"THE STORIES OF ELIJAH & ELISHA!"
THE UNITED KINGDOM HAD NOT LIVED VERY LONG! The Northern Tribes had never been very fond of Judah for various reasons. They had soon found an excuse to withdraw. We are following the progress of that division of the kingdom.
GOD ALWAYS HAS A VOICE! GOD ALWAYS HAS A WITNESS! He always has someone to tell them the Truth! When things get bad enough, that the people begin to forget God, God usually chooses a particular man as a mouthpiece!
WHAT WERE THOSE MEN CALLED? PROPHETS OF GOD! A man from God Himself, to announce to the people their sins. That's exactly what He was doing in these days!
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A THRILLING STORY OF ELIJAH & ELISHA. Who came first? Elijah came first. He later won Elisha‚ a young man, to serve the Lord‚ who followed him.
IN THIS PICTURE, WE SEE ELIJAH RUNNING BEFORE A RAINSTORM. He's girded up his loins & his flowing robes. They used to roll them up around their loins, so they could run real fast; otherwise they'd get their legs tangled up in them!
HE RUNS BEFORE THE CHARIOT OF AHAB‚ BECAUSE HE SAYS‚ "IT'S GOING TO RAIN! Your old chariot's going to get stuck in the mud if you don't hurry up!" It hadn't even rained for 3 years!—Think of that! He was such a man of God that he just prayed & it rained! It rained so much they nearly had a flood! He was a real prophet of God!
1. ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT ELIJAH, THIS PROPHET OF GOD‚ DID WAS TO COME OVER & VISIT THIS WICKED WOMAN JEZEBEL. But he didn't come to pay a friendly visit! He came to do what? You can see here, by the picture, he was telling her off!
THIS WICKED QUEEN & HER HUSBAND‚ AHAB, THE KING OF NORTHERN ISRAEL, WORSHIPPED IDOLS & a false, demon god, Baalzebub. The prophet looks like he's just clothed in furs or camel's hair, like John the Baptist. He's rebuking them for their sins & their worship of these false gods! Elijah came from Gilead.
HE PREDICTED, AS A RESULT OF THEIR SINS, A VERY GREAT DROUGHT. What's a drought? We're having severe drought conditions right now. God has sent a drought to this country because of the sins & wickedness of the people! Elijah cursed them, & said as a result, they were going to have terrible famine for 3 years!
JEZEBEL WAS THE WICKED QUEEN. LOOK AT THAT FIRE IN HER EYES THERE! SHE'S GLARING AT HIM, isn't she! It made her so mad! What do you suppose she did? She vowed she was going to get the head of Elijah!
ELIJAH, WHO HADN'T BEEN AFRAID OF ANYTHING UP TO THIS TIME, ALL OF A SUDDEN‚ RUNS from what? A woman! Poor Elijah, God bless him! Of course, she was the queen & she did have an army! She was a bad queen & a mad queen—bad, mad Jezebel!
2. SHE WAS OUT TO GET THIS GUY ELIJAH! So, he ran way up into the hills & the mountains, that you see here, the Gorge of Cherith. Elijah hid by the Brook Cherith for some time.
HE WAS FED BY THE LORD BY RAVENS. They "brought him bread & flesh in the morning, & bread & flesh in the evening." (1Kings 17:6.) That's why my Dad used to say you're only supposed to eat twice a day, because the Lord only fed Elijah twice a day! Bread & flesh in the morning, bread & flesh in the evening—think of that!
THEY BROUGHT HIM MEAT SANDWICHES! Well, it may not have been in sandwich form—probably dropped him a loaf of bread & a nice cooked leg of lamb or something. Maybe the ravens picked it up off of the King's campfire—they thought, "They're stealing it!" But the Lord knew where it was going!
3. THIS IS RIFAD UP HERE IN THE GORGE OF CHERITH. It's rugged country! No wonder he could hide up here in these caves. It looks just like the Grand Canyon.
4. HERE'S A VIEW FROM THE TOP. You can see the whole plain of the Jordan & the Blue Hills of Moab in the distance. Do you see something clinging to the side of the hill right there?—A little building? You are going to see more of that building soon.
5. HERE WE ARE AT THE BROOK CHERITH. Doesn't that look delicious? Nice cold rushing water, yum, yum, yum! That Brook Cherith makes me thirsty! It's a perennial stream, it's always flowing! It's up in the high mountains. Melted snow makes it flow, so it doesn't dry up like these streams we have here in Texas—some only flow when it's raining!
6. UP HERE IN THE GORGE CHERITH, JUST BARELY HANGING ON, BY ITS FINGERNAILS, TO THE SIDE OF THE CLIFF, IS A MONASTERY. Guess who it's dedicated to? It's the monastery dedicated to Elijah. It's called the Monastery of St. George, because it was built during the reign of St. George, by the Crusaders.
DID YOU EVER HEAR ABOUT ST. GEORGE & THE DRAGON? He was a famous British king that went out & killed a dragon! You know there used to be dragons? Flames came out of their mouths & their eyes burned like fire! They're in the Bible! In the 41st Chapter of Job you can read a whole Chapter about one of those dragons—he's called Leviathan.
