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Deeds of God Thru Elisha

1st deed:    2 Kings Chap 2

              Elisha was the servant of Elijah, the great prophet of God in his time.  When Elijah, knowing he would soon be taken up by God, asked Elisha what he could do for his pupil before he left, Elisha asked for a double dose of his master Elijah's spirit.  He chose wisely, as God allowed this request.  When Elija was taken up, his mantle - a garment that he had worn - was  left behind.              

              Elisha picked this up, and turned to re-cross the Jordan River back to the area of Jericho.  When he reached the Jordan River he bent down and struck its waters as his master Elijah had done, crying out "Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?"  As before with Elijah, it's waters rolled back and Elisha crossed over the dry river bed.  Then the waters resumed flowing.  Elisha now knew that his request had been granted.   2 Kings: chap 2, v. 13 - 14

              I suppose the phrase 'taking up their mantle'  when you replace someone must have originated here?  And Elisha is credited with doing twice as many great miracles as his master, Elijah.  It can almost remind one of how Jesus was taken up, leaving his cloth mantle behind in the burial cave, and the Church took up his work.  Jesus said that his followers would do greater works than He.  Elisha was granted, likewise, to do greater works than Elijah.  But it was Elija's spirit that powered Elisha's miracles (that's what Elisha asked for, anyway.)  And it is also through Jesus that the Church does it's great miracles sometimes.

2nd deed:    2 Kings Chap 2

              There were 50 men of God who lived near Jericho who had called Elijah master.  They now turned to Elisha as their master.  One of them brought it to Elisha's attention that Jericho was well situated, but the water from it's spring was bad tasting and caused the land it watered to be unfruitful. 

              Elisha told them to bring him a new jar, with salt in it.  Elisha took this salt, and going to the spring, declared "Thus says the Lord:  I am purifying these waters and they will no longer cause death or unfruitfulness."  He then poured the salt into the water, and the waters became pure and sweet, and remained so.  2 Kings: chap 2, v. 19 - 22

3rd deed:    2 Kings  Chap 2

              Elisha next decided to go up to Bethel, and as he travelled a bunch of young boys came out from a city he was passing by and mocked this prophet of the one true God.  (God does not appreciate having His personal messengers mocked.  Perhaps, knowing how we men are, God thinks that if the messenger is disrespected the message will be also.)  They yelled "Go up, you bald head!  Go up, you bald head!" 

              Seeing them following him and being disrespectful, Elisha cursed the boys in the name of the Lord.  Two female bears ran out of the woods and attacked the boys.  Forty two boys were mauled and torn up.  2 Kings: chap 2 , v. 23 - 25.

4th deed:    2 Kings  Chap 3

              Ahab died and his son Jehoram became king of Israel in his stead.  And the King of Moab, named Mesha, who had been paying tribute to Israel because of a former loss in battle now saw a chance for his nation to rebel and break free.  Mesha quit paying tribute. 

              The new King of Israel approached the King of Judah (though the two countries did not always see eye to eye they were related peoples and sometimes saw it in their interest to watch out for each other)  and asked for an alliance to fight against Moab.  He also was able to to enlist the King of Edom.  Together the three Kings and their armies made a 7 day advance into Moab, but Moab was a very dry land.  They found themselves without water for their army, or for the cattle they brought for food. 

              Worried, Jehoram needed a prophet of God to see if he was making a mistake.  Someone said that God's word was with Elisha, and they sent for him.  The three Kings went down to Elisha to enquire of the Lord thru him.

              Elisha told Jehoram King of Israel that were it not for the King of Judah being there (a nation still much more faithful to the true God) thea Elisha wouldn't even want to help them.  But he then called for a minstrel, and when the man played his music Elisha received the word of the Lord.  Elisha told them to dig trenches in the valley where their armies were encamped , and the Lord would cause them to fill with water even though there was no rain, and also he told them that they would defeat Moab.  He said they were to waste the land of Moab greatly when they did gain the victory.

              They dug their trenches, and in the morning water rolled in from the direction of the country of Edom and filled the trenches.  They and their animals drank.  (This sounds like God used a flash flood from far away to provide the water).

