ELISHA THE PROPHET—NAAMAN, THE LEPER—FAMINE IN SAMARIA—WICKED RULERS—EVIL QUEEN JEZEBEL
One by one the prophets of God have exploded throughout the ages! They didn't prophesy for audience reaction! They just spoke the Words of God, come what may, sink or swim, rise or fall, and that was that, flat! (DM 115 & 9)
Was Elijah's ministry defeated when he ran from Jezebel, after his great victory on Mt. Carmel? Wicked Queen Jezebel had tried to wipe out all the worshippers of Jehovah and get everybody to worship Baal—the Lord of the Flies, Baalzebub, the Devil—and Elijah killed 450 of her false prophets with his own hands, after calling fire down from heaven‚ proving he was right. (ML #35:6; 168:15‚16) Elijah ran fearfully away from filthy‚ wicked Queen Jezebel. Didn't this prove he wasn't such a great prophet after all? Or was God trying to show him something that was going to make him a better prophet?—A humbler prophet‚ who would come back unafraid‚ even of the king‚ much less the queen. (ML #35:6)
After Elijah found out that God was not just in the fire, the thunder‚ and the earthquake—this man of fire and thunder became a meek little man of the still small voice of God, at the mercy of the charity of the Widow of Zarephath, with whom he had to live in order to survive, until the faith was born in him to call down rain from Heaven to bring refreshing to revive the land and to feed the people! (ML #35:7)
Elijah and Elisha were so full of the power of God ... they performed more miracles than any other prophets in the Bible, changed the weather, defied kings and their armies, and even survived to see the nation saved a little longer because of their obedience! (ML #69:14)
Elisha inherited Elijah's mantle, which meant his anointing of power! He asked for a double portion! He said, "I want a double anointing of your power!" So do you know what happened as a result of that double anointing? Elisha did exactly twice as many miracles as Elijah!—Yet he was just a ... bald–headed dumb old farmer, who was out plowing his field when Elijah called him. He was dumb enough to believe God when Elijah called him to come! He really dropped out! He burned his old wooden plow and sacrificed his oxen on the fire! (ML #706:52-54)
Elisha had a school of prophets, where he taught all the prophets how to be prophets. They were living in such a small house that they didn't hardly have room to turn around. So they said, "Let's go out in the woods, and chop down some trees and make a big house and a big school, so we'll have a lot of room." But they were so poor that they didn't even have their own axe. So they borrowed an axe from the neighbour. I don't like to borrow other people's things. It's not good to borrow because it might get broken and then you've got to buy them a new one.
So they were chopping and chopping and chopping away, and all of a sudden the axehead flew off of the handle. It flew right into the lake beside them. Jesus made sure it didn't hit anybody, but—"Alas, alas, alas! For it was borrowed!" (2Kings 6:5)—It sank to the bottom!
Elisha cut a little twig off a tree and they threw it on the surface of the water. All of a sudden the axehead came right up to the top and floated on the water. We don't know how God did it, or how the prophet did it, but that's what happened—the iron axehead floated on the water! (Tape MCC4, edited)
1. Naaman, "a mighty man of valour," captain of the hosts of the King of Syria—the second man in command in all Syria next to the king himself, was a leper! (2Kings 5:1 & ML #264:29)
2. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. (No prophet is accepted in his own country.) (Lu.4:27,24)
3.& 4. The ruins of the house of Naaman are still pointed out in Damascus. Part of the premises has been converted into a shelter for lepers.
5. Naaman wanted to be healed of leprosy very badly. Leprosy is a horrible skin disease so awful that no one will go close to a person who has it.
Jesus once healed ten lepers. "And as Jesus entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said‚ Jesus‚ Master‚ have mercy on us. And when He saw them He said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that‚ as they went they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said‚ Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." (ML #264:29; Luke 17:12-19)
6. Pictured here is an artist's concept of Naaman in the temple of Rimmon, imploring his god to heal him, but he finally had to go to the Lord and the Lord's prophet for healing.
