1:1-16 – Ahaziah gets sick after falling, wants to use divination to determine if he is going to get better or not.
-“Ahaziah was aware of the seriousness of his physical condition. In such circumstances a man’s basic spiritual temperament will often surface.” (Expositors)
-God intervenes pretty dramatically to make it clear that he is judging Ahaziah
2:1-6 – Elijah is getting ready to go to the Lord, and Elisha sticks with him as long as he can
-Elisha obviously loved Elijah and was sad to lose him
-“Three times Elijah had tested his successor; thrice Elisha stood the test.” (Expositors)
- The locations for these interactions had historical significance
- Gilgal = first stop after crossing the Jordan – circumcision and Passover (Josh 5)
- Bethel = site of Jacob’s encounter with God
- Jericho = first town to fall to Joshua
- The Jordan = parted by Joshua to enter the land
2:9 – the one thing that Elisha asked for was the ability to carry on Elijah’s work
-This is the most honoring thing in a spiritual friendship/mentorship like this
Q: What are some wrong reasons for wanting to take on a position of spiritual leadership?
2:10 – Elijah warns Elisha that he is asking for something that will involve suffering
-It’s not all glamour to take over someone’s ministry
Q: What are some areas where we might be called to suffer if we are going to lead for God?
Q: So then why should we desire this?
Q: What are some things you can do now to be ready when God calls you?
2:13-14 – God makes it clear that Elisha is indeed the heir apparent for Elijah.
2:15 – Other people recognize this as well
-There is a balance here: Don’t want to get too worldly and just take on leadership, but don’t want to get superspiritual and pretend like I don’t want any leadership. Need to be faithful, and be ready to step into positions of greater responsibility when God calls us.
2:19-22 – Elisha purifies the water for the city of Jericho
-19–22 “The chapter closes with two miracles of Elisha. These immediately established the character of his ministry—his would be a helping ministry to those in need, but one that would brook no disrespect for God and his earthly representatives.” (Expositors)
-The time of judgment against the city of Jericho was over
2:23-24 – God judges some young men that were mocking his spokesman
Application: God is more important than any one human agent
-Elijah is listed as one of the most important prophets of the OT. But Elisha had to carry on the ministry. Couldn’t let insecurity prevent him from serving.
3:11 – Jehoshaphat is again the one reminding the king of Israel to seek out a prophet of the Lord
3:13 – Elisha doesn’t want anything to do with Jehoram because he isn’t following God, and talks to him only because Jehoshaphat is there.
3:16-20 – God provides water for the animals
-“This is but a slight thing in the sight of the Lord”
3:21-27 – The alliance annihilates Moab, until the king of Moab offers his oldest son as a burnt offering.
4:1-7 – Elisha helps a woman keep her children out of slavery
4:8-17 – Elisha helps a barren woman become pregnant
Q:What are some things the Lord might be able to give us if we’re serving him?
4:18-37 – He brings the boy back from the dead
Q: What do you see about this woman’s response?
-She holds onto her gifts lightly. AND she and her son are used powerfully in God’s plan.
4:38-44 – Elisha rescues prophets from a poisoned stew so that they could eat during a famine