THEY WEREN'T FAIRY TALES! THEY REALLY HAD DRAGONS, & they spit fire & everything! How did we get on dragons? Because this is called the Monastery of St. George‚ & St. George killed a dragon.
7. WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE? WHO IS THAT? ELIJAH. See there's one bird bringing him a loaf of bread‚ & another bird bringing him a piece of meat! How would you like that?
I BET YOU'VE NEVER HAD ANY RAVENS WAITING ON YOU! Elijah did though!—Because the Lord loved him so much‚ He didn't want him to starve to death out there in the hills!
THE MONASTERY OF ST. GEORGE WASN'T THERE AT THAT TIME. They didn't build it till a couple of thousand years later. It's pretty hot country; I presume he must have found some shade up there, somewhere. We know that the brook was flowing all the time‚ so he had water to drink‚ & bread & flesh to eat. What more could you ask!
WHILE ELIJAH WAS UP HERE, WHAT WAS HE DOING? Is he working very hard? No! He's resting! He's had a hard battle with that wicked Jezebel—that bad mad Jezebel! He's had a long hard run—he ran for his life! He's resting; but now after he's finished resting, God let the brook dry up. It flows most of the time, so that was unusual!
WHAT WERE THEY HAVING IN THAT COUNTRY THEN? A DROUGHT! He told them the Lord was cursing the country because of its sins—for 3 years they wouldn't have any rain! We haven't had rain for 2 months & we think it's bad! Can you imagine that?—They had no rain for 3 1/2 years!
IT WAS TIME FOR ELIJAH TO MOVE ON & GO BACK TO WORK. What was his work? He was a prophet. What does a prophet do anyhow? He goes & talks to people—he's a preacher—& he encourages them. He tells them the Words of God, & he does miracles so they'll believe it.
THE BROOK DRIED UP, so he must have been thirsty; & the ravens weren't coming anymore, so he must have been hungry! My Mother used to say to young preachers, when things began to get hard, the money began to get low & they'd been in a place for some time; she said, "Maybe God's trying to show you you must move on!
"WHEN THE BROOK DRIES UP‚ MAYBE YOU OUGHT TO MOVE ON!" God let the brook dry up, because it was time for Elijah to move on!
8. HE MOVED DOWN INTO ZAREPHATH, SOUTH OF SIDON. Now he came to this widow of Zarephath. Was food very plentiful? No! Why? Because of the famine, on account of the drought. When there's no rain: There's no water‚ no crops, no food!
SO THEY WERE STARVING TO DEATH, THIS WIDOW & HER SON. She said she was just going out to pick up a couple of sticks. She had one little handful of meal & a few drops of oil.
SHE WAS GOING TO BAKE A LITTLE CAKE FOR HERSELF & HER SON TO EAT THEIR LAST MEAL, their last food, & then starve to death! (1Kings 17:12.) What do you think Elijah said? Did he come along & say, "Well, now that's nice—you just go right ahead! Even though I'm hungry, I feel sorry for you; & therefore, you go ahead & eat it"? What did he say?
HE SAID, "BAKE ME A LITTLE CAKE FIRST!" (1Kings 17:13.) She had only enough for one cake. What's he talking about? What's the matter with this guy? Doesn't he know it's a famine! Doesn't he know we don't have any food—we're starving to death! And he tells me to go & bake him the only cake I've got! Is that what she said? No!
SHE PERCEIVED HE WAS A PROPHET! At first‚ she'd kind of objected. He said, "Bake me a little cake first, & afterward for thee & thy house!" (1Kings 17:13.) Then what did he say?
"THE BARREL OF MEAL SHALL NEVER WASTE & THE CRUSE OF OIL SHALL NEVER RUN DRY!" (1Kings 17:14.) In other words, you'll always have plenty of flour & plenty of oil, to make all the cake you want—if you'll just bake me a cake first! For the rest of the 3 1/2 years of no rain, she would be one of the few people that had something to eat—because she was willing to put God first!
SHE GAVE THE VERY LAST BITE OF FOOD SHE HAD TO THE LORD! In giving it to the prophet, she was giving it to the Lord! When you give to God's Work, or you give to God's man or God's preacher or God's prophet, you're giving to the Lord!
SHE WAS GIVING IT TO THE LORD &, IN SO DOING, THE LORD TOOK CARE OF HER! A cake in those days was like a loaf of this pumpernickel bread; it wasn't a sweet cake with frosting! It wasn't the bread we have today; it was a lot more healthful! It was whole-grain bread.
SHE BAKED HIM THAT LITTLE LOAF OF BREAD FIRST; & THE BARREL OF MEAL NEVER WASTED, neither did the cruse of oil ever fail! Does it pay to put God first? It pays to put God first! Amen!
9. SO SHE WAS REWARDED IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Not only was she fed for the rest of the famine, but later on, during the prophet's sojourn here, her son died. But Elijah, by the power of God, restored him to life & to his mother! She praised God & said, "Now I know thou art a prophet of God!" (1Kings 17:24.)
