Friday, September 30, 2016

A Nobody

O. T. #841  "A Nobody"
Sept. 30, 2016
2 Kings 8-Part 2


Are there days when we feel like a nobody, unworthy and unfit to be used by God to accomplish His work? However, as a child of the King, no matter how insignificant we may feel, god can use us to great things for His kingdom. Do you and I have the faith and will we obey so He can do great things through us?

In today's passage, we read of the Prophet Elisha going to Damascus, the capital of Syria, which is an enemy of Israel. Back in 1Kings 19:15-17, The Lord instructed Elijah to anoint three men for the purpose of commissioning them to destroy Baal worship in Israel-Hazael of Syria, Jehu, and Elisha. However, Elijah only commissioned Elisha, while Elisha commissioned Hazael, and he sent a man to commission Jehu. As a result, Baalism was officially barred from Israel. (This happens in chapters 8 and 9.)

With that background, shall we continue? The king of Syria, Ben-hadad, lay sick. When he heard of Elisha being in Damascus, the king sent for Elisha, as well as sent him a gift of 40 camels and fine products, and a question, Will I recover from this illness?

Elisha's response to Hazael, the king's messenger was: Ben-hadad would be restored to health, but he would die by another means.

Do we find our self in a similar situation where we recover from one sickness and another comes, or we get through one trial and another zings at us around the corner?


Then the man of God, Elisha, stared at Hazael. and wept. Hazael asked him what was wrong. Here is his reply:
  • Elisha knew about the terrible things Hazael would do to the people of Israel when he became king of Syria.
  • He will burn Israel's fortified cities, kill their young me with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women. 
Elisha supernaturally discerned the murder plot that was in Hazael's heart. (David Jeremiah)

God had revealed it to Elisha and Elisha, in turn, revealed it to Hazael.

How could a nobody (dog) like me ever accomplish such great things? asked Hazael.

Hazael was not of royal bloodline and considered a son of nobody.

Of course, the answer was that Hazael would become Syria's next king. So when Hazael returned to King Ben-hadad, he informed the king of his recovery according to Elisha. However, the next day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and held it over the king's face until he died. Then Hazael became the next king of Syria.
Hazael did prove to be a constant foe of Israel, seen in chapters 9, 10, 12-13.

It is when we surrender to God that He works in us to do great things for His kingdom. Although, He can use unbelievers to accomplish His will, too.

In Matthew 15, we read of a Gentile woman coming to Jesus and asking Him to deliver her daughter from a demon. Jesus told her that first He should feed the children, the Jews, and it wasn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs. She told Jesus that even the dogs were allowed to eat the scraps under the table from the children's plates.
Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. Her daughter was healed that very hour.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

At That Very Moment

O. T. #840  "At That Very Moment"
Sept. 29, 2016
2 Kings 8
At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.  2 Kings 8:5b


The places we go and the time of it is important. There are times we experience an "ahha moment" the Lord has ordained for us to share of His wondrous deeds with another. It is at that moment, we know we are doing the Lord's work and will. A woman in our study today experienced at that very moment, an ahha moment. She was in the right place, at the right time.

Apparently, the events in this chapter occurred earlier than chapter 5 when Naaman was healed of leprosy due to Elisha's servant Gehazi was with Elisha (not leprous himself), and before the 7 year famine in Israel.  So it is out of chronological order.

With that said, let us look into the events here. When Elisha knew there was going to be a 7 year famine in Israel, he told the widow whose son Elisha had raise from the dead in chapter 4, to move to some other place. (verse 1)
So she took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for 7 years.

The Lord brought a famine on Israel to punish them for their sin of idol worship. Yet, we see His mercy in sparing the Shunammite woman that had been kind to Elisha in chapter 4.
Now the famine has ended, and we pick up the following events:
  • The Shunammite widow returned home and went to see her king about getting back her house and land she previously owned 7 year earlier. (Maybe it was occupied by strangers, relatives, or turned over to the crown. Evidently her husband was dead so she had to handle business.)
  • As she entered, the king was talking with Gehazi, Eisha's servant.
  • Gehazi was telling the king some great things Elisha had done (upon his request).
  • When Gehazi was sharing about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life, at that very moment, in walks the mother of the boy to make her appeal to the king-providence.
  • Gehazi recognized the woman and her son, calling her son the very one Elisha brought back to life. (He said it to the king.)
  • The king asked the woman if it was true. She told the king the whole story.
It's who you know nowadays that gets you what you want. So it was with this woman. She knew Elisha, the man of God and his servant.

What resulted by this happening?
The king directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.

Friends, we have a story to tell-how the Lord has brought us back to life, spiritually, through salvation.
Also, Jesus was brought back to life as He rose from the grave. His is a story to tell, also.


Share with someone today the great things God has done in my life.

Tell the wonderful story of Jesus, my Risen Savior.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Windows of Heaven are Opened

O. T. #839  "Windows of Heaven are Opened"
Sept 28, 2016
2 Kings 7
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the LORD of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  Malachi 3:10


Over and over Israel experienced miracles of God's provisions and protection. It was not worthless idols that did such things, but Almighty and Compassionate God. He did it in today's lesson.
When our resources are low and our doubts are high, remember God can open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings beyond our thinking.

Has God blessed you by opening the windows of heaven? They may not be monetary or material blessings, but spiritual ones.

Ben-hadad, king of Syria, sieged the Israeli city of Samaria. His army camped outside the gates, preventing trade. It resulted in a famine in the city, with some resorting to cannibalism and eating the heads of donkeys. When the king of Israel heard what was happening, he blamed Prophet Elisha and sent a messenger to cut off Elisha's head. f course Elisha knew this and hut the door so he could not enter. Then the king came and spoke with Elisha, asking, All this misery is from the LORD! Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?

Did King Joram of Israel consider Elisha a puppet to manipulate for his wants?

Elisha shared the Lord's promise of a changed market in Samaria tomorrow-one piece of silver would purchase 5 quarts of flour and 10 quarts of barley. (They had previously paid 80 pieces of silver for a donkey's head for food and a cup of dove's dung for 5 pieces of silver.) Very hard times, wouldn't you agree?

The end of the siege of Samaria was coming the next day. Hang in there king and people, tomorrow is coming. Some how, some way, their Lord God would resolve this problem.
These are words which I need to hear the words. I have been praying for 19 years for a specific thing without any results. Maybe tomorrow it will come. Anyone with me?


