“Seven thousand who ain’t
bowed the knee”
2 Kings 4
In a world under judgment…
“And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.” (1 Kings 19:17)
Lament the social injustice (v1, cf. Exodus 22:22-24; Leviticus 25:39-40).
Understand the significance of the famine (v38,
cf. Leviticus 26:19-20)
… Elisha brings miraculous salvation…
A poor widow receives oil (vv1-7);
A rich woman receives a son, twice
1) he is conceived despite her infertility
2) he is raised from the dead (vv18-37)
A starving multitude are fed, twice
3) a deadly stew is decontaminated (vv38-41)
4) a bread is multiplied (vv42-44)
(NB. the miraculous is not the biblical norm)
… to the “remnant” who cling to him …
“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
The “sons of the prophets” who hung around Elijah and Elisha (v1, v38 – and, subtly, v42)
The Shunammite who backed Elisha’s ministry
(vv9-10 – and, subtly, v23)
… just like Jesus
(his name means ‘God saves’)
(his name means ‘The Lord saves’)
Provides a miraculously-bottomless jar of flour and jug of oil (1 Kings 17:8-16)
Provides a miraculously-bottomless jar of oil (4:1-7)
Miraculously multiplies bread to feed 5000 men – in particular, he instructs his helpers to distribute a too-small amount of food, at which suggestion they are incredulous, but everyone eats, and there are leftovers (Luke 9:10-17).
Miraculously multiplies bread to feed 100 men – in particular, he instructs his helpers to distribute a too-small amount of food, at which suggestion they are incredulous, but everyone eats, and there are leftovers (4:42-44)
widow’s son from the dead, by prayer and bodily contact, in an upper room in the presence of an angry, distraught mother (1 Kings 17:17-24)
Raises a woman’s son from the dead, by prayer and bodily contact, in an upper room in the presence of an angry, distraught mother (4:18-37)
Raises a widow’s son from the dead with a word (Luke 7:11-17)
Christian, you have found refuge in Jesus. Urge others to take refuge.
What would you say to someone who expected Elisha-type miracles as the norm for Christians today?
How do these miracles point us to the salvation we have in Jesus? How does that reassure you?
Whom among your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours can you urge to take refuge in Him?