SOME PEOPLE TAKE A LOT TO CONVINCE; BUT AT LEAST, SHE MUST HAVE HAD FAITH, or she wouldn't have given that last cake that time! She didn't know really for sure, except for his word, that the barrel of meal was not going to waste & the cruse of oil was not going to fail! Now she is really convinced that he is not only a miracle worker, but a prophet—because he has raised the dead!
10. THIS IS A PHOTO OF ONE OF THE ROCKY SLOPES OF MOUNT CARMEL, with the stream flowing down. Samaria, capital of Northern wicked Israel, had now been in the grip of famine for 3 years—just exactly like Elijah had predicted!
ELIJAH WAS THEN DIRECTED TO RETURN TO AHAB; & on his way, he met Obadiah seeking water for the king. After some persuasion on the part of Elijah, Obadiah arranged a meeting between Ahab & the prophet. They met here on Mount Carmel. God had a purpose in this.
11. HERE WE SEE THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT CARMEL, which is right near Haifa‚ on the coast, jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. Elijah denied that it was he who had brought the famine.
AHAB, THE WICKED KING, WAS BLAMING IT ON THE PROPHET OF GOD! It's strange how people do: The prophets get up & tell the people what wickedness they are doing, & how God is going to judge them for it!
IF GOD DOES BRING SUCH JUDGMENT UPON THEM, instead of blaming themselves, when they themselves are to blame, they will blame the people that predicted what was going to happen! Like they blamed Jeremiah!: They said, "Jeremiah, you're on the side of the enemy‚ because you said this was going to happen, so you must have known! You must have been a spy or a traitor! You must have been on their side; therefore, it was your fault!" People always want to blame somebody else—anybody else—but themselves!
THE WICKED PEOPLE THEMSELVES WERE TO BLAME! Elijah says, "Ahab‚ you & your wicked people are to blame, not me! I'm just the Voice of God, telling you the judgments of God because of your sins!—It was because of the idolatries you brought into Israel!" (1Kings 18:18.)
12. SO ELIJAH CHALLENGED AHAB TO A TEST TO PROVE THAT HE WAS RIGHT: He said, "Let the prophets of Baal build an altar on Carmel, & I will build one to Jehovah. A bullock should be laid on each altar, & the one that is consumed by fire from Heaven will represent the true God that we shall follow!" (1Kings 18:23-24.) Elijah made that famous quotation, that challenge that thrills my heart to this day:
"IF GOD BE GOD‚ THEN FOLLOW HIM! BUT IF BAAL BE GOD‚ THEN SERVE HIM!" (1Kings 18:21.) Hallelujah, amen! In other words, make up your minds‚ don't be wishy-washy!—Like Ahab, jumping back & forth, trying to serve God with one hand & his wife & her wicked god Baal with the other—to try to compromise!
THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR ANYBODY THAT LOVES THE LORD, IS TO COMPROMISE between God & the World, God & the opinions of men!—Trying to please everybody & make everybody happy! Like that famous Goth: After he heard the Gospel‚ one of the Goths or Visigoths, a king of Germany, decided that this new god, he'd heard about, was pretty good.
HE BUILT HIM AN ALTAR IN THE OTHER END OF HIS TEMPLE TO WODEN. In one end he had an altar to God, the true God; & in the other end he had a false altar to his idolatrous god! Do you think that pleased the Lord or the other god—either one?
THE GUY WHO COMPROMISES WINDS UP BY NOT PLEASING ANYBODY AT ALL! Even your enemy admires a man who's got convictions & sticks to his guns & sides for what he thinks is right!—Even if they are against him! But the fellow who is a compromiser & wishy-washy, back-&-forth, why, everybody hates! God help us to be true & faithful! Let's see how this great test came out.
NOW WHAT WAS THE TEST? The one that made fire come down out of Heaven‚ that was to be the true God! They built these 2 altars. First of all, the prophets of Baal prayed & cried & wept & howled & even slashed themselves with knives!—Still their god didn't answer! No fire from Heaven!
ELIJAH STOOD THERE & MADE FUN OF THEM!: The prophet of God said, "Maybe he's out, gone hunting, or maybe he's asleep. Yell a little louder, maybe he'll hear you!" (1Kings 18:27.) Their god didn't answer—of course, he couldn't—he didn't exist!
FINALLY, WHEN THEY GAVE UP, ELIJAH PRAYED. You know what he did? He not only built the altar & put the wood & the sacrifice on it, but just to show that his God was so powerful it didn't matter what, he took a whole lot of water & just soaked the sacrifice & the wood with water!
IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN A MATCH TO LIGHT THAT, wouldn't it! He poured water in the trench all the way around. He just soaked the whole thing so soaking wet, you couldn't have possibly set it on fire if you'd tried!—To show that it was a miracle!
13. SEE THAT FIRE COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN THERE? It burned up the altar, burned up the whole works! The fire of God came down out of Heaven & boom, struck there like a lightning bolt & burned up the whole works!—The sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the water & the whole works!—Think of that!