What happened next? A doubting Thomas was in their midst. An officer of King Jehoram of Israel said to Elisha, That couldn't happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!
Elisha told the man that he would not be able to eat any of the captured food.

Whoa buddy! You don't know our God, Elisha's God, Israel's God, Jehovah and His power. Also, the Lord has these unusual ways of accomplishing His will. Look what happened the next day:
  • Four men with leprosy were sitting at the city gates. They reasoned that they had nothing to loose by surrendering to the Syrian army, for death was coming by starvation inside, death by the enemy, or death by the disease. They had nothing to loose to do what they did.
  • However, they were surprised when they arrived at the edge of the Syrian camp-no one was there!(At twilight)
  • The Lord had caused the Syrians army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and galloping of horses and sounds of a great army approaching.
  •  They concluded that the king of Israel had hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack them. So they ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.
  • The lepers ate and drank to the fullness, carried off gold and silver and clothing, hiding it. Then they realized how selfish they had been. Keeping this good thing to themselves instead of sharing with their community and families in side the famine-stricken Samaria.
  • This is a day of good new, and we aren't sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let's go back and tell the people at the palace. This is what they said to each other in verse 9.
So the lepers went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.

The doubters thought: it was a plot to capture the residents; (by the king) (verse 12)and they should send out scouts to investigate, if they die, not many die. (by king's officers) (verse 13)

What happened next?
  • So the scouts for the king followed a trail of clothing and equipment which the Syrian army had left as they fled; then the scouts returned with the news and informed the king of Israel (verses 14-15)
  • In the meantime, the Samarians rushed out and plundered the Syrian camp.
  • The king appointed an officer to control traffic at the gate, but the rush of people, a riot, trampled him to death. (verse 17a)
  • It happened exactly as Elisha had predicted. Prices were lowered and the doubter did not eat any of the food captured. (verse 17b-20)
Please Lord Jesus, give me faith to trust in Your Word completely.


Ask and wait by faith in God to answer.

Give Him praise and honor when it happens.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Working Behind the Scenes

O. T. #838  "Working Behind the Scenes"
Sept. 27, 2016
2 Kings 6-Part 4
The LORD had caused...  2 Kings 7:6


There are so many people working behind the scenes in our churches, faithfully serving. People empty trash, clean out refrigerators, straighten up the kitchen, pick up toys, distribute literature, etc. The list goes on. They don't do those tasks for recognition, but to meet needs. God is often working behind the scenes when we do not see things changing. It is coming up soon in our reading. Meantime, Elisha is faithfully serving God, yet being blamed for a famine in a city of Samaria.

Ben-hadad, the king of Syria and enemy of Israel, had previously sieged the city of Samaria  with the help of 32 kings (1 Kings 20:1). This occurred during the reign of the wicked King Ahab in Israel. In contrast to the smaller raiding parties and the larger force seeking Elisha's capture (verse 14), Ben-hadad gathered his entire army, once again, marched to Samaria, and besieged the capital. (MacArthur)

The siege resulted in a terrible famine for the Israelis living in the city of Samaria. The enemy camped outside the city, too. Desperate times called for desperate measures, with people resorting to eating the head of donkeys, an unclean animal, and dove droppings used for fuel. These animals were sold at exorbitant prices. Mothers resorted to savage cannibalism of their own children. (verses 26-29)

Life Application Study Bible explains the situation here:
When a city like Samaria faced famine, it was no small matter. Although its farmers grew enough food to feed the people for a specific season, they did not have enough to sustain them in prolonged times of emergency when all supplies were cut off. Deuteronomy 28:49-57 predicted mothers would resort to eating their children when the people of Israel rejected God's leadership.
Was the Lord attempting to use this famine to bring repentance to His people living in Samaria?
We do not read of their repentance, though.


The king was so shocked and horrified with conditions in Samaria, that he vented his own anxieties and frustrations on Elisha, swearing to behead him. The doors were barred to prevent the executioner from entering because Elisha knew the king had changed his mind and was coming to reverse his order execution. (Falwell)

When the king arrived, the door was opened and he spoke to Elisha in verse 33, All this misery is from the LORD! Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?

Elisha was not to blame for what was happening. God was judging Samaria (Amos 3:6) Israel had left the Lord God, so their calamity was brought about by Jehovah in response to sin. Since Elisha was a man of God, did the king think Elisha would do any miracle he wanted? Thus, Elisha had not come to his rescue, ending the siege of Samaria. Neither had Israel had repented of their sin of forsaking God to worship idols.

How long should we wait for God to answer our prayers? Do we grow impatient and take matters into our own hands? Do we look for those to blame instead of looking inside our self?
Hang on just a little bit longer, dear one, for God is working behind the scenes, though we may not see any evidence today. Tomorrow...


Wait a little bit longer on God to work in my situation.

Wait. Keep the faith. Look around. See God working.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Simply Ask

O. T. #837 "Simply Ask"
Sept. 26, 2016
2 Kings 6-Part 3
Elisha prayed... (verse 17)
Elisha prayed...(verse 18)
Elisha prayed...(verse 20)


When life beats me down, do I simply pray to the Lord?
When I have failed and fallen flat on my face, do I simply pray to King Jesus?
When I don't know which way to go, do I pray, simply pray, to the Creator of the Universe?

His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me! On and on it goes... What a song of encouragement, friend. Elisha the prophet simply prayed; three times he prayed in our passage today. Recon what happened? Miracles, I'll say that much. Do our prayers result in miracles? If not, then why not?

The Syrian king sent bands of soldiers to raid Israel, but God kept revealing to Elisha  every movement of the enemy. The prophet informed the king of Israel, and the cities were prepared for any raid planned by Syria. The Syrian king suspected a hidden spy was among his soldiers, but one of his officers suspected Elisha as the informer. So troops were sent to capture Elisha, surrounding him. Elisha's servant became afraid when he saw the vast army. That is when Elisha asked God to open his eyes to see the hosts of angels ready to deliver Elisha. Truly there was more on their side that on the enemy's side. If God before us, who can be against us?

We pick up the story here. Using Elisha, God performed a dual miracle: He opened the eyes of his servant, but He blinded the eyes of the invaders. Yes, Elisha prayed again and this time God blinded eyes, instead of opening them. The Syrian raiders were blinded, all of them.