7. The Syrians had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God that my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) that is in Samaria! For he would recover him out of his leprosy. (2Kings 5:2‚3)
8. And the King of Syria said, Go to, go‚ and I will send a letter unto the King of Israel. (2Kings 5:5)
9. And Naaman brought the letter to the King of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. (2Kings 5:6)
10. And it came to pass, when the King of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said‚ Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?...see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. (2Kings 5:7)
11. When Elisha the man of God had heard that the King of Israel had rent his clothes...he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let (Naaman) come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman finally had to go to the Lord! Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. (2Kings 5:8,9; ML #264:29-31)
12. But the prophet Elisha refused to personally see Naaman. Instead he sent a message saying, "Dip seven times into the Jordan River, and thou shalt be clean."
Naaman was horrified! A dirty, filthy, muddy old river! How could he get clean there? Why couldn't he go and bathe in the beautiful, pure, crystal rivers of Abana (Barada), and Pharpar (Awaj), in lovely Damascus? So Naaman turned away in rage. (2Kings 5:10-12; ML #264:29-31)
13. Here we see a map of the region. In the upper right corner you can see where the city of Damascus is and the two lovely rivers, Abana and Pharpar.
14. Here are three women in long dresses sitting by the River Abana. Its source is in Mount Hermon, where melting snow sends a crystal stream of refreshing down to Damascus.
15. The river flows right through the midst of Damascus‚ making it one of the cities of the Orient best supplied with water. Water flows through aqueducts to all parts of the city.
16. Damascus is called the "pearl of the East", and is said to be one of the oldest cities of the World, with a continuous history that dates back to Noah's grandson Uz.
17. Damascus was the city that Saul (St. Paul) was going to, to arrest the Christians, but Jesus stopped him. Later, Paul had to escape over the wall of Damascus in a basket because the Jews wanted to kill him. (Read Acts 9.)
18. Here the River Pharpar wanders past Damascus off into the sandy plains of the Arabian Desert.
19. The Jordan River also starts in Mount Hermon, except on the opposite side of the mountain.
20. So Naaman's pride almost lost him the blessing of being healed of his leprosy. Why couldn't he go and bathe in the beautiful rivers Abana and Pharpar?—Because God's only solution and place for him to get rid of his leprosy, as well as his pride, was to bathe in God's river, the dirty, muddy river of Jordan. He had to do it God's way! Why should God honour you with healing if you don't honour Him with faith? If you don't trust Him till you die, then you don't trust Him! If you're going to compromise at the last minute, then you've failed. (ML #264:30,31; 599:16)
21.& 22. But finally one of Naaman's lowly servants persuaded him to humble his pride and go bathe in that dirty old river if it would heal him!—And he did! His flesh came clean again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (ML #265:30; 2Kings 5:13‚14)
23. Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all his company‚ and came and stood before him: and he said‚ Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth‚ but in Israel. Naaman then pledges that he will offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. But a second reaction instantly must have crossed his mind‚ for he was very covetous of his job. (2Kings 5:15-18 & notes from Maria's Bible)
24. Naaman's testimony might have turned the Syrians to the Lord, if he had stood up for the Lord, but instead he compromised! He compromised at the last minute and failed. After the Lord healed him, when he could have been such a big testimony and such an influence in Syria‚ maybe converting the whole country so that it wouldn't have been such an enemy of God's people—but he made that compromise! "The Lord pardon Thy servant in this one thing—I've got to go into this heathen temple with the King—forgive me!" That wasn't much of a testimony was it?
I always think about two guys possibly sitting on the curb in front of the Temple of Rimmon when they saw Naaman go into the temple with the King, and one guy says, "Well, I hear that Naaman got healed of his leprosy down in Israel by the God Jehovah." The other guy goes, "No, no! I'm sure it must have been the god Rimmon, because look, there he's going into the Temple of Rimmon with the King right now!"