GOD ANSWERED HIM! He made it as tough for God as possible—to show it had to be a miracle!—That he wasn't sneaking around behind somewhere striking a match in it. Of course, they didn't even have matches; in those days it was hard to start a fire!
THAT'S WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A TRUE GOD TO START THE FIRE HIMSELF! This is why, so often, God sent down fire from Heaven & consumed the sacrifices that they offered. God started the fire Himself!
THIS WAS VERY MUCH TO THE DISCOMFITURE OF POOR OLD AHAB. I always kind of felt like he sort of wanted to worship the Lord, but he was trying to please Jezebel all the time.—You can't do both!
14. THIS IS WHERE IT HAPPENED, up here on the slopes of Mount Carmel.
15. THE RIVER KISHON FLOWS NEAR THE BASE OF MOUNT CARMEL. It was near here, remember, that Sisera once used to live. His army was destroyed by Barak & Deborah. Some of the largest kibbutzim‚ or the socialist co-operative colonies of the Jews, are located in this same valley today‚ along the coast of the sea.
16. WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE IS HAPPENING HERE? CHOP, CHOP, CHOP‚ CHOP! That was a day's work in itself—to chop off 450 heads! He'd made a deal with Jezebel & Ahab: "If your god sets your sacrifice on fire, you can have my head. After all‚ you've got 450 prophets to pray, you ought to get better results than I do!
"BUT IF YOUR GOD DOESN'T ANSWER YOUR 450 PROPHETS, I GET THEIR HEADS!" So there he chopped them off! I'll tell you, he had the power of God! He chopped them all off & tossed them in the river. That's kind of gruesome!
WHY DID GOD HAVE TO DO THIS? They were even worse than sinners, they were leading the people astray & causing all kinds of wickedness! They were the most vile wicked men you could imagine—these prophets of Baal!
NOW PROBABLY MOST PEOPLE WOULD SAY, "YOU SHOULD BE MORE LOVING, you should be more sweet!" They want me to pour honey down everybody's throat & speak so sweetly & softly & tenderly & gently. Elijah the prophet, who was rebuking the people for their sins, was not exactly the gentlest of men! He could get rough when it was necessary!
HE WAS A REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD & REALLY TOLD THE PEOPLE OFF in no uncertain terms; & if necessary, could take a pick–axe & chop the prophets of the Devil in little pieces! Elijah did it! Is that too gruesome for you? Does that make you think the Bible is a terrible Book? I've had atheists say, "Oh, the Bible is an awful gory‚ gruesome Book!"
THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS IS GORY & GRUESOME! God has to treat the Devil & the Devil's people with a strong hand! God won the victory & the prophets of Baal were slaughtered!
17. HERE ON TOP OF MOUNT CARMEL, there's a college. Elijah went back to Carmel with his servant. In answer to this act of Elijah's, in almost destroying the worship of Baal & all its prophets, what do you suppose God did? He finally sent rain!
GOD SENT RAIN DOWN ON THE LAND‚ & they were very happy! Who do you suppose wasn't happy? Jezebel!—That mad bad woman!—Because Elijah had chopped off her 450 boyfriends' heads!
18. SHE WAS WAITING HERE AT JEZREEL, to hear of the glorious result of them chopping off Elijah's head!
19. SOON THE MESSENGER CAME BACK. What did he tell her? That Elijah chopped off all 450 heads of your prophets! (1Kings 19:1.) She got mad, & she swore here that she was going to get the head of Elijah no matter what! Jezebel is that mean-looking woman sitting there on the throne. She was mad before, now she is really mad!
20. SO POOR ELIJAH, ONCE AGAIN, THE SECOND TIME‚ RUNS FROM A WOMAN!—He's scared again! Guess where he heads for again? He heads for the hills! It's a good safe place to hide—when you go to the hills! You can get lost up there & hide in the caves.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE LORD SAYS? In the Last Days, in the bad times, Tribulation & everything, He says, "Flee to the mountains! Fly to the caves & the holes in the rocks!" "Hide yourselves until the indignation be overpast!" (Isaiah 2:19,20 & 26:20.) He tells the Jews in Israel at that time:
"FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS! GET OUT OF JERUSALEM! Get away from your houses in town & flee to the mountains!" (Matt.24:16-18.) There is going to be "great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world!" (Matt.24:21.)
ELIJAH WAS AFRAID THERE WAS GOING TO BE TRIBULATION TOO, so he headed for the hills! He stopped & rested at a place in between Jerusalem & Bethlehem. This is the Monastery of Elijah, where he was supposed to have stopped & rested between Jerusalem & Bethlehem.
THESE ARE PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL PLACES WHERE THEY HAPPENED. The other pictures, like the picture of Jezebel, of course, are artists' paintings of the events. But this is an actual photograph of the place where it happened! That's a real place, the Monastery of Elijah.
21. THIS IS BEERSHEBA COUNTRY, where we see these camels & travellers. It's desert. Elijah was still running. Boy, he was hot & tired by this time!
