2 KINGS 7:1 – 9:37 and JOHN 10:1–42
2 Kings 7
Elisha is going to speak a word that will affect the economy in Samaria in a dramatic fashion. A measure of fine flour selling for a shekel and two measures of barley for the same would be unheard of. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. It is hard to equate in today’s terms what this would be like especially occurring after only one day. There was a leader in Samaria who heard the word of the prophet and began mocking that if heaven were to open up this could never happen. The prophet Elisha responded by saying that it will happen within a day; you shall see it but not benefit from it.
This is a profound miracle that is about to take place. Once again it is a miracle that must be initiated by action. In this case it is by four leprous men who had nothing to lose. They had reputations as outcasts due to being lepers and they took the position of why should we stay where we are. What is the difference if we die here or in the city? Nobody gave these lepers regard but it was their action that allowed the Lord to move supernaturally on behalf of Israel. The Lord made the Syrian army to hear the noise of a mighty host which caused them to flee in fear leaving virtually everything behind. In a mere moment the treasures and booty of the wicked came into the hands of Israel; due in large part to the obedience of the lepers.
Israel could not take any glory for this victory and change of fortune. The lepers were honourable in making known what happened. The army would not have ventured into the camp of the Syrians on their own. At first, the king of Israel thought it was a trap but soon discovered it was as the lepers had said. They followed the trail right up to the Jordan and found it filled with garments and vessels and other goods. What a mighty sound the Lord must have brought forth upon the Syrians. God was moving in full force with an unseen army that was activated by the lepers taking initiative. It was also God’s way of fulfilling the Word that the prophet Elisha had brought forth. Elisha’s word was very bold and yet God backed it up. The double portion anointing consists of God moving supernaturally, sometimes in unseen ways which can change the immediate fortunes of His people. In these last days we should believe to see the cattle on a thousand hills coming into the barns of His faithful (Psa 50:10).
The world’s economy today is on a knife’s edge. There are no true accounting mechanisms in place anymore. In a Nano-second billions of dollars of so called wealth can change hands. Elisha prophesied that in a day all would change. Is it really that hard to believe for a similar type event in our day? It is vitally important to align with what God is doing and saying. Our spiritual eyes of understanding must be opened because our natural eyes will fail in lieu of what God is looking to do. The man who took issue with Elisha when the word came forth, looked at things from a natural perspective. We do not know the tone of his words when he responded to Elisha but his words challenged what God was saying and he soon suffered the consequences of it. He saw the unfolding of events and was subsequently trampled in the rush for the food and goods as the people pressed forward.
In Revelation 6:5 there is the black horse of the Apocalypse that is released. This horse has a set of scales in his hand and will have authority to affect the economies of the earth. This should serve as a warning to those who put trust in bank accounts and building up riches in this life. To those who Fear the Lord and walk uprightly it can be a means of unexpected windfalls to facilitate the needs of the kingdom. Elisha was a prophet who was solely focused on being aligned with God and His agenda. He walked closely with Elijah and served him faithfully. This attitude of heart prepared him to be the prophet who experienced the double portion anointing and outpouring. It cannot be assumed. The ministry of Elisha and the miracles that were realized through his ministry have profound messages for us. If you are experiencing a lack and see no means of finance for your situation then take heart. Think what it must have been like for the lepers. Their initiative released the supernatural power of God in an unseen way that brought both victory and the spoils of war. The key is to be in very close harmony with what God is doing. He that hath ears to hear.
2 Kings 8
Elisha becomes reacquainted with the woman whose son was restored to life (2 Kings 4:35). He instructs her to find a place to live for the next seven years due to an upcoming famine. Elisha is the prophet of the double portion and the pronounced famine will double the duration of famine that was seen at the time of Elijah. She obeyed Elisha and went into the land of the Philistines during this 7 year period. It is interesting to note how Elisha meets up with this woman prior to the famine so that he can prepare her ahead of time. The Lord even preserves her home and land during the time of famine because at the time of her return she had to petition the king for her land. God allowed favor to be extended to her whereby the king gave the directive to restore all that she had.