              Meanwhile, Moab had assembled as large an army as they could.  In the morning they looked out at the camp of their invaders, and God caused them to see the water as being very red, like blood.  They assumed that a fight had broken out among their enemies, and they decided quickly to attack and take advantage, thinking to attack a wounded army in disarray.  But they found a ready and well watered army which put Moab to flight and wreaked a great slaughter in their land.  It was only when the King of Moab was so desperate that he sacrificed his first born son on the walls of his besieged city that the invading armies finally broke off the attack. ( Israel was, after all, related to Moab through Lot and Abraham's relation to each other.  It would not do to totally destroy all Moabites.)

                   

5th deed:    2 Kings  Chap 4   

              A certain man that served God and believed in him died.  (Some traditions say the man was Obadiah, the one who hid the 100 prophets of the true God in a cave and fed them there so evil Jezebel would not find and kill them.)  Tis man left behind a wife with two children.  As Elisha was walking by she called out to him, telling him of her problems and how a creditor was coming to take her children to be slaves.

             

              "What do you have in your house?", Elisha asked her. 

              "Nothing but a jar of oil." she answered. 

              Elisha told her to borrow jars from her neighbors - as many jars as she could of any size.  He then told her to go inside with her sons and begin to pour the oil from her jar into the empty jars.  She did so and began to fill jars.  No matter how many jars she filled there was still more oil, until all of the jars she had were full.  Then, the oil quit flowing.

              Elisha told her to go and sell all of the oil, and pay the debts.  Then she could live off of the rest of the money. 

              I have never known a Christian woman who truly trusted in God to be abandoned by him in her hour of real need.  But he does test the faith of many of us who believe in Him by providing just that part we need, just at the last possible moment, over and over again.  But we all need a way to show God our faith, and poverty is often given as this way.  Its a sort of covenant of trust between the Giver and the needer.

6th deed:    2 Kings  Chap 4

              As Elisha travelled, he often passed by the home of a certain prominent woman.  She saw him and knew who he was, and often asked him to come in for food.  She eventually persuaded her husband to build on an extra room and place a bed and some furniture in it.  And when they did so, Elisha often stopped in there to rest when he travelled. 

              One day, stopping in to this appreciated accomodation, Elisha asked his servant Gehazi what he thought they should do for this kind woman?  Gehazi suggested that she had no child, and that this would be a good reward.  Elisha said to call her.  When she arrived, Elisha told her she would conceive and have a son to embrace by next year.  She had trouble believing it, as her husband was old.  But, as things turned out, she did have a son in about one year.

              Her son died a couple of years later, and she was distraught.  She rushed to tell Elisha.  Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to the woman's house ahead of him, with Elisha's staff, telling Gehazi to touch the boys face with it. 

              Gehazi did this, but the boy did not awaken.  He went out and soon met Elisha who was on

his way to the woman's house.  Gehazi told him the boy was still dead.  Elisha arrived and went up into the room where the boy lay.  After praying to the Lord, Elisha stretched himself out on the boy once with his mouth on the boys mouth and his eyes on the boys eyes.  Then he got up, walked around for a minute, and did it again.  The boy sneezed 7 times and then opened his eyes.

              Elisha brought the lad down and presented her with her living son.  She fell on the floor in gratitude, then took her son and left. 

              A tradition says that this boy was young Jonah, who was later swallowed by the whale.  True?  I don't know.

7th deed:    2 Kings Chap 5

              Naaman was a leper, but also the captain of the powerful army of Aram.  The Lord had given many victories to Naaman, though a leper, and he was highly thoughtof by his king.  Naaman's wife had a serving girl from Israel, taken in a raid.  One day she said to Naaman's wife that there was a prophet in Israel, a man of God, who could cure Naaman of his leprosy, she thought.  Naaman, hearing this, told the King of Aram, who sent a letter to the King of Israel saying that he had sent his servant Naaman to be cured of leprosy.

              The King of Israel was in a terrible fix.  The King of Aram was powerful, and he didn't want to disappoint him.  But leprosy was incurable.  He told his courtiers that he wasn't God - able to cure leprosy - and that the King of Aram was just trying to pick trouble with Israel.  The King tore his clothes in frusteration.  (This was a common Middle Eastern custom when throwing a fit, possibly promoted by their tailoring industry.  It is not unknown even today.)

              When Elisha heard of the turmoil that the King was in he sent word to the King saying "Why have you torn your clothes?  Send Naaman to me so that he will kow that there is a prophet in Israel."   So this is what the King did.

              Naaman arrived finally at the house of Elisha.  He had many gifts with him, and was no doubt very excited and hopeful to meet this great man and be cured of this dread disease.  But instead Elisha's messenger came out and merely told him that Eisha said to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times.  Naaman never even saw Elisha's face.