Listen to this: Elisha told them that this blinded army they had come to the wrong city, to follow him, and he would lead them to the man they were seeking. Oh, my goodness, isn't this something?
Elisha led the enemy army to Samaria, where he asked the Lord to open their eyes, and it was so. Without bloodshed, the Syrian army was miraculously delivered into Israel's hands.

What faith and trust Elisha had in his God!  I need only a mustard seed size of faith to move mountains. How big is our faith?

I saw a clip form the movie "War Room" last night on Facebook. Two of the women were praying for one's family and marriage to be restored. One developed her prayer closet and took back her home from the Devil. Now that is an illustration of faith.
How does our faith measure?


Three times we read here of the prophet praying and God opened his eyes, struck them with blindness, and opened their eyes.

When this happened, the King of Israel asked Elisha if he should kill the Syrian army. Get this. the answer was not a yes, but a question, "Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master."

So it was done. What resulted? The Syrian raiders stayed away from the land of Israel, sending no secret commando bands to raid the villages of Israel. Years may have passed before verse 24.

God had captured the enemy and He alone was to get the glory. Elisha defeated them with kindness. (See Rom. 12:20-22, Matt,. 5:43-45, Prov. 25:21-22.)  (Wiersbe)

Should God's people fear the enemy, if we are obeying His Word? Psalm 46 answers this question.

The king was not to take credit for what God alone had done. In setting food and water before them, he was heaping "burning coals" on their heads  (Prov. 25:21-22) Life Application Study Bible


Ask and ye shall receive.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Against Insurmountable Odds

O. T. #836  "Against Insurmountable Odds"
Sept. 23, 2016
2 Kings 6-Part 2


Today's is a good story, almost comical to me. Although, standing against insurmountable odds, is not. What do we do in that situation? I know the One who has the ability to beat and overcome all odds. That's no problem. The question is, "Do I have the faith in Him to beat insurmountable odds against me?" Oh yeah, I can tell others to be strong, trusting, depending on God. But where the rubber meets the road is when I am in that predicament, needing to stand strong, trusting and depending upon God. Is there an amen?

* Surmount means to prevail over, overcome, according to Webster's Dictionary.

When confronted with insurmountable odds, when it looks like I will not be prevailing, I can't succeed alone, but with God, I can overcome.

So today, a servant and a prophet live against insurmountable odds. Shall we see how this came about?

Syria was again at war with Israel. Ben-hadad, Syria's king, using guerrilla style, set up a camp secretly for ambushing Israel. However, every time he would plan raids on Israel, God kept revealing every movement and schemes of the enemy to Elisha, His prophet. Because Elisha cared for his Israeli people, he would inform King Jehoram of the schemes. Then the king would send word to the cities so they would be prepared for the invasion and Syria was unsuccessful. 

After this happening twice, Ben-hadad demanded to know which of his officers was a traitor, informing Israel of their plans of attack on what city. One of the officers spoke truth when he told his king that Elisha, the prophet in Israel, told his king of their plans, even those spoken in his bedroom. Of course, it was our all-knowing God who did the informing. Syria's king commanded them to find out where Elisha was located, and then he troops to seize him.

When Elisha's servant saw the troops everywhere the next morning, he told Elisha. "Oh, sir, what will we do now?" the young man cried to Elisha.

When we feel surrounded by the enemy, what do we do? Seek the Lord or hide or run?


What happened to Elisha and his servant in an impossible situation? We know that with God all things are possible. Here's what happened, two miracles dealing with the eyes of men:

First, Elisa tried to reassure his servant that they had more on their side than on their enemy's side, so he could not be afraid. (Ok, if you say so. No, I don't think I would be that confident.)
Then  Elisha prayed, asking God to open his servant's eyes so he could see. (I figure angels armed with swords surrounded their place.)
What did the servant see? When the Lord opened the man's eyes, he saw the hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire. (verse 17)

The angel of the LORD encamped round about them that fear Him, and delivered them.
(Psalm 34:7)

God's heavenly army in the unseen world was seen by Elisha' servant. They were waiting to do battle with Syria's army. Military leaders were not in control of coming events. There was a greater force present, yet unseen to most. We are going to leave these two men surrounded by to armies.

What can we glean from this spectacular story?
Faith reveals that God is doing more for His people than we can ever realize through sight alone. When you face difficulties that seem insurmountable, remember that spiritual resources are there even if you can't see them. Look with eyes of faith, and let God show you His resources. If you don't see God working in your life, the problem may be your spiritual eyesight, not God's power. (Life Application Study Bible)


Turn it over to Jesus to make me into an overcomer.

Stay in the fight; stand strong; live by faith; trust in the Almighty God. (I need to hear these words myself.)

Ask for grace and mercy to carry on, walking by faith, giving God the glory.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flying Off the Handle

O. T. #835  "Flying Off the Handle"
Sept. 22, 2016
2 Kings 6
And the man reached out and grabbed it.  2 Kings 6:7 


Uh huh, I'll admit there have been times, a few times, that I recall flying off the handle, so to speak. Now, honestly, I am a pretty easy going person. But some times my can gets full and I have to empty it. Mmm. it's not pretty when my temper rises and I sling angry words flying, sinking down into the water of discourse, causing pain. Later, I'm not proud of my I have company here? Well, today, we have something that flies off the handle. Curious?

Elisha must have been having an impact on Israel because the old facility which housed the young prophets in seminary study wasn't large enough for those who sought ministry training. They were being trained like home missionaries, to take God's Word o the people. The prophets had moved to Jericho by this time, according to 2:4-5. It was suggested that the men go down to the Jordan River area and get a beam to contribute to the new structure. Elisha had been invited to go with those men.
(Maybe the invitation was for protection as the men brought back wood , a 6 mile trip.)

Did you notice that twice Elisha was asked to approve their plans by being confronted with, "Let us go." Their place refers to a dormitory where the me live while studying for the ministry.

Another thing, why did they seek to go down to the Jordan River to cut lumber for the building?

MacArthur informs us that the Jordan Valley had mostly smaller kinds of trees, such as willow, tamarisk , and acacia that did not give heavy lumber. The resulting structure would be a humble, simple building.

Do we focus on God's approval for a task? Are we delighting our self in the Lord so He can give us His desires in our heart? (Psalm 37:4) Do we seek the approval of our church leaders before venturing out?


So Elisha went with those men with the purpose of cutting lumber with axes. Iron was expensive then and rare in Israel. A student borrowed one to use, since he could not afford to purchase one. He would not be able to replace the borrowed ax had anything happen to it.

