Tag Archives: Bible Notes
Elisha’s answer to the widow is positive and practical. “How can I help?” He is positive in his response; he’s also practical in what he does. The main issue is getting the debt paid.
All she has is a little oil, probably olive oil in a jar. A little oil was all that God needed. It is fascinating how God works in miraculous ways, in the little things. There are many examples of a little becoming much in scripture. We have the case from the book of Judges of Gideon’s army reduced to a mere handful ( Judges 7) There is the story of David versus Goliath in 1 Samuel 17); we have the account from the life of Elijah, which is so similar to this one ( 1 Kings 17). The flour and Jug of oil of the widow Continue reading
In 2 Kings 4, we encounter one of the best-known miracles in Elisha’s ministry. The widow’s oil.
We are confronted in the Bible with a God of supernatural miracles, and miracles are indeed a big part of Elisha’s ministry. There is the temptation to dismiss this account from 2 Kings 4:1-7 as some would as being simply a Saga, a Novella, folklorist motif a part of oral tradition assoc with ancient times. That is how some see this passage. Indeed if we go along with the scholars, this didn’t happen. To go with some scholars is to hold that Elisha didn’t exist except in the imagination and the stories around the campfire of the Hebrew people. Continue reading
Is this a prophetic voice for today as well? Think of the parallels, the nation’s club together to ally against a common enemy, they try to form a strategy to defeat this common enemy, but they struggle to even meet the challenge of this common enemy. Until someone asks What about God? What is God saying in all this ?” What I see in these days of Coronavirus is a nation, and nations running about in blind panic without reference to God. We are falling and failing as we are addressing this issue without reference to God. What is God saying to our nation? What is God saying to the Church? Is God even speaking to or through the Church anymore? Continue reading
We can at times find ourselves facing situations which are so overwhelming, so difficult, that we think God Himself couldn’t turn things around. We find ourselves just now as a world in entirely uncharted waters. Nothing has prepared us adequately for coping with life during a global pandemic. However, thankfully God has a different perspective from ours. Where we see only impossibilities and problems, these things are an easy or a light thing ( ESV) in the eyes of the Lord. Continue reading
Bethel was a place of great promises and blessing being to Jacob. Later on, though things changed. The House of God became a Place of Rebellion against God. During the time of the kings, after Solomon was dead ( but before the time of Elijah & Elisha ), the ten tribes of the North rebelled against Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. Under the leadership of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. In a bid to stop his people travelling far south to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, Jeroboam erected two golden calves as idols, which the people of Israel worshipped. He set up one in Dan in the far North, and one was set up in Bethel. 1 Kings 12: 32 shows how he also offered sacrifices to the golden calves and had pagan priests serve there. Continue reading
Two very well known Biblical cities are mentioned in 2 Kings 2- Jericho and Bethel. Both in their own way are very well known throughout scripture, but both were in Elisha’s day spiritually dead and far from God. Tomorrow we’ll look at Bethel; today I’d like to look briefly at Jericho.
Finding himself at the river Jordan, Elisha is at the ancient city of Jericho, but it is plain from what the people have to say that things are not good there. ‘Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” (2 Kings 2:19 ESV) Jericho is ‘the city of Palms’ and situated in a pleasant oasis on the Jordan River. It is 800 feet below sea level and enjoys almost perpetual sunshine, excellent fertile ground from the alluvial deposits of the Jordan and a continually flowing spring Ein es-Sultan ( mentioned in verse 21) that irrigates the land. Continue reading
It does seem as if a double portion of Elijah’s spirit did indeed rest upon Elijah, and throughout his life, he lived in a very different way from Elijah. While Elijah’s life was solitary, Elisha’s life was spent much more among people, and what is more twice as many miracles were performed by Elisha as by Elijah. Elijah (like John the Baptist himself) lived apart from people, and he emphasised the law, judgment, and the need for repentance form the people. But Elisha, like Jesus, lived among the people and emphasised grace, life, and hope (see for example the following passages in 2 Kings 4:8–37; 2 Ki 6:14–23; 2 Ki 8:7–15) Elisha was going to make his mark, and what is more fulfil the plans that God had revealed to Elijah a while before (1 Kings 19: 16). Continue reading
The mantle was all that Elisha had as a tangible reminder of his great mentor, but as that mantle fell, and in picking it up, the baton so to speak was passed to him. Elisha had asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah ( verse 9-10). Even Elijah admitted that this was a hard thing, but it was what Elisha needed and received. Even to have a fraction of the faith that Elijah had would be wonderful, but to ask for a double portion and what is more to receive it, was the greatest blessing Elisha could have. Continue reading
Many of the phrases that are in common usage today in the English language have come to us from the King James Version of the Bible. Phrases such as ‘By the Skin of your teeth’, ‘feet of clay’, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’, ‘a thorn in the flesh ‘, ‘by the sweat of your brow’ are just a small selection of many phrases that have enriched the English language from the King James Bible. Another good example is found at 2 Kings 2:14). The mantle of Elijah has fallen on Elisha. The origin of that phrase usually refers to an older person who on retiring passes on responsibility to someone else ( usually a younger person). That person proceeds to continue the work that was started by the older person. Continue reading
If there is one thing that Elijah is well known for it is the Chariots of fire. His last few moments on this earth seem to sum up his life and seal his testimony as the greatest of all Israel’s prophets. He is always known as the prophet of fire, the one whom God answered with fire upon the altar. In the end, Elijah is remembered for the chariots of fire that were to sweep him up to heaven. It is appropriate that this great man who has single-handedly raised up the altar of the Lord in Israel once again and championed the cause of his God, is taken up to heaven in such a glorious way. Continue reading