Naaman‚ the healed leper, healed by the true God Jehovah, said, "Lord, please pardon Thy servant as I go into the Temple of Rimmon, the King leaning on my arm." And you never hear anything more about Naaman after that! Watch out about compromise! Watch out about any compromise or pulling your punches for advantage, for finances, for protection, for safety, for anything. (ML #599:162-164; T:76-78; 2Kings 5:18,19)
25. As a result of Naaman's compromise, the miracle of healing had little, if any, effect upon the King of Syria. For soon the King of Syria warred against Israel, but Elisha the prophet told the King of Israel all his secret plans. So the King of Syria sent a great army by night and surrounded the city of Dothan where Elisha was staying. Pictured here is the Hill of Dothan. (2Kings 6:8-14; Father David's notes)
26. The most important battles and cataclysmic changes occur behind the scenes in the spirit world. What's happening on the surface is nothing but a little physical manifestation of the real action. Where the real action is is in the spirit world, and it is in full control. You don't have to worry! (ML #262:65)
Elisha's servant said unto him, Alas‚ my master! How shall we do? And Elisha answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed‚ and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold‚ the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. (2Kings 6:15-17) Then the Syrians were smitten with blindness and eventually sent to their homeland unharmed after they had been fed. (2Kings 6:18-23)
27. Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria‚ then sent his army to surround the city of Samaria. The famine was so great that starving women ate their own babies. Elisha was also in the city at the time and the King of Israel threatened his life, but Elisha prophesied that there would be plenty of food for everyone on the following day. (2Kings 6:24-7:2)
28. Here are the ruins of the gates of Samaria, where once sat the four starving lepers that discovered that the Syrian army had fled in fear during the night‚ leaving everything behind‚ when they heard the noise of chariots, and horses, even the noise of a great host. (2Kings 7:3–11)
29. The Syrian King Ben-hadad soon became sick. Elijah had anointed Hazael to succeed Ben-hadad—God's prophet anointed a foreign king who would punish the prophet's own nation. (I Kings 19:15)
Elisha visited Damascus and the King sent Hazael to ask him if he would recover. Elisha told him that he would not, then began weeping. Hazael asked the prophet why he was crying, and Elisha answered‚ "Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel." Hazael returned to the King and said he would recover, but the following day Hazael smothered him and became the next king of Syria. (2Kings 8:7-15)
Only in the sickening System of this World do men struggle for power, position, riches, and glory—only to find that it doesn't satisfy! (ML #31:22)
30. Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah (the South Kingdom.)
31. Edom revolted from Judah, but was conquered. (2Kings 8:20-22)
32. Ramoth-gilead is seen in the upper right-hand corner of the map. It was here that the prophet Elisha had Jehu anointed to become the King of Israel and cut off the house of Ahab and destroy wicked Queen Jezebel and the worship of Baal. (2Kings 9:1-10)
33. A scene in Ramoth-gilead.
34. Jehu slew Joram, King of Israel, and Ahaziah, King of Judah, who was married to one of Ahab's daughters. Joram was buried in Naboth's vineyard—the one Jezebel had stolen for Ahab by having Naboth stoned. (2Kings 9:11-26)
35. Here at Jenin it is believed that Ahaziah was fatally wounded‚ thus ending the dynasty begun by wicked King Omri of Israel, the king who founded Samaria (1Kings 16:21-28), which became the capital of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. (2Kings 3:1)
36. The Lord of the Flies, Baalzebub, the Devil‚ was wicked Queen Jezebel's idol. She tried to wipe out all the worshipers of Jehovah, and get everybody to worship Baal. (ML #168:15,16)
There's an amazing description of Satan in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel where he is called the Prince of Tyrus. Tyre itself was the ancient capital of Tyre and Sidon, or Phoenicia, today Lebanon. It must be that the King of Tyre was actually Satan-possessed by the Devil himself, and it was a very wicked city and spread its iniquity all over the whole World. (ML #961:1.4)
The historian, Josephus, tells us that wicked Queen Jezebel was actually the Princess of Tyre‚ "the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Tyrians and Sidonians," ("she is a king's daughter"—2Kings 9:34). The wicked King Omri of Israel married his son Ahab to Jezebel for trade advantage.