Something did happen to one particular ax head. While a man was cutting a tree, the borrowed ax head fell into the river. Being a responsible young man, he cried out letting his problem be known-"It was a borrowed ax."

What happened next was one of God's miracles:
  • Elisha asked where it fell into the river, and the man showed him.
  • Then Elisha cut a stick and threw it in the water at that  spot. 
  • The ax head floated to the surface and united with Elisha's stick.
  • Elisha instructed the borrower to grab it and he did.
All things are possible with God. Often times He does His part and we do ours by faith, such as the borrower reaching down to pick up the axe floating on the water.

Come on friends, let's go down to the river, down to the river to pray, get washed by the water, rising up in amazing grace as the song goes.


When I borrow something,  I need to return it in the same condition.

Watch God do His work, in spite of my flying off the handle.

Bend allowing Him to put me back together.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

White Lie Becomes White Leprosy

O. T. #834  "White Lie Becomes White Leprosy"
Sept. 21, 2016
2 Kings 4-Part 3
Because you have done this, you and your descendants will suffer from Naaman's leprosy forever.   2 Kings 5:27 NLT


Haven't we all been guilty of telling some "little white lie?" Of course, a lie is a lie, whether little or big, just as sin is sin, whether small or big. Today we read of a man who tells not one but three lies. Then he gets leprosy because of it. Read on to find out who it was.

Naaman was healed of leprosy, not in the spectacular way he thought, yet he was healed as he obeyed by faith the instructions of Prophet Elisha. He found the only God in all the world, the God of Israel.
Elisha would not accept any of Naaman's gifts to show that he was different from the pagan prophets and the Syrians would see only the honor of God.

So Naaman started toward home. But Gehazi, Elisha's servant, lied and deceived himself as well as to Naaman and Elisha.
  1. Gehazi decided in his heart that he would chase after Naaman and get some of his money which was offered to Elisha. Elisha shouldn't have let those things slip through his fingers, miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime deal, after all, we live in poverty. (Well, Ge could have thought those thoughts.) At any rate, he lied to himself-no one would ever find out and he would be rich.
  2. Gehazi carried out his lie for selfish gain as he caught up with Naaman and his chariots. Lie number two was heard when Gehazi ssaid Elisha sent him to tell Naaman that 2 young prophets from Ephraim just arrived and he would like to have 10%of his gift of silver and 2 sets of clothing to give them. (Premeditated scheme, huh.)                                                        By all means, take twice as much silver instead, Naaman insisted. That would have valued a quarter of a million dollars today. Whew! Naaman even obliged in sending 2 of his servants to help transport it. but when the men arrived back at camp, Gehazi took the gifts and sent the men back to Naaman, the hid the loot in his house.
  3. Sounds like a plan, huh? Well he could have pulled it off, except Gehazi forgot one thing-his master, Elisha, was in tuned with the God who sees and knows all, and reveals secrets to His servant Elisha. Yep, Elisha asked Gehazi where he had been. He spits out lie number 3: I haven't been anywhere. Elisha knew what Gehazi had done. Because Gehazi did all of that and lied, he and his descendants would suffer from Naaman's leprosy forever. When Gehazi left the room, he was covered with leprosy, skin white as snow.
What a price to pay. During that time, there was no help for the disease, so death would be relief.


I guess we could call him greedy Gehazi.

Liberty Bible Commentary enlightens us:
This story has a sad ending, clouded by covetousness and deception. Gehazi's sin was fivefold:

  1. He coveted the wealth that Elisha was allowing to slip away;
  2. He lied to Naaman concerning a need for the two young prophets;
  3. He exploited an unsuspecting, new convert on the pretext of aiding a religious cause;
  4. He destroyed the picture of God and His prophet who healed as an act of grace alone;
  5. He lied to Elisah concerning his whereabouts.


Guard my heart from covetousness by being thankful for what I have.

Be truthful to myself and others.

Realize that God sees all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dirty Water, Dirty Skin, Dirty Heart

O. T. #833  "Dirty Water, Dirty Skin, Dirty Heart "
Sept. 20, 2016
2 Kings 5-Part 2


We left Naaman, the supreme commander of the Aramean army and enemy of Israel, at Elisha's door waiting. Do we often find our self waiting at God's door for an answer? Waiting by faith is so hard to do. The asking isn't so hard for me, but the waiting is. I have to trust God's timing and wisdom. It's out of my control. That's it. I like to plan and have things go according to my plan. Looks like I'd learn-God's ways are not my ways according to Jeremiah 29:11.

Wait a minute, Linda. you didn't ask Me to heal you of that stomach virus so you could complete My assignment, speaking to the girls for Me.

Ouch, Lord, Your words stab me in my heart. You are right! I stand corrected and broken. I did not ask You Jesus to heal me and get dressed to go anyway, walking by faith. Maybe deep down in my heart I didn't want to go, for there were people attending that I did not want to see that day. How wrong was my focus. A dirty heart full of sin, was mine. I am so sorry, for it was sinful. Now I have to live with my regret of disobedience all my days. God, You are merciful and forgiving.
Folks, I learned a lesson, the hard way. (I pray my friend who spoke my words received a blessing and the girls came close to God despite my, (gulp) lack of faith.) Naaman had some lessons to learn, too. Let's see what happened:
  • Elisha sent a messenger outside to greet Naaman, who is knocking and waiting for the door to open.
  • The message was instructions for Naaman to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River. Then his skin would be restored, and he'd be healed of his leprosy.
  • Naaman got angry and stalked away. Really? Why did he do that?
  • He thought Elisha would at least come to meet him personally, wave his hand over Naaman's leprosy, call on the name of the LORD his God, and heal Naaman. It didn't happen his way.
  • Naaman even questioned the directions of dipping into Israel's river, thinking the two rivers of Damascus was much better than the muddy Jordan River.
  • Why shouldn't I wash in them and be healed?
  • Naaman left in a rage.
What should he have learned? What do we learn from Naaman?
  1. Obedience to God begins with humility. Naaman was a great hero and used to being shown respect. Elisha did not come himself to speak with Naaman directly, so he felt disrepected.
  2. God's way is better than our own-the best way. It requires faith to please God. We must believe that His way is better than our way. Be willing to change plans.
  3. God wants our obedience more than anything else. (Naman brought expensive gifts and money to pay for healing, but God's favor is not bought. Elisha refused it.) Grace is not obtained by works, least anyone should boast about what they did to obtain it.
  4. God can use anything to accomplish his purposes, even muddy water. Did you see Naaman's pride in not wanting to dip into Israel's muddy water instead of his clean river? (Life Application Study Bible)
Pride vs. humility
Respect vs. disrespect
Obedience vs. disobedience
Grace vs. works
Muddy vs. clean
Sin vs. repentance

Naaman's problem was not only a dirty spotted disease on the outside of his body, but also a spiritual problem on the inside-a dirty heart spotted with sin and doubt.