22. FINALLY HE GOT UP IN THE HILLS. What do you suppose he did? He was so exhausted, he fell down & went to sleep! The angels ministered to him & fed him.
HE DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE RAVENS THERE THIS TIME, THE ANGELS DID IT! (Aaron: He had 2 meals: The angels fed him once, & he took a nap. The angels woke him up & fed him again. How many days did he go on the strength of those 2 meals?) 40 days & 40 nights! (1Kgs.19:5–8.)
23. THE LORD SPOKE TO HIM: There was a whirlwind & a fire & the still small Voice! Guess where this was? The same place that Moses got the 10 Commandments‚ & spent 40 days & 40 nights—in the mountains of Sinai in the Siniatic Desert.
24. HERE YOU SEE MOUNT SINAI. On top of Mount Sinai, right up there, is where Moses received the Law from God. That's also where Elijah ran to get away from Jezebel, & where the Lord spoke to him.
25. UP ON TOP OF MOUNT SINAI, guess what is built up there? A little chapel. What do you suppose they call it? This is the Chapel of Elijah, because Elijah fled up here to the top of the mountain. He didn't receive the Law up there; but he received comfort & the Word of the Lord!
26. THIS IS ABELMEHOLAH. It was where Elijah was sent to find Elisha‚ the young man who was to be his successor, his student. He went here & found Elisha ploughing with a yoke of oxen—just like you see this man ploughing.
ELISHA WAS A FARMER. Most of the people in that part of the country were pretty wicked‚ worshipping idols; but this man must have been a good man & worshipping the true God! He picked this young man, Elisha, & Elisha followed him. PTL!
27. AS A RESULT, ELISHA GOT HIS MANTLE‚ which symbolises power. Elisha prayed for a double portion of his power. Do you think he got it? He got a double portion! There was a condition: "That you see me when I am taken up!" (2Kings 2:10.)
HE WAS TO SEE ELIJAH TO THE VERY END, WHEN THE LORD TOOK HIM UP IN THE CHARIOT OF FIRE! He followed him everywhere he went; he wouldn't stay behind! Even when Elijah told him to stay at home, he would not leave him alone! Even when he told him to stay on the other side of the river, he went right through the river anyhow!
CAN YOU PROVE THAT ELISHA HAD TWICE AS MUCH POWER AS ELIJAH? The Bible says so; but there's even more proof than that!: Elijah only did 7 miracles. Do you know how many Elisha did? Exactly 14!—Believe it or not!
28. HERE WE'RE NEAR APHEK‚ WHERE BEN-HADAD, THE SYRIAN KING, CAME AGAINST SAMARIA with 227,000 men. 100,000 of them perished in the battle. You can read it in 1Kings 20. There were only a few that were left.
227‚000 RAN HERE FOR REFUGE, & GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? The walls of the city fell right over on them & killed them! This is another time when the walls came tumbling down! They killed 227,000 men of Ben-hadad, the wicked Syrian king. This is where the battle ended, where the remaining soldiers were all killed.
29. HERE YOU SEE THIS LITTLE SAILBOAT ON THE EAST SHORE OF GALILEE. It was here on these plains, east of Galilee, that Ahab overtook the Syrians. If there were any left at all‚ he slaughtered them here.
AHAB WAS A PRETTY WICKED KING OF ISRAEL; but in this case, God gave him the victory over the even more wicked heathen king, Ben-hadad of Syria! But, because of his wickedness in following Baal, a prophet met him here & prophesied his death.
HE DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING THOUGH, sad to say!—Ever learning but never coming to a knowledge! Ahab went home. Instead of repenting & being a good boy after that, what do you suppose was one of the first things he did?
30. HE SAW THIS REAL NICE VINEYARD, NOT FAR FROM HIS PALACE. It was such a beautiful vineyard—he wanted it! He tried to buy it; & the guy said, "No, it's my father's, & it's my homestead. I don't want to sell it!" (1Kings 21:3.)
HE OFFERED HIM A BIG PRICE, & HE WOULDN'T SELL! So, he came home & like a little, bad, spoiled child, he went to bed crying! Can you imagine a big king: "Wah, he won't sell me that vineyard! Wah‚ wah!" (1Kings 21:4.)
WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE HIS DEAR WIFE JEZEBEL DID FOR HIM? She didn't just outright murder him; she had to do it some real cunning, crafty way!: She had the city accuse him of blaspheming God! He was really a good man! She wasn't even believing in God herself!—Think of that!
SHE HAD HIM ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMING GOD! She didn't even love God herself; but she got the Law on poor Naboth! They stoned Naboth to death; & she gave the vineyard to Ahab. (1Kings 21:13-15.) God was really mad at Ahab!—So what do you suppose happened here?
31. IN THE CITY OF JEZREEL‚ WHERE POOR NABOTH WAS STONED TO DEATH, along came the prophet of God.
32. ELIJAH COMES THIS TIME. Now Ahab gets his last warning & this bad wicked queen Jezebel. He says‚ "You're going to get killed, & the dogs are going to lick up your blood!" (1Kings 21:19–24.)