              This made Naaman furious.  He went away fuming intending to return directly home.  Go and wash in the Jordan River?!?  The rivers in his own country were greater than that little river.  He felt insulted.  He thought Elisha would wave his hands over him or cry out to God or something.

              But as they travelled, his attendents began to persuade him to try it.  They reasoned with him, saying "If Elisha had told you to do some difficult thing, you would have done it.  So why balk at doing some simple thing?  Why not try?"

              So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself 7 times into it.  And he came up the seventh time out of the water with flesh like a young child. 

              Ecstatic, Namaan returned and tried to give gifts to Elisha, who again didn't come outside.  and who sent his servant to refuse the gifts.  But Namaan didn't care.  Naaman said that now he knew there was a God in Israel, and he said he would only sacrifice to the Lord from now on.  But he asked to be forgiven the mandatory duty of taking the King of Aram in each day to worship their false god Rimmons.  He departed a happy man.

             

8th deed:    2 Kings Chap 5

             

              Gehazi, Elisha's servant, felt Elisha had been wrong to let those gifts go.  After all, Namman had been cured of leprosy.  Didn't that warrant something of a gift?  So after Naaman left, he snuck out of Elisha's house and raced to catch up with Naaman.  He made up a story that his master Elisha had changed his mind due to some visitors arriving, and he would like some of the gifts to give his visitors.  Namaan happily gave them.

              But when Gehazi next stood before Elisha his master asked him "Where have you been Gehazi?" 

              Gehazi answered he had been nowhere.

              Elisha then let him know that he had seen it all, through the power of God, and knew what Gehazi had done.  Elisha asked "Is it a time to receive money, clothes, olive groves, vinyards, sheep and oxen and male and female servants?  Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you  and your descendents forever."  And as Gehazi left, he was white as snow from leprosy.

              This is a strong lesson.  Is it time for us that are believers to allow the souls of those around us to be lost for lack of knowledge while we pursue treasures and belongings that have no meaning or value in the kingdom of heaven?  To Gehazi, saying yes meant that the fate Namaan had been freed from Gehazi - the believer - was now lost to.   

                           

             

9th deed:    2 Kings Chap 6

              The sons of the prophets came to Elisha and said their place of residence was too limiting for so many of them.  They said 'Let us go to the Jordan River, each cut a beam, and build a place for ourselves with them.  Elisha said they should go.  They asked him to come with them, so he did accompany them down to the river. 

              While working, the iron axe head came off of one of their axes and fell into the water.  The man was distraught, saying  'Alas, it was borrowed.'   Elisha asked him where it landed, and the man pointed to the place it had hit the water's surface.  Elisha then cut off a stick and threw it there, and it made the iron axe head float.  Then Elisha said "Take it up for yourself."  So the man put out his hand and took it.

10th deed:    2 Kings Chap 6

              The King of Israel and the King of Aram were at war. But when the King of Aram would make military plans with his counselors, Elisha would hear them spiritually through the power of God, so that he would tell the King of Israel, who would then know which were the dangerous areas he should avoid.  The King of Aram could not figure it out, but an advisor told him it was the man of God, Elisha.  And so God was respected in the eyes of a foreign nation yet again.

11th deed:    2 Kings Chap 6   

              Seeing that his war plans were always thwarted by the prophet Elisha, the King of Aram sent soldiers to capture him.  They found him in the walled city of Dotham and surounded the city.  In the morning, Elisha's servant awoke and went outside and saw all of the soldiers encamped around the city and he quickly told his master, frightened.  Elisha told him not to be afraid because those that were with them were more than those that were against them.  Then Elisha prayed to God that his servant be given the ability to see as Elisha did. 

              The servants eyes were spiritually opened, and then the servant saw that the mountains were full of horses and chariots of fire that surrounded Elisha and himself all around the enemy.

12th deed:    2 Kings Chap 6

              Elisha and his servant went down to the soldiers of Aram, and Elisha prayed to God asking would God please strike them with blindness.  God heard his prayer, and the soldiers from Aram all became blinded.  Elisha then told them they were in the wrong place, and that they should follow him and he would lead them to the man they sought.  Apparently blinded and confused mentally as well, they followed Elisha willngly.  He lead them to Israel's capitol city, right into Samaria itself, and then he prayed to God to remove their blindness, which God did.  The soldiers looked around and saw where they were - in the heart of their enemies city,surrounded.