Me too, Jesus. I stand in need of grace, waiting for Your forgiveness and soul-cleansing so my sin-spotted heart can be cleansed. Help me to die to self and do Your will. Let me serve You once again.


Does he or doesn't he? Does Naaman go dip 7 times in the Jordan River? Let's see.
This prideful leprous man stormed off, probably his rage turned into bitterness, and quickly. Well, if he ain't goin' to do it my way, forget it. I'll jut keep these spots. If my money is no good with that man of God, what kind of man is he, anyway?

In verse 13, listen of Naaman's officers trying to reason with him:
Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn't you have done it? So should you certainly obey him when he says simply, "Go and wash and be cured!"

Did Naaman expect to have to do some great thing in proportionate to his status? Yes, he did.
So Naaman did as Elisha instructed his messenger to relay the message of dipping himself 7 times. What was the result? Naaman's skin was as soft as a baby's----, well, as healthy as a young child's.

Naaman was like the 1 out of 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus and returned to thank Him.
Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God, Elisha. Naaman told him,
Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.

Did Elisha accept the million in gold and silver and clothes? No, Elisha refused. He wasn't in the ministry for the money. The miracle gave God the glory, since He did it.
Then Naaman requested to take two mule loads of dirt back home with him. Huh? Why on earth did he want to take some earth home?

Falwell explains, "He still associated Jehovah with the land of Israel and believed that to worship Him in a foreign land some Israelite soil was necessary."

Some people believed deities had power only on their own soil. Naaman desired to build an altar to the Lord with dirt from the land of Israel to ensure Yahweh would be present when he worshiped in his homeland of Syria. (David Jeremiah)

We see Naaman's conversion genuine since he desired to sacrifice to Jehovah, and he was concerned that he might be considered an idolater when he assisted his king in worshipping his god. Therefore, Naaman asked the Lord's pardon for such an act. He had no intention of worshiping an idol now.

There is no God except Jehovah, Yahweh, Almighty God, the One True Living God.
Chances are, those of us who read that sentence  believe it. But do those we work with, those who live around the corner believe it? Are we sharing the truth with them?


                    and let God be God of my life.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Waiting at the Door

O. T. #832  "Waiting at the Door"
Sept. 19, 2016
2 Kings 5


Whew! I am finally back up on my feet and walking on my country road of faith. That stomach virus lasted 5 days, since my weakness is in the belly anyway. Sad for me to have to miss speaking at the girl's retreat at our church, but I was able to write the lesson beforehand and a friend was able to deliver it. I missed y'all, too. So, enough about me. Grab a glass of tea and join me on the porch as we discuss a spotty situation in which Nathan is involved. Do I hear someone knocking at the door?

Who was Naaman, our main character today?
  • He was supreme commander of the Syrian (Aramean) army.
  • He was a great man of high social standing and prominence.
  • Naaman was an honorable man in his master's eyes because of his military victories.
  • He was a mighty man of valor, signifying a wealthy man and a courageous warrior.
  • Naaman suffered from a skin disease of leprosy.
  • One of the raids on Israel which Naaman led, he captured an Israelite girl who became his wife's servant.
One day the Israeli servant girl told her mistress that she wished Naaman would go to see the prophet in Samaria (Elisha). He would heal her master of his leprosy. Now, leprosy was an incurable, contagious disease which ended in death for the infected, much like AIDS victims today.

We are not told the girl's name, but her brief words of faith in the God of Israel was significant here. God had placed her there for a purpose and she was faithful. She was able to love her enemy (Syria was enemies with Israel then) and wished God's miraculous healing on her master. Wow!

Where has God placed you? No matter how humble or small your position, God can use you to spread His Word. Look for opportunities to tell others what God can do. There's no telling who will hear your message! (Life's Application Study Bible)

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus told us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us.


Of course, Naaman's wife told him what the servant girl said to her. He wen to the king, who showed concern for his commander by sending Naaman with a letter of introduction and a huge gift to the king of Israel, who was probably Joram. This gift of 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold worth abut a million dollars today. 

Israel's king sure needed a mustard size faith in God, but he seemed to make fun of the situation, in verse 7. We read that he:
  • tore his clothes in dismay, for he had no control over the situation, afraid of the outcome if Naaman were not healed;
  • wasn't a believer in God, for he asked if he was God, that gives life and takes it away;
  • thought the king of Araam was trying to pick a fight with him.
Elisha got wind of the king tearing his clothes and sent a message asking why the king was so upset. Then Elisha instructed the king to send Naaman to him and the king would learn there is a true prophet in Israel. Elisha was a prophet of the One True Living God.

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha's house.

He humbled himself since Naaman was a mighty warrior and commander, humbly waited to see the prophet, and humbly waited to receive healing of his sickness.

Are we too proud to ask for a healing? Are we willing to humble our self before God and present our  need?

We are going to leave Naaman at the door, waiting.


Humbly ask and wait for God's answer, for Him to heal, act, meet my need.

Thank You Jesus for bringing me through that awful time of sickness.

Thank You for giving the words of encouragement the girls needed to hear.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016
Sorry folks but the intestinal bug going around caught me. I should be ok tomorrow.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Have a blessed day.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Let Go of It

O. T. #831  "Let Go of It"
Sept. 13, 2016
2 Kings 4-Part 4
But Elisha repeated, "Give it to the people so they can eat...   2 King 4:43b


It is so very difficult to let go of it, whatever it may be, when I want to keep it, use it, enjoy it, look at it, for myself. I desire God to use all I have for His glory, yet my hands grip tightly onto things for my use. Anyone with me? It is when I finally open my hands and give it to others that He uses it and multiplies it and blesses me as a result. Elisha let go of it in our reading today. Shall we find out what "it" is?

The 4 short stories in this chapter demonstrate how God used Elisha to perform miracles. We learn of  God's power over death, His provisions of oil, and poisonous soup made edible. Today, we will read, in only 3 verses, of God multiplying bread.