33. THIS IS OLD JERUSALEM.
34. THIS IS RAMOTH–GILEAD. JEHOSHAPHAT WAS PERSUADED TO ACCOMPANY AHAB in an effort to regain Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. They still held this city. Jehoshaphat was now the king of Judah. Ahab was the king of Northern Israel.
THEY ALL DECIDED TO GANG UP ON SYRIA, TO TRY TO CAPTURE THE CITY. What do you think happened? Ahab disguised himself like a common soldier, so they wouldn't recognise him as the king. Dirty, double-dealing‚ double-crossing Ahab, what do you suppose he did with his confederate king, Jehoshaphat? He'd already [heard] the prophecy that they were going to be after him. (1Kings 22:5–23.)
SO AHAB SAYS, "JEHOSHAPHAT, WHY DON'T YOU WEAR MY ARMOUR & my clothes!" (1Kings 22:30.) At first, everybody went after Jehoshaphat, trying to kill him. But God knew where Ahab was‚ didn't He! All of a sudden an arrow went through a chink in his armour & killed him, dead!
35. SO ELIJAH'S PREDICTION THEN WAS TRUE!: They hauled him home in a chariot, & the blood ran out of the chariot & the dogs licked it up!
36. LATER ON, JEZEBEL FELL OUT OF HER WINDOW & GOT KILLED, & the dogs licked up her blood too! That was an abomination for the dogs to eat you & lick up your blood. When my little friend Junior Haas heard this story, he was just about 3 years old.
HIS MOTHER WAS TELLING THIS TERRIBLE STORY ABOUT HOW THE DOGS LICKED UP THEIR BLOOD. He just oooh thought it was terrible, & looked so astonished & amazed. Then do you know what he said? He said "Mamma, I wish Fluffy had been there!" That was his little dog! Ha! Well, that's what happened. Elijah's prediction was fulfilled!
37. AHAZIAH HIS SON THEN SUCCEEDED HIM. He had a fall that injured him, & he eventually died of his fall. God's curse was on the whole family!
38. NOW WE COME TO THE DEPARTURE OF DEAR OLD ELIJAH. Elisha & Elijah come to the Jordan River. They're going to have to cross it. What happened? Did they swim? Did they get a boat? What did they do?
HE SMITES THE RIVER WITH HIS MANTLE & THE WATER PARTS, & they walked right across on dry land! The River Jordan has a lot of stories about it: That's where the priests of the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan on dry land. There were a couple of times when God caused the river to stop flowing temporarily.
THE MUDDY WATERS OF JORDAN—THAT'S ALSO WHERE NAAMAN, GENERAL OF THE KING OF SYRIA'S ARMY, WAS HEALED OF LEPROSY. Dipping how many times in the Jordan?—7! Not that the Jordan healed him, the Lord healed him, but the Lord wanted to humble him! It's the same river where Jesus was baptised, about 1000 years later.
39. THIS IS WHERE THEY CROSSED THE RIVER. Elijah & Elisha went over here on the other side at Mount Nebo. When they were on Mount Nebo, what happened?
40. "IT CAME TO PASS, AS THEY STILL WENT ON, & TALKED, THAT BEHOLD, THERE APPEARED A CHARIOT OF FIRE, & horses of fire, & parted them both asunder; & Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven! Elisha cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel & the horsemen thereof." (2Kgs2:11–12.)
ELIJAH CAST DOWN HIS MANTLE, AS HE WAS BEING CAUGHT UP INTO HEAVEN. What do you suppose Elisha did? He ran & caught it‚ & received a double portion of the power! He watched him as he went! Elijah had said, "You stay here & I'm going to go on." But all the time Elisha remembered what the Lord had told him: He had to stick with him!
THE OLD PROPHET TESTED HIM! The old prophet tried to, in a way, get him out of God's will & tried to get him off the track‚ to see if he'd stick to his calling! He could have said, "Well‚ after all, Elijah's a bigger prophet than I am, & I'm not even a prophet at all yet! After all, I ought to obey the old prophet!"—
NOT IF THE LORD TOLD HIM TO DO SOMETHING ELSE! There was a Bible School nearby; & about 50 of the sons of the prophets were standing out there watching‚ & they saw it happen.
41. REMEMBER ANCIENT JERICHO JUST FELL DOWN FLAT? This little village was about 3 miles away, but they still call it Jericho. These Bible School students came out to meet Elisha & asked him about Elijah. As most Bible College students are‚ they were kind of sceptical; & they asked Elisha, "Well, what are you going to do now?"
42. ELISHA RIGHT AWAY STARTED DOING MIRACLES! First‚ he sweetened this water of the Spring of Jericho. It was bitter & he sweetened the water.
43. THEN, WHEN HE WAS WALKING UP THE ROAD, A WHOLE BUNCH OF YOUNG MEN CAME OUT & MADE FUN OF HIM. What did they say? "Go up, old bald head! Go up, old bald head!" (2Kings 2:23.) What did they mean?
