2 Kings 4
God saved the sons of a widow from debt and slavery
1 Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, saying, Your servant, my husband, is dead; and you know that your servant feared the LORD: and the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves. 2 And Elisha said to her, What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house? And she said, your handmaid has nothing in the house except a pot of oil. 3 Then he said, Go out, borrow jars from all your neighbors, empty jars; borrow many. 4 And when you come back in, shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour out into all those jars, and set aside what is full. 5 So she left him, and shut the door on her and on her sons, who brought the jars to her; and she poured out. 6 And when the jars were full, she said to her son, Bring me another jar. And he said to her, There is not one jar more. And the oil stopped. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, pay your debt, and you and your children live on the rest.
- Prophets were the men who spoke the words of God.
- Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures forever.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- Philippians 4:19 my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
8 And on a day that Elisha crossed to Shunem, a great woman was there; and she persuaded him to eat food. And as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat food. 9 And she said to her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us continually. 10 Please let us make a little chamber on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, a table, a stool, and a candlestick: and when he comes to us, he can turn in there. 11 And on a day that he came there, he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. 13 And he said to him, Say now to her, Behold, you have been full of care for us with all this care; what is to be done for you? Shall I speak to the king for you, or to the captain of the army? And she answered, I dwell among my own people.
- She refused Elisha’s offer of favors from the king or commander of the army.
14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Truly she has no child, and her husband is old. 15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, you will embrace a son. And she said, No, my lord, man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.
- God has more to offer than kings and generals.
- Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he will give you the desires of your heart.
- John 10:28A nd I give to them eternal life; they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
17 And the woman conceived, and bore a son at that season that Elisha had said to her, according to the time of life. 18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day that he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, My head, my head. And he said to a servant, Carry him to his mother. 20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 And she called to her husband and said, Please send me one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 23 And he said, Why will you go to him today? It is not the new moon or sabbath. And she said, It will be all right/peace. 24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, go forward; do not slow your riding for me, unless I ask you. 25 So she went and came to the man of God to mount Carmel. And when the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, there is the Shunammite: 26 Please run to meet her, and ask her, Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. The man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is bitter within her: and the LORD has hid it from me, and has not told me.
- God hid the boy’s death for an important reason.
- Jesus waited 3 days when He knew that Lazarus was ill.
- Instead of just a healing, He showed the power of God by raising Lazarus from the dead.
- God delayed revelation to Elisha so that He could perform a greater miracle for this Shunamite woman.
28 Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me? 29 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go your way: if you meet any man, do not salute him; and if any salute you, do not answer him: and lay my staff on the face of the child. 30 And the mother of the child said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And he arose, and followed her. 31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing/attention. So he went again to meet him and told him saying, The child has not awakened. 32 And when Elisha came into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid on his bed. 33 He went in and shut the door on them both, and prayed to the LORD. 34 And he went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands: and he stretched himself on the child; and the flesh of the child grew warm.
God rules over life and death
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house back and forth once; and went up, and stretched himself on him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she came in to him he said, Take up your son. 37 Then she went in, fell at his feet, bowed herself to the ground, then took up her son and went out.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
38 Then Elisha returned to Gilgal: and there was famine in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said to his servant, Set on the great pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets. 39 And someone went out into the field to gather herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered wild gourds from it, his lap full, and came and shredded them into the pot of stew: he did not know what they were. 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And as they were eating the stew they cried out and said, O man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat it. 41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he threw it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people so they may eat. And there was no harm/evil thing in the pot. 42 And a man came from Baal-shalisha, and brought bread of the firstfruits to the man of God, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the its husk. And he said, Give to the people, that they may eat. 43 And his attendant said, What, should I set this before a hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for the LORD says this, They will eat, and have some left over. 44 So he set it before them, and they ate, and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.
- God made poison food harmless through Elisha.
- God turns lack into abundance. Jesus fed 5, 000 with five loaves and two fish.
- Matthew 14:20 And they all ate, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
- Jeremiah 32:27 I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is anything too hard for me?
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
2 Kings 5
1 Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance to Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper.
- Notice God’s sovereignty and work in other nations.
- Naaman was honorable.
- God used him a like the judges of Israel.
2 The Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 And she said to her mistress, O that my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! He would gather in/recover him of his leprosy. 4 And one went in, and told his lord saying, This is what the maid said that is from the land of Israel. 5 And the king of Syria said, Go now, go! I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel saying, Now when this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent with it Naaman, my servant, that you may recover him of his leprosy.
- Notice the errors that were made and how God used them to glorify Himself.
- First the maid said that the prophet would cure Naaman.
- Only God can cure him.
- Second, the king of Syria sent to the king of Israel for the cure, not to the prophet.
- This error brought the event to the attention of the nation.
God has the power of health, life, and death
7 And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to recover a man of his leprosy? Consider now and see how he seeks a quarrel against me. 8 Now when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king saying, Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will return to you, and you will be clean. 11 But Naaman was filled with wrath, and went away saying, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and remove the leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
- Leprosy eats away the flesh.
- If Naaman obeyed the flesh would come back.
- You will be clean.’The leprosy would be completely gone.
- A preconceived idea almost robbed Naaman of healing.
13 And his servants came near, and spoke to him and said, My father, if the prophet had bid you do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, Wash, and be clean? 14 Then he went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
- All scripture speaks both of spiritual life than physical life.
- Unbelief and sin are leprosy that eats away at our hearts.
- God does not require hard things of us.
- Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, and your house.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
He is the only God
15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all earth, but in Israel: now please, take a blessing from your servant. 16 But he said, As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.
- True miracles are proof of the true God.
- God’s gifts are free to all. Elisha said that he stood before God. All life is before God.
- Psalm 96:5 all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
17 And Naaman said, If not, please let your servant be given two mules’ load of earth? For from now on your servant will offer no burnt offering or sacrifice to another god, but to the LORD. 18 In this thing the LORD pardon your servant, when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this thing. 19 And he said to him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
- He had to go into the house of a false god because of his job, though no longer believed in him.
- His heart was right. His action would be wrong. He asked for forgiveness.
- 1Corinthians 8:4 we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
- Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? … he delights in mercy.
- John 20:23 Whoever’s sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whoever’s sins you retain, they are retained.
20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God said, Behold, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD lives, I will run after him, and take something of him. 21 So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? 22 And he said, All is well. My master has sent me saying, Behold, even now some men come to me from mount Ephraim, two young men of the sons of the prophets: please give them a talent of silver, and two changes of clothing. 23 And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them on two of his servants; and they carried them before him. 24 And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and put them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.
- Tower can also be translated ‘hiding place.’
- What had Gehazi done to deserve anything?
- What had Elisha done to deserve anything? God healed Naaman.
God showed Elisha what Gehazi had done
25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, Where have you been, Gehazi? And he said, Your servant went nowhere. 26 And he said to him, Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive yards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman will cling to you, and to your seed forever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
- God’s generosity was clouded by Gehazi’s greed.
- Hopefully, living with leprosy would cure Gehazi of his covetousness.
- Leprosy eats away at man’s flesh like greed eats away at man’s heart.
- All things come from God.
- He therefore deserves more attention than the things He can give.
- Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.
- Colossians 3:5 Put to death… covetousness, which is idolatry.
- Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
SUMMARY: 2 Kings 4-5
- The LORD saved the sons of a widow from slavery
- He rules over life and death
- He has the power of health, life, and death
- He is the only God
- He showed Elisha what Gehazi had done