Here in verses 42-44, a man that is unidentified and righteous, bringing his gift of first fruits of his grain harvest as an offering to the Prophet Elisha. Since the priesthood is absent in Israel, the man's respect for Elisha as God's representative is seen here. The gift, offering, was 20 loaves of barley bread and some corn.

Normally, he firstfruits were reserved for God (Lev. 23:30) and the Levitical priests (Num. 18:13). Though the religion in the northern kingdom was apostate, the man who brought the loaves to Elisha was a representative of godly religion in Israel.  (MacArthur)

Are we faithful to God even when others around us are not? When tithing looks impossible on our budget, do we remain faithful?


Instead of selfishly keeping the food for himself and his servant , probably during a famine, Elisha instructed that it be given to the group of hungry prophets, which numbered 100, so they could eat. He had to let go of it before the food was multiplied. His servant questioned being able to feed 100 men with only 20 loaves of bread and a few ears of corn.
The Lord said that everyone would eat and there would even be some left over! And it was so.

Does this story remind you of another time when God, through Jesus His Son, multiplied food for the hungry to eat?

A boy's lunch of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish is shared and  fed 5,000 men and unnumbered women and children, with some left over, is found in in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, and Luke 6:1-15.

Then7 loaves of bread and some fish fed 4,000 men plus some women and children Matthew 15:29-39 and Mark 8:1-10.

Life Application Study Bible leads us to consider:
We can limit what God does in us by assuming what is and is not possible. Is there some impossible task that you believe God wants you to do? Don't let your estimate of what can't be done keep you from taking on the task. God can do the miraculous; trust Him to provide the resources.

                     and Let God...


Monday, September 12, 2016

Stiring the Pot

O. T. #830  "Stirring the Pot"
Sept. 12, 2016
2 Kings 4-Part 3


Through Elisha, God used miracles to provide for the widow, gave the Shunemmite woman a son, and then raised him from the dead. Now Elisha returned to Gilgal during a time of famine. God was able to work through Elisha to meet needs, no matter what they were.

One day a group of prophets, seminary students, were seated before Elisha. I wonder if they were having a discussion of the Cannon, the first 5 books written by Moses. Elisha told his servant to put a large pot on the fire and make some pottage (soup) for the group. Since there was a famine, one of the young men went out into the field and gathered herbs and a pocketful of wild gourds. He shred them into the pot, not realizing they were poisonous. When it was served, some of the men had a couple of bites and knew it was poisonous soup, cried out to warn others and tell Elisha.

Do some people try to stir the pot, so to speak? They believe everything they read and hear, though not checking it out first. We had a person accusing a certain translation of the Bible to have been written by homosexuals and Satan worshipers. So I did some research on the internet. There is a site which lists the biographies of the 15 authors. One of the men was actually a seminary professor that my husband had in class.  Also, the publisher mentioned accused is in fact not the same one in the front of my Bible. Looking up words in a Hebrew and Greek, which was used as their condemnation of the translation, I found accurate meanings in substitution for the English word. I only use the translation, and a few others, for studying. The King James Version is best for me.

Do we watch out for those who like to stir the pot of controversy? Are we looking to see if their claims are legitimate?


Elisha solved the problem of poison soup-he threw some flour into the pot. It made he soup edible, though flour alone had no power.  Elisha told the men it was all right to go ahead and eat. They had to do it by faith, didn't they? Someone had to be the first to try the soup. It did not harm those who ate.

God watches over us all the time, friends. Even in our ignorance He takes care of us.


Beware of who I listen to concerning Bible teachings.

Have discernment with God's directions of the Truth.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Getting Your Hopes Up

O. T. #829  "Getting Your Hopes Up"
Sept. 9, 2016
2 Kings 4-Part 2
... don't deceive me and get my hopes up like that. 2 Kings 4:16b


Yeah, I got my hopes up this week. I thought a situation was finally resolved, only to sink down in despair. A person's rebellion and nagging to get her way worked. So I stepped back and gave up standing up for what was right. God will have to deal with that person.

The town of Shunem was about 7-15 miles from Mt. Carmel.  A wealthy woman live there, and she urged Elisha to have a meal with her and her husband in their home. So whenever he would pass that way, Elisha would stop there for something to eat. The prophet Elisha was more socially inclined that Elijah had been; so was  similar difference between John the Baptist and Christ.

The Shunammite woman had true spiritual values, for she made a special room on the roof for the visiting prophet-a "prophet's chamber." It was furnished with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then Elisha had a place to stay whenever he came by. She did this out of kindness, sensing a need, not with selfish motives. Soon, her kindness would be rewarded far beyond her wildest dreams. To reward her, God would give the Shunammite woman a son. What a blessing! The absence of children during the O.T. times was considered a curse or a sign of shame. Once her husband died, the woman would more than likely become impoverished.
Elisha appreciated the nameless woman's kindness, and offered to put in a good word with the king or the commander of the army, but she refused the offer, for her family took good care of her. It sounds like the woman had come to accept her childless state, because when Elisha told her by the next year she'd have a son, she told he not to deceive her and get her hopes up like that.

Are we sensitive to those who pass through our life and home, especially those who teach and preach God's Word? Are our eyes open to their needs which we could meet? Are we looking for ways to serve and help? Do we watch out for our elderly family?


We read of an incident that happened as the child grew older and was in the field helping his father harvesting. The boy had a sun stroke and was carried to his mother, dying on her lap. The woman didn't tell her husband what had happened. Instead, she send a message to him requesting servant and a donkey so she could hurry to the man of God and would return. The man couldn't reason why she would do such a thing, but complied with his wife's request. This woman of faith did not despair, but set out immediately for Carmel to find the prophet.
Elisha saw that the woman was deeply trouble, and reasonably so. Elisha sent his servant, Gehazi,  along with his staff, which the servant was instructed to place on top of the dead child's face. Nothing resulted, so Elisha went to the boy. He went in the room, alone, and shut the door, then prayed to the LORD. Elisha did resuscitation on the boy, who eventually came back to life.
When the mother was called into the room to take her son, she fell at Elisha's feet and bowed before him, overwhelmed with gratitude. Then she took her son in her arms and carried him downstairs.

Elisha's prayer and method of raising the dead boy show God's personal care for hurting people.