THEY WERE MAKING FUN OF THE STORY ABOUT ELIJAH! They were as good as saying, just like the Scribes & Pharisees said to Jesus on the cross, "If you're the King of Israel, why don't you save yourself? You saved others‚ yourself you can't save!" They were telling Elisha,
"IF THAT'S A TRUE STORY, WHY DON'T YOU GO UP LIKE ELIJAH DID? They made fun of the prophet of God, & what happened? Some big old mama bears came out of the woods & killed 42 of them! Because they did what? They made fun of a prophet of God! Now let me tell you something, he probably was bald-headed & he didn't go up.
YOU MIGHT SAY, "WELL, THEY WERE JUST KIDDING HIM! They were just making fun, they weren't too serious!" You'd better watch out how you say anything against God's prophet or God's man! Don't you make fun of them!
BECAUSE GOD'S WORD SAYS, "TOUCH NOT THE LORD'S ANOINTED, & do My prophets no harm!" "For he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of Mine eye!" (1Chron.16:22 & Ps.105:15 & Zech.2:8.) Did you ever stick your finger in your eye?—Does it hurt?
GOD SAYS IF YOU TOUCH ONE OF HIS PROPHETS, IT'S JUST LIKE YOU STUCK YOUR FINGER IN GOD'S EYE! Do you think that would make Him mad? If somebody came along & stuck their finger in your eye, what would you do? You'd do something quick to get their finger out! It makes God that mad, if somebody touches one of His prophets!
SO THEY BETTER WATCH OUT, GOD'LL TAKE CARE OF THEM! He may let His prophets suffer a little persecution for the moment‚ or even be a martyr; but, boy, what is He going to do to those people who touched His prophet!
44. THE MAP. JEHORAM, JEHOSHAPHAT & THE KING OF EDOM DECIDE TO GO OUT & FIGHT THE MOABITES. Now all these kings, including some of the Arabs‚ the Edomites‚ get together & decide to fight the Moabites, the children of Lot. Things weren't going so good.
JEHOSHAPHAT WAS THE KING OF SOUTHERN JUDAH, WHICH WAS PRETTY GOOD & RIGHTEOUS—he wasn't such a bad king. So, he went to Elisha & prayed with the prophet, & said, "Help us out! What would the Lord tell us to do?" Elisha was mad! Why do you think he was mad? God's king Jehoshaphat had teamed up with this wicked heathen Arab king & this wicked Israel king!
HERE WAS GOD'S KING, GOD'S MAN, JOINING FORCES WITH THE DEVIL & THE WORLD! And it made the prophet mad! When those kings came to him for advice, he said‚ "I wouldn't even look at you if it weren't for the presence of Jehoshaphat! But since God's man, Jehoshaphat, is here, okay,
"I'LL TELL YOU WHAT YOU DO—YOU DIG SOME DITCHES!" (2Kings 3:14–16.) Dig ditches?! Us kings? We've never dug ditches in our whole lives! He said‚ "You either dig ditches or you're going to get licked!" They got out there & the whole army went to work digging ditches. The Lord filled them up with water. The Moabites woke up in the morning & looked across the valley.
THEY SAW THE RISING RED SUN GLEAMING ON THESE DITCHES FULL OF WATER, & they thought they were ditches full of blood! They thought that somehow or another the other army had been destroyed, & this was their blood!
THEY JUST WALKED DOWN THERE CONFIDENT: "Now we don't even have to fight!" The Moabites got down there totally unprepared, & the armies of Israel fell on them & slaughtered them not too far from Shunem.
45. HERE ELISHA WENT TO SHUNEM WHERE THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN LIVED. This lady helped him, & he'd helped her many times. She had finally built him a little room & put in there a bed, a chair, a table & a candlestick—everything he needed! Wasn't that nice? That's all the furniture you really need, isn't it? A bed to sleep on‚ a chair to sit in, a table to write on & a candle to see by.
SHE GAVE HIM A NICE LITTLE PROPHET'S CHAMBER, for him to stop by whenever he was coming that way. She was very hospitable, wasn't she? She was a good lady, taking care of God's prophet! When an evangelist goes around the country, like we did for many years, & people open up their homes & give you a little prophet's chamber, you really appreciate it!—When you're weary & footsore & you've trodden all around the country!
THEY DIDN'T RIDE IN CARS IN THOSE DAYS! They had to hoof it, or ride on little beasts or something! It was hot & dusty. When her son was brought home almost dead from sunstroke, he healed that boy.—So the Lord was good to her! PTL!
46. HERE'S A PHOTO OF HAIFA. From the western slope of Carmel, you're looking down across Haifa & part of the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Haifa. It was here that this mother came to him‚ & pled with him to come & heal her child.
NOW THE CHILD WAS REALLY DEAD! He'd already stayed in his prophet's chamber that night & was on his way, going some place else to minister. He was on top of Mount Carmel when this happened. She saddled up a donkey, & she ran after him as fast as she could go!
SHE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM HERE. He said, "Is it well with thee? Is it well with the child?" What do you think she said? Do you think she said, "Oh, no, sir! He's taken sick with sunstroke & he died! It's terrible! Won't you please come?" No!
