.
- Religious leaders should always tell the truth.
- Religious leaders should always advise those in powers which Micaiah did.
- People should use their wisdom to distinguish between true and false prophet.
- Religious leaders should accept the fact that at times God places people on their midst to give them support i.e. Jehoshaphat supported Micaiah.
- God uses visions to warn those in wrong i.e. the scattered soldiers without a shepherd therefore people should be in position to interpret visions.