Do we pray over those who are spiritually dead? Do we go to them with the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior? When we receive a blessing from the Lord, do we bow at His feet, giving thanks?


Pray for a miracle and give thanks when I receive one.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shut Doors

O. T. #828  "Shut Doors"
Sept. 8, 2016
2 Kings 4
But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19


What goes on behind shut doors, few people usually know. However, people found out what happened to a widow when she shut her doors.

This chapter records 4 of God's miracles through Elisha:
  1. providing money for a poverty-stricken widow (verses 1-7),
  2. raising a dead boy to life (verses 32-37),
  3. purifying poisonous food (verses 38-41),
  4. providing food for 100 men (verses 42-44). (Life Application Study Bible)
Looking at the first miracle, we see a widow coming to Elisha for help. Her husband served Elisha and feared the LORD. Her problem was a creditor came and threatened to take her two sons as slaves. The only valuable thing she had left in her house was a flask of oil.

According to the Mossiac Law, creditors could enslave debtors and their children to work off the debt when they could not pay (Ex. 21:2-4; Deut. 15:12-18). The period of servitude could last until the next year f Jubilee (Lev. 25:39, 40). Rich people and creditors, however, were not to take advantage of the destitute (Deut. 15:1-18). (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

Well, the Jews were not showing mercy to each other nor were they obeying the laws concerning debt during this time. It was lowdown to me to think they would take the widows' sons, who were the only way of providing for her needs by working. If the sons were taken away from her, she'd not be able to live, much less pay the debt off. It sounds like she had already sold articles and only had left the flask of olive oil.
Isn't it a common thing for people to kick us when we are down? Wasn't it hard enough that the widow had lost her husband? That's how mean folks can be.


How did Elisha help this widow?
  •  He told her to borrow as many empty jars as she could from her friends and neighbors.
  • Then the widow was to go into her house with her sons and shut the door.
  • Pour olive oil from her flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.
  • She did as Elisha instructed her to do. Her sons kept bringing jars to her and see filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim.
  • She asked for another jar, but there were no more empty jars. Then the olive oil stopped flowing.
  • The widow told Elisha what happened, and he said for her to sell the olive oil and pay her debts. Then she and her sons could live on what was left.
This is a picture of faith and obedience. Wouldn't it have been embarrassing for the widow to borrow containers? The increase of the oil was in proportionate to her faith and obedience. As long as she kept asking and having jars to pour the oil into, they were filled. Olive oil was used for cooking, lamps, and fuel.
God takes what we have and uses it to meet the need, if we trust Him. We are reminded of this in Philippians 4:19, My God shall supply all you need...

This was a private matter, since the door of her house was shut. Did you notice that Elisha was not even present? This miracle could only be credited to the power of God. God's provision was as large as our faith and our willingness to obey.

"Shut the door" reminds us of Matthew 6:6; note that Elisha often "shut the door" when asking for God's help. Do we pray behind closed doors to our heavenly Father?

Are we trusting and obeying God?


His grace is enough for me, isn't it?

Pray in secret and God will reward.

Trust and obey.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Digging Ditches

O. T. #827  "Digging Ditches"
Sept. 6, 2016
2 Kings 3-Part 3
Make this valley full of ditches. 2 Kings 3:16


The three kings from Israel, Judah, and Edom came to Prophet Elisha seeking the Lord's perspective on the matter of them going to war with the Moabites. However, after 3 days of traveling through the wilderness, the army ran out of water, and they had more land to cover to get to Moab, so water was desperately needed.

What did the Lord say through Elisha?
  • The dry valley would be filled with pools of water.
  • They would see neither wind nor rain, but that valley would be filled with water.
  • They would have plenty for them and their cattle and other animals.
  • This is a small thing for the LORD.
  • He would make them victorious over the army of Moab.
  • They will conquer the best of their town, even the fortified ones.
  • They would cut down all their good trees, stop up all the Moabites' springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.


This miracle predicted by Elisha affirmed God's power and authority and validated Elisha's ministry.  (Life Application Study Bible)

God commanded a thorough destruction of cities, trees, wells, and fields. Water appeared in the ditches, the sun shined down on the water, and it appeared red as blood when the Moabites looked down into the valley. They were defeated and stones were thrown into their fields so they were not productive.


Trust the Lord to perform miracles.

Be the best at what God wants me to do.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Small Thing

O. T. #826  "A Small Thing"
Sept. 5, 2016
2 Kings 3-Part 2


Life is made up of a lot of little things with a few biggies now and then, here and there, right? But when we are going through the small things, and they seem big to us. Amen? So what do we do when we don't know what to do? Ask God. Leave it at the feet of Jesus for Him to handle. Trust His timing. Keep the faith. Aren't those hard words to apply? I hear ya friends. Three kings had to apply this.

"Why are you coming to me?" Elisha asked the 3 kings from Israel, Judah, and Edom. They had run out of water for their armies after 3 days while traveling to war with Moab. Were they wanting a water miracle from Elisha? Elisha told them to go the pagan prophets of Ahab and Jezebel. Sarcastic but truthful, huh?

King Joram of Israel said, "No! It was the Lord who called us here-only to be defeated by Moab!"
Really? He didn't even consult the Lord about going to war with the Moabites, much less including the other two kings' armies.

Elisha said he wouldn't have even bother with them if it hadn't been for his respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Then he called for someone who could play the harp. Sounds like he had to calm his nerves a bit. Maybe it was so he could get his mind settled in the midst of an uproar so he could hear from the Lord.

Do we ease away from the hustle and bustle of the world so we can hear the still small voice of like Elijah heard? God showed his power in fire, a strong wind, and an earthquake, but spoke in a whisper. Do we have a daily quiet time in a quiet environment so we can hear from God?


While the harp was played the power of the Lord came upon Elisha and he said, This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a light thing for the LORD, for He will make you victorious over the army of Moab! (My emphasis)

In Hebrew, the word light means small, easy.

When you think about how powerful God, who created the universe and earth, is, then providing water for  thousands of men and horses is a small thing. Just a snap of His fingers, a poof of breath. Although, it would be a huge thing for those guys to experience. Not only that, but the 3 kings got their answer-God would make them victorious over the Moabites. Water did come according to verse 20 as well as victory in the rest of the chapter. It was when the king of Moab sacrificed his son as a burnt offering on the wall that Israel withdrew and returned home, with Israel angry with such a thing.
Do you recall that God provided water when Moses struck the rock, and parted the Red Sea once  and Jordan River 3 times.