The word of the Lord through Elisha was one where a famine came upon the land. Many feel it was due to the excessive idolatry that was seen in Israel. This famine could well be the one referred to in the Book of Joel. We also see a message of restoration in this miracle. This woman had experienced a restoration of promise by having a son at an older age. She experienced restoration in having life come back into her son after his death. Now, she experiences restoration of her property after being preserved elsewhere during the time of famine. All of these examples of restoration were realized through the ministry of Elisha. This woman may well be an example of the church that experiences the double portion blessing in the last days. The initial quality that was seen in this woman was her recognition of Elisha as an honourable prophet of God. She and her husband made available a room, bed, desk and candlelight for a place for him to rest. She had integrity in not asking for any reward when offered. These qualities endeared her to Elisha and to the Lord.
In verses 7-15 we have the account of the King of Syria (Ben-hadad) enquiring as to whether he would live from the disease that was plaguing him. Hazael was sent to represent the king and was told by Elisha that he would one day be ruling over Syria. Elisha begins to weep when considering the damage and kind of rule he would undertake. He informs Hazael accordingly to which he expresses disgust that he would ever do such a thing (vs 13). Hazael did assume the throne immediately after Ben-hadad’s death.
We now shift focus over to the southern kingdom where we have Jehoram, son of Jehosophat coming to the throne. He came to the throne at the age of 32 and reigned for 8 years. The dangerous alliances we saw earlier between Jehosophat and Ahab now takes on a more sinister tone. He marries Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. How did it ever come to this? “Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-Gilead?” “I am as thou art” These are some of the references between Jehoshaphat’s and Ahab’s alliances. The worst possible scenario has now taken place. This alliance has now materialized in the marriage between the two kingdoms. We see the righteous king Jehoshaphat’s son being married to the wicked daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. This alliance will now provide a significant platform through which the enemy will be able to wield tremendous influence. This event will present to us many truths that will need to be examined. It would only be assumed that Jehoram would do wickedly seeing the lineage from which she comes from. In spite of his wickedness the Lord withheld the fullness of judgement upon Judah for David’s sake. When we hear the testimony of many of the kings they are either referenced to the sins of Jeroboam who was the founder of the northern kingdom or to David who had a heart after God. Many of the kings were nothing like David yet God spared them because of the foundations that David had established.
We are about to come to one of the more critical periods of Israel’s history. The dangerous alliance between the two kingdoms puts Judah and the purposes of God into real jeopardy. We see the enemy in a position where he can strike quickly and violently. If successful, it would circumvent the plan of God before the foundation of the world. Is that really possible? It also provides another vital glimpse into what things will look like in the last days. Jehoram lived for 8 years and was replaced by his son Ahaziah (vs 24). His mother was Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. There will be another man who will soon come on the scene who will be used to judge the house of Ahab and the prophets of Baal.
2 Kings 9
Elisha sends forth one of the prophets to go to Ramoth-Gilead to go and seek out a specified person by the name of Jehu. He was to be anointed earlier during the time of Elijah but was deferred due to Ahab’s receiving an earlier reprieve. He was to anoint Jehu to be king over Israel and then to immediately depart from his presence (vs 3). He followed through and anointed Jehu to be king and proclaimed him with the mission to smite the house of Ahab so as to avenge the blood of the prophets who died at the hands of Jezebel. The entire house of Ahab’s iniquity has come to ripeness and God will now have a man who will be His instrument of judgment for the wickedness committed. He does not waste time in springing into action. He moves against Jehoram, king of Israel and smites him as a fulfilment to the Word of the Lord in 1 Kings 21:19 at the time when Naboth was slain due to false accusations. The blood of Naboth was being avenged.
We see throughout scripture that blood which has been shed in a murderous fashion is vindicated. The blood of Abel cried out after Cain slew Him. The blood of Zacharias the priest cried out after being slain between the temple and the altar (Math 23:35). The blood of Jesus will be vindicated as will be the saints and martyrs who lives were taken in a similar way. The diabolical plot of Jezebel against the innocent blood of Nabal is now being answered as Jehoram is cast unto his plot of ground. Ahaziah, king of Judah who was aligned with Jehoram was likewise slain. This is the fruit of the unhealthy alliance that began between Jehoshaphat and Ahab.
Jehu was not yet finished as he pursued after Jezebel who was at Jezreel. There were two or three servants who aligned themselves with Jehu and followed through in throwing Jezebel over the wall resulting in her being treaded upon under the horses of Jehu’s chariot. Her mangled body was eventually eaten by the dogs as a fulfilment of the Word of the Lord given to Elijah concerning her ( 1 Kings 21:23). It is here where we see the violent end of perhaps the most wicked woman of all time. We do see that in the last days the spirit that governed Jezebel will be instrumental in attacking the saints of God. We cited earlier in seeing that Jezebel was empowered through the authority and position of her husband Ahab. This is not hard to see when you consider wives of certain modern day politicians who gain an influence through the authority and position of their corrupt husbands. It is a spirit that gains power and influence through the weakness of man. This spirit can leverage itself and exert influence which can then go beyond apportioned boundaries.