Here is a picture of the Tower of Jezreel, where wicked Queen Jezebel was thrown out of the window and fell to her death (2Kings 9:30-37), just as the prophet had foretold. (2Kings 9:4-10)
37. & 38. Bad Queen Jezebel got thrown out a window. She was so bad she got thrown out the window and fell on the street below, and the little dogs licked up her blood. Some Bible stories are really gory. Her servants hated her because she was so mean and so bad, and she tried to kill all the good people, so the people finally threw her out the window‚ just like the prophet said would happen. (Tape MCC6, edited) (2Kings 9:4-10)
39. Pictured here are remains of some of the idols of Israel, but certainly Moloch was the worst of them all. Moloch was a horrible, hellish, fiendish idol filled with fire. They would place their babies in the hands of the awful idol, and when the priest would move a lever, the idol would open its mouth and cast the baby right into the jaws of hell! Into the idol's mouth! God got so angry that He said‚ Because you have caused your children to pass through the fire‚ I'm going to wipe you out! (Tape ME11‚ edited. See: 2Chronicles 33:6; Ezekiel 23:37; 16:21,36; 20:26,31,32)
40. Athaliah was the daughter of wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel. She married King Jehoram of Judah and taught him many wicked ways. The prophet Elisha sent Jehoram a warning message from God, but he would not listen and in the end Jehoram died from a terrible disease. All of Jehoram's children were killed but one Ahaziah (Jehoahaz, 2Chron.21:17; 22:1) who became King of Judah. His mother, Athaliah, was his counsellor to do wickedly, wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord. (2Chron. 22:2,3)
When Athaliah heard that Jehu had killed her son Ahaziah, and her mother Jezebel, she went and killed all of Ahaziah's children (her own grandchildren), so that no one from the house of David would be left to rule Judah. However, her daughter, Athaliah's sister‚ hid little Joash and his nurse in a bedroom, and he was not killed. (2Kings 11:1-3) Joash remained hidden in the house of God while his wicked grandmother ruled Judah.
41. Finally Joash, under the care and guidance of Jehoiada the priest, was crowned King of Judah when he was seven years old, and his wicked grandmother Athaliah, Jezebel's daughter, was killed. (2Kings 11:4-16; 2Chron.23:1-15)
42. As long as the old priest Jehoiada lived, he was able to guide Joash in the right direction, but when he died (130 years old—2Chron. 24:15-18), Joash turned again to idol worshiping. Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, prophesied against this wickedness, and the king ordered him to be stoned to death.
As Jesus said, "Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets and your fathers killed them. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the World, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple." (Luke 11:47-51)
43. Joash was killed by his two servants; and his son, Amaziah, became King of Judah. (2Kings 12:19-21)
44. The Syrian ruler Ben–hadad the Second ruled Syria after his father Hazael, and greatly oppressed Israel. (2Kings 13:3-7)
45. Here is a scene from Abel-meholah, the old home of Elisha the prophet and where he was buried. (2Kings 13:14-21)
46. Elisha's last prophecy. Here Joash the King of Israel shoots the arrow of the Lord's deliverance (from the Syrians). However, Israel was soon to fall forever for all its sins. (See 2Kg.17:6-23) God's wheels of judgement grind exceeding slow, but exceeding fine. (Notes from Father David.)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR CHAPTER 26.
(The numbers in parentheses are the paragraph numbers where the answers may be found.)
1. Who inherited Elijah's mantle? What happened when he asked for a double anointing of power? (Introduction)
2. Naaman was the captain of the Syrian army. Did the Syrians believe in God? (24)
3. When Naaman was healed, did he help the King and the Syrians to believe in the true God? What mistake did Naaman make? What does compromise mean? (24,25)
4. When Elisha's servant was worried about the Syrian army surrounding them‚ what did the Lord show him? What did Elisha say—can you finish this verse: "They that be with us are ___________!" (2Kings 6:16) (26)
5. When Hazael visited Elisha, was Elisha glad that Hazael would soon be King of Syria? Why? (29)
6. What did Queen Jezebel worship? How did she die? (36-38)
7. Moloch was a horrible idol. What did the people sacrifice to Moloch? (39)
8. Does this kind of spiritual wickedness happen nowadays, or was it just in Bible times?
9. How was baby Joash saved from wicked Queen Athaliah? (40)
10. How old was Joash when he became king? (41)
11. "When you become separated from the Word, you become separated from the Lord ... and the Devil sends you lies in its place and you believe the lies instead of the Word...." (ML #1089:1,2) How does this apply to Joash when he no longer had the Godly counsel of the priest Jehoiada? (42)