Dear one, what is your small thing that you need God to take care of? All things are small in comparison to our big God, right? Yet, I know they can be gigantic to us. So why do you and I not have the faith the size of a grain of mustard seed in His doing it?
 Can we praise God if He gives it or does not give it to us? His grace is enough.


Lay it at God's feet and ask in faith, trusting His will is best.

Leave it with Him to do as He will and in His time.

Do this Linda, not just say the words!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Desprate Times

O. T. #825   "Desperate Times"
Sept. 2, 2016
2 Kings 3
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.  Jeremiah 33:3


Back to the national news-Joram (Ahab's son) became king of Israel, and reigned 12 years over Samaria. He did evil in the LORD's sight, but not to the same extent as his parents. At least he tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up, yet there remained hundreds of priests of Baal. However, Joram did continued calf-worship. So Joram was a bad king in the spiritual sense, but not as bad as Ahab and Jezebel. (Joram (in NLT) is named Jehoram in KJV, so don't get confused, since I'm using NLT.)

Do we have a tendency to compare our self with others? Well, when we do, we usually are not as bad as them, right? Don't we focus on their bad traits or deeds and overlook ours? Ouch!


Here's a little historical background for what's going on during this time. As a king grew older, often his son would rule beside him. Jehoshaphat, nearing the end of his reign, appointed his son Jehoram to rule with him, Jehoram served as co-ruler with Jehoshaphat for 5years. He is mentioned again in chapter 8. (Life Application Study Bible)

The land of Moab was southeast of Israel. Israel and Judah were some of the most fertile land and strategic positions in the Near East. No wonder Moab envied them and remained their enemy. Mesha, king of Moab, had previously paid tribute, sheep, and wool to King Ahab. Now with Ahab off the scene, Mesha rebelled and stopped paying Joram, which caused war between Israel and Moab.

Joram asked the kings of Judah and Edom to send troops to join his army, which they did. They traveled 7 days through wilderness, and ran out of water.
What happened next?
  • Joram said that the Lord brought the three of them out there so Moab could defeat them.
  • King of Judah asked if there was a prophet of the LORD there. If there was, they could ask the LORD what to do through him.
  • One of Israel's officers replied that Elisha was there. He used to be Elijah's personal assistant.
  • Jehoshaphat agreed that the LORD spoke through Elisha, so the three kings went to consult Elisha.
  • Elisha's response was to question why the kings came to him. He told them to go to the pagan prophets of their parents.
So all of a sudden they became religious, seeking the Lord when they had a need-water. When we get desperate, is that the only time we go to the Lord? Desperate times call for desperate measures, we have heard. What a shame that it takes trying times to drive people to their knees. But shouldn't they have sought the Lord's will before starting out? Hmm. Guilty. I thank God for His faithfulness and understanding my weakness.

The Lord told Jeremiah to call upon Him and He would answer. Not only would Almighty God answer, but He would show great and mighty things which he didn't know. This was while Jeremiah was under guard and Jerusalem's fall to Babylon was coming. Yet, he said, Nothing is too hard for You! You show unfailing love to thousands. You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. The Lord did reveal His plans, and Israel went into captivity in Babylon, only later to be freed.

Isn't it easy for us to look back and know the events. Keep in mind, at the time, these 3 kings were desperate for water and wanted to know if it was worth going on, and if they'd have victory.
That's where we are going to leave them, folks. Stay tuned to find out what happens or read on yourself.

What a promise for Jeremiah and us!


Seek the Lord's will before making quick decisions and getting into desperate situations.

Ask, seek, knock.

Thank God for His faithfulness.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

When Bears Come Out of the Woods

O. T. #824  "When Bears Come Out of the Woods"
Sept. 1, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 8


Aren't there days when it seems nothing goes right? There's a dead mouse in the house and I can't find it. A phone call interrupts my nap. People are growling at me. We've all experienced them. Perhaps bears came out of the woods. Are they chasing me? Gee, I got to run to Jesus and get my armor of faith on. Today's Bible story has bears coming out of the woods, after children.

Here in verses 23-25, we read  a story that is often very misunderstood. I know that I have.
What happens in Elisha's life?
  • He leaves Jericho and goes to Bethel. (verse 23a)
  • As he was walking, children (KJV), or a group of boys (NLT),from the town began mocking and making fun of Elisha. (verse 23b)
  • They said to him, "Go up, thou bald head," as KJV says; "Go away, baldy" as NLT puts it. (verse 23c)
What? Children were mocking the prophet of God? No, that is where we misunderstand. So I looked in my concordance for the Hebrew meanings of the two words children:
In verse 23, children means from age of infancy to adolescence; a girl or boy; a lad or off spring;
in verse 24, it refers to something born; a lad or offspring; boy, child, young man. 

My stack of commentaries seem to agree with it this conclusion: They were young lads (NASB).
  • They were no innocent children, but a band of rowdy teenagers. They mocked Elijah's translation. It was an insult to God's appointed prophet. (Falwell)
  • These were not children, but infidels and idolatrous young men in their late teens or twenties. They were sarcastically insulting God's prophet. (MacArthur)
  • These youth were young men, not children, and possibly false prophets of Baal. They implied that Elisha should go into heaven as Elijah had. (David Jeremiah)
These explanations seemed to clear up my question, but as my husband pastor pointed out to me, the King James Bible uses little children, not just children. Therefore, he says these mockers were children, not youth.

Well, that shoots down my opinion. I did overlook word little, which can mean small or young.
Either way, it is obvious that they were not taught to have respect for God's man. Did these little children grow up hearing their parents make insults about Elijah? Was it their culture that influenced them? Did this happen due to peer pressure? Ultimately, it was the choice of the little children to insult Elisha.
If you're like me, it is easier to accept this group being rowdy teenager boys instead of little children.
So, are we teaching our children to respect authority and the men of God?


What happens next is unusual. Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then 42 she bears came out of the woods and tared, mauled, 42 of them.
Tare refers to rend, break, rip, or open.

Children would not have stood a chance in surviving a mamma bear attacking them.
It is a sad event. I try to keep in mind that these children grew up in idolatry and God gives mercy on whom He chooses. Some things we do not understand now.
Are we prepared to reap what we sow?
Are we prepared for the bears to come out of the our woods? 


Show respect to God's anointed.

Teach children to do the same.

Be prepared to reap what I sow.