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From David to the Prophets

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From David to the Prophets

Introduction

·         Solomon

·         Divided Kingdom

·         Elijah

 

Other than Jesus, whom does the Bible say performed the most miracles?

The answer is Elisha with 12.

·         Divides the Jordan 2 Kin 2:14

·         Purifies the waters of Jericho by casting salt into the fountain 2 Kin 2:19-22

·         Increases the oil of the woman whose sons were to be sold for debt 2 Kin 4:1-7

·         Raises from the dead the son of the Shunammite 2 Kin 4:18-37

·         Neutralizes the poison of the pottage 2 Kin 4:38-41

·         Increases the bread to feed one hundred men 2 Kin 4:42-44

·         Heals Naaman the leper 2 Kin 5:1-19; Luke 4:27

·         Sends leprosy as a judgment upon Gehazi 2 Kin 5:26-27

·         Recovers the ax that had fallen into a stream by causing it to float 2 Kin 6:6

·         Reveals the counsel of the king of Syria (did this more than once) 2 Kin 6:12

·         Opens the eyes of his servant to see the hosts of the Lord

2 Kin 6:17

·         Brings blindness upon the army of Syria 2 Kin 6:18

 

Elisha

·         Prophesied from 850 – 800 BC in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

·         Was a disciple of Elijah

·         Elisha became the leading prophet in Israel when Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind.

2 Kings 4:1-2

1The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

2Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.”

How did the woman and Elisha know each other?

A widow’s options

–         Live off of the estate

–         go into business (she didn’t have the necessary resources);

–         glean in harvested fields;

–         also had rights to eat from the town storehouse

–         family help

Dt. 24:19-21

19When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. 21When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 (NIV)
28At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Leviticus 25:39-41

39“‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. 40He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers. 42Because the Israelites are my servants,
whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

·         Slavery Word Picture

If the widow lost her sons, she would be in bad shape indeed.

2 Kings 4:3-5

3Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

5She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.

Why did Elisha instruct the widow to pour the oil into the jars indoors?

2 Kings 4:6-7

 6When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

7She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

How did God provide for the widow and her family?

What does this story tell us about Elisha?

What does this story tell us about God?

 

In this story, the widow needed empty jars so that God could turn them into overflowing jars.

What things do we need to empty from our lives in order to make room for the things of God?

In this story, God took a limited resource (a jar of oil) and turned it into an abundant resource.

 

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