              The King of Israel asked Elisha "My Father, shall I kill them.  Shall I kill them?"  Elisha answered that he should not kill them, but should put bread and water before them, then send them back to their master.  So the King of Israel feasted them and then sent them home. 

              One can only imagine the glory God received as those many soldiers returned to tell their story.  And the awe this deed inspired in their nation.  For a short while, the Arameans raided no more in Israel.  (It's kind of amazing that they ever did again, but one thing the scriptures show clearly is that the affects of miraculous deeds seldom last longer than the generation which receives them.  We are woefully unable to learn from the failures or mistakes of past generations.  After all, how often as individuals do we repeat even our own mistakes?

13th deed:    2 Kings Chaps 6 and 7       

              Later, a King of Aram besieged Israel, and the Israelite people locked within Samaria's walls soon ran out of food.  The famine became so great that the King of Israel had to listen to a terrible complaint.  A certain woman complained to him that she and another woman had made an agreement to eat each other's babies.  She had given her baby up, and they had eaten it, but when it was gone the other woman would not give up her baby in return, as she had promised. 

              The King heard this terrible story and tore his clothes.  He swore to take the head of Elisha that very day (for some reason he seemed to feel Elisha was responsible, or perhaps could have prevented this terrible siege.)  He sent a man to kill Elisha.  But soon after the killer left, the King had misgivings, and went to see Elisha himself, helped along in his weakness by a royal officer who held his hand.

              Elisha, sitting in a room with the elders of the city, said to them "See how this son of a murderer has sent a man for my head?  Close the door against him, for isn't the sound of his master's footsteps close behind him?"

              When everyone had arrived, Elisha told them that by this same time tomorrow food would be sold cheaply in Samaria, suggesting the siege would be lifted.

              The royal officer holding the Kings hand scoffed at this.  He said "If the Lord should make windows in heaven, could this be?"  So Elisha told him "You will see it with your own eyes, but you won't eat of it."

              That night four hungry leprous men sat talking before sunrise as they sat outside the walls of the city.  Being lepers, they were not allowed inside I suppose. (A Jewish tradition has it that this was no other than Gehazi, Elisha's former servant, and his three sons.)  They decided together that because they were so miserable they might as well go out to the camp of the enemy, because if their misery ended in death, it still ended.  And if they were lucky maybe the enemy would feed them out of pity.

              The decided on the plan, and went out to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans.  But it was deserted.  God had taken pity on Samaria, and caused these soldiers to hear the sounds of a non-existent giant army approaching.  They assumed it was the Hittite and Egyptian army hired by Israel to aid them, and they had fled in terror.   All the belongings and much food was left behind, and the soldiers were gone.  The lepers went about gathering loot and eating food, but soon, they felt guilty, and realized that they must go and tell the good news to their starving comrades in the city.

              At first the story of the lepers was not believed, but the people were so hungry they finally sent one of their last horsemen out to check.  Word came back that it was as these lepers said it was.  The starving people raced out of the gates to plunder the camp and there was food for all.  But the scoffing royal oficer who had held the Kings hand was trampled to death by the croud as they ran out, fulfilling Elisha's prophesy.

14th deed:    2 Kings Chap 8

              Elisha told his friend, the woman who's son he had saved, of an upcoming time of great hardship.  A drought and famine was to come.  A seven year long famine in the land.  Elisha told the woman to leave, and settle whereever she could, so she moved to the land of the Philistines to weather out the terrible drought.

              At the end of the seven years she returned to try to reclaim the property she had been forced to abandon. She went with her son to petition the King of Israel.  And, thru the amazing abilities of God, she chose a wonderful day to petition the King.

              The King was having a conversation with Gehazi, the servant of Elisha.  He asked Gehazi what sorts of things - miracles and deeds thru God - the prophet had done.  Gehazi was telling the King, and just as he was telling the King about how Elisha had restored the life of a young boy, no other than that very same widow and her boy came before the King to discuss the matter of her property.

              A no doubt stunned Gehazi said "My Lord, this is the woman, and this is the son of her's that Elisha restored."

              The King questioned the woman, asking her about her story.  He then put a court official directly in charge of restoring the woman's house and lands to her, as well as all that the land had produced in her absence. 

              Mighty God does always take care of those who trust in Him!  Praise God, our God, Who is among other things, the God of Perfect Timing!! 

   

             

End of Selected Elisha Deeds
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