This will be an increasing problem in the church in the last days. This is why we must be vigilant and on guard, not allowing compromise to gain an entrance into the church. We are warned in the Lord’s message to the 7 churches concerning this. The Lord speaks about the doctrine of Balaam as seen in His address to the church of Pergamos (Rev 2:15). The doctrine of Balaam speaks of compromise. Balaam sowed the initial seeds of Baal worship which eventually found full manifestation of its fruit in the life of Jezebel. The Lord then addresses the church of Thyatira and condemns those who have been seduced by Jezebel. I feel this consecutive warning by the Lord via these two churches in Revelation were to remind as to where Jezebel’s prominence and power as an apostate began. Her vile and wicked ways were the product of the seeds of compromise sown earlier through Balaam. It is meant to serve as a huge warning for us.
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Jesus is continuing His discourse with the Pharisees from chapter 9 by speaking about how one enters the kingdom. Jesus refers to Himself as the door and the only means of entrance into heaven. He uses the example of a shepherd having the charge over the sheep. The only means of access to the sheepfold is through the door of the shepherd. There is no other way or means that one can have to enter into this sheep type kingdom. The Lord then builds upon this by saying that He is the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd is one who is totally vested in the sheep that are under his care. A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life in order to preserve his flock. We see in this passage some of the qualities of David and why he was so beloved of the Lord. David is a clear example of what Jesus is speaking about in this dialogue. A good shepherd is known by his sheep; they know his voice and willingly follow him. This example is helping to bring into view the distinction between the followers of Christ and those who are other ways minded. He then speaks about the hirelings which had to touch a nerve to those who were listening to him because its message would hit home. A hireling is one who poses as a shepherd but flees from caring for the sheep when it is not convenient. These learned men would have been familiar with Ezekiel 34 where the two types of shepherds were contrasted. It can be safely assumed that these Pharisees knew what Jesus was saying especially when it came to the hireling analogy. The Lord even spoke concerning other sheep that would one day come into the fold; sheep that will be part of one fold and flock, sheep that will hear the voice of the shepherd and willingly follow him. The Lord was speaking of the gentiles who would soon be given the privilege of being part of the kingdom.
The Lord is the door to the kingdom and He is the Good Shepherd who willingly gives His life for His sheep. He is about to do this as He prepares to go to Calvary to give His life for the sin of mankind. He then speaks of the Love that His Father has due to His willingness to lay down His life. Once again the Lord refers to Himself as the Son of the Father which in turns brings greater division amongst the Jews (vs 17-19). The same Jews now challenge Jesus to plainly tell them if He is the Son of God, they desired no more semantics , they wanted to trap Him in His Words. The Lord then goes back to his analogy of the sheep in answering them. If you were my sheep you would know my voice. The fact that you do not believe means you are not my sheep. This would imply that they were outside the kingdom and that they were hirelings, posing themselves to be true shepherds. He adds that because my sheep hear my voice they then have eternal life and that no man can take the committed sheep out of His hand. He then adds that His Father is even greater still and that no one can remove the sheep from His care. Though Jesus has yet to answer directly as to who He is (as yet) it is strongly implied in unmistakable tones. He finishes with the statement that He and His Father are one (John 10:30).
The ire of the Pharisees moves them to try and stone Jesus which prompts the Lord to ask as to why they would stone Him. Which of the good works are worthy of being stoned? This question puts a distinction between His works and His claims as the Son of God. They could not deny the works so they zero in on his claims as being God while living as a man. This is an interesting statement because this is who Jesus was. He is the Son of God who willingly became the Son of Man to live his life as a man so that we can be reconciled and be shown the way to God. The true message of who He is, His mission and life is all being projected in these discourses, but they were blind to it. In John 9 these men claimed to be able to see and yet it was the blind man who truly saw who Jesus was. The Lord is providing a clear picture to all who were listening as to who He was but they were blinded from the truth. John 10 is a follow on to chapter 9. May God help us to see all things through His perspective.