Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Story of Elisha

2nd Kings 2:15 to 2nd Kings 13

When the young men who were in the schools of the prophets saw Elisha divide the waters of Jordan, they knew that God was with him, as He had been with Elijah they came and bowed down to the ground before him, to do him honor.

They, as well as Elisha, had seen Elijah taken up by the fiery chariot but they thought that God might perhaps have carried him, in that way, to some other part of the country.

So they begged Elisha to let fifty of them go and seek him. Elisha at first forbade their doing so, but at last he gave them his consent. So they looked for Elijah for three days. But they did not find him because he was with God in heaven.

Then the people of Jericho came to Elisha, complaining that, though the situation of their city was beautiful, as he saw, the water was almost poisonous, and the soil was barren.

So he told them to bring him a new bottle, with a little salt in it. And when it was brought, he went to the spring where the water that supplied the neighborhood rose, and throwing the salt into it, he declared that God had taken away the filth from the water, so that from that time neither men nor cattle would be injured by drinking it, nor would it any longer render the soil unproductive, as it had done.

After this, Elisha went to Bethel and when he was near the city, some young men came out ridiculing and insulting him and they mockingly told him "go up," as his master had done.

This was a shocking sin, for it was turning into mockery that great miracle that God had just done, of carrying Elijah, living as he was, into heaven. Elisha knew that God's anger would fall upon them for such wickedness and, turning back toward the young men, he told them that they would be punished. And immediately two fierce female bears rushed out of the wood, and killed forty-two of them.

God enabled Elisha to do many miracles. He brought a dead child to life again. He healed the Syrian general, Naaman, of an incurable disease; fed a hundred of the prophets with a small quantity of bread; and did many other wonderful works.

When Elisha lay dying, Jehoash, king of Israel, came, and wept over him. Then Elisha told the king to shoot an arrow out of the window, and afterward strike the ground with the whole quiver-full, to show the king that he should overcome his enemies, the Syrians.

When he had done this, Elisha died.

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