SHE JUST SAID, "IT IS WELL!" SHE HAD SUCH FAITH! Even though the child was dead, she said, "It is well with the child!" (2Kings 4:26.) Isn't that something? She knew that Elisha could heal him—God could raise him up! That was real faith, wasn't it!
47. SO HE WENT BACK, & HE PRAYED OVER THE LITTLE BOY & WARMED HIM. It even sounds like he gave him artificial mouth-to-mouth respiration, believe it or not! It says he lay down on top of him & put his mouth on his mouth. (2Kings 4:34.) God knows how to do things, doesn't He!
HE KNOWS ALL ABOUT ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION! When I was a little boy, they hadn't even heard of this mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration. You had to get over people & push on their lungs. Now they teach you how to do this mouth-to-mouth respiration. Some of these boys & girls get together, sometimes it takes their breath away; but this is a different kind of mouth-to-mouth work! Dear old Elisha's raising the woman's son. Isn't that beautiful? PTL!
48. THE JORDAN VALLEY. The prophet then went down to Gilgal on the plains of Jordan. Here he heals some people that have been poisoned. These young men have been poisoned by a bowl of poisoned pottage—a big kettle of poisoned stew. He kept on doing miracles all along!
49. HE WENT DOWN THEN TO SAMARIA. The next time we find him, he is living in his own house in the capital city of Samaria, here in the land of Israel. By this time, evidently, he was a pretty well recognised prophet; & the king had given him a house to live in.
THE LORD KNOWS HOW TO TAKE CARE OF HIS PROPHETS! They don't always have to live up in the hills & be fed by the ravens! But sometimes they do—you never know! Sometimes you're living like a king, & sometimes you're living like a bum! It's whatever the Lord desires, or whatever the Lord pleases!—Whatever is necessary to get the job done!
WHETHER YOU'VE GOT TO BE A GOSPEL BUM OR A GOSPEL KING—WHATEVER YOU BE—BE A MESSENGER OF THE GOSPEL! Amen? Praise the Lord! Would you like to be like Elijah & Elisha? If so‚ say amen!
THEY JUST PRAYED & THEY BELIEVED IT, & GOD JUST ANSWERED THEIR PRAYERS! If it's God's will, He'll answer & He'll do it! So that's what He did for them! God bless you & keep you, & may you be like Elijah & Elisha! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
THAT'S THE LAST OF THE 25TH CHAPTER. This story was found in 1 & 2Kings. We're now in 2Kings the 4th Chapter, & we'll continue our story maybe next year or next time you come out to see us. God bless you!
(P.S. 1982: Well, PTL! That was in 1967 on the TSC Ranch in Texas as I taught my own 4 teenage children & Family the Bible along with these pictures! That Summer we took a 7000-mile prophets' journey in our camper to Canada & then to the Caribbean, back to TSC & finally to Calif. in 1968 where we ministered to the heathen hippies, got'm saved & started the Jesus Revolution which is now our Family of nearly 10,000 missionaries in about 80 countries around the World preaching the Gospel in about 40 languages to billions! In these 15 years we've distributed about 500 million pieces of Gospel lit & lit the fire of salvation in nearly 5 million souls! Hallelujah! PG! It works! God's Word is true! Has He worked for you? He will if you follow Jesus! GBY!)
Review Questions for Chapter 25.
1. Where did Elijah the prophet live?
2. Why did he come to Samaria?
3. What calamity did he predict?
4. How did Jezebel receive him?
5. Where did Elijah go?
6. How was he fed?
7. Where did he go from the Brook Cherith?
8. Where is Zarephath?
9. With whom did he lodge?
10. What is said of her scarcity of food?
11. Give the story of her dead son.
12. Where did he arrange to meet Ahab?
13. Where is Mount Carmel?
14. Of what did he accuse Ahab?
15. What test did he propose?
16. Describe what happened.
17. How many prophets of Baal were there & what was done to them?
18. Where were they executed?
19. Did it rain then?
20. Who was waiting at Jezreel?
21. Where is Jezreel?
22. How did Jezebel receive the news?
23. What did she then swear to do?
24. Where did Elijah then go?
25. What direction & how far is Sinai?
26. How long did he stay at Sinai?
27. Who was Elijah directed to anoint upon his return?
28. Who was to succeed Elijah as prophet?
29. Who now besieged Samaria & what was the result?
30. What did Naboth own that Ahab desired?
31. How did he get Naboth's property?
32. What did Elijah say about the affair?
33. How long did Asa live during the rule of Ahab?
34. Who succeeded Asa?
35. To whom was Jehoshaphat married?
36. Who were Athaliah's parents?
37. Tell about Ahab & Jehoshaphat at Ramoth-Gilead.
38. How did Ahab die & where was he buried?
39. How long did he rule Israel?
40. What became of Elijah?
41. From where was he taken up to Heaven?
42. Who was his successor?
43. Tell of Elisha's part in the war with the Moabites.
44. What miracle did Elisha do at Shunem?
45. Was Elisha in favour with the king?