2Kings 6:24 – 7:20

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 4, 2002

The Most Amazing Thing

Out in Kansas, tornadoes often hit with sudden devastation, and without warning. In one case, a house was completely whisked away leaving only the foundation and first floor. A silver-haired farm lady was seen sitting dazed, in a bathtub, the only remaining part of the house left above the floor. The rescue squad rushed to her aid and found her unhurt. She was just sitting there in the tub, talking to herself. “It was the most amazing thing... it was the most amazing thing.” she kept repeating dazedly. “What was the most amazing thing, Ma’am?” asked one of the rescuers. “I was visiting my daughter here, taking a bath and all I did was pull the plug and dog-gone-it if the whole house didn’t suddenly drain away.”

God has the most amazing things for us.  Some things seem too good to be true.

2Kings 6:24 – 7:2 Samaria’s siege

:25 an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver

We’re now going to get an idea of just how bad the famine is.

A donkey was considered an “unclean” animal (Lev.11:3), one that a good Jew wasn’t supposed to be eating. That means that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as animal meat is concerned. And the head of a donkey isn’t going to have a lot of meat on it either.

Fourscore pieces of silver (80 shekels) is two pounds of silver.

:25 the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver

Though the NIV says “a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels”, I checked 12 other translations, and they all translate this as some variation of “dove dung”, though I can’t imagine what you’d do with it once you bought it. One cup of dove poop was going for two ounces of silver.

:27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee …

(2 Ki 6:27 NLT) "If the LORD doesn't help you, what can I do?"

:29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him

The woman is upset because the other gal didn’t let them eat her son.

This was prophesied as one of the signs of God’s judgment on the nation when they would not follow after the Lord (Deut. 28:52-58). It would happen again when Nebuchadnezzar would come against Jerusalem in 586 BC (Lam. 4:10), and again when the Romans would wipe out Jerusalem in AD 70.


Sometimes desperate times don’t call for desperate measures

These ladies were desperate enough that they chose to eat their children.
Yet they were only a day away from the end of the famine.
Sometimes our panic causes us to do really bad things that aren’t necessary.
I was reading recently about a man who awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size waterbed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes, which poked it full of holes. Disgusted, he threw out the waterbed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he woke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.
Sometimes God’s answers come by waiting patiently.
I heard Pastor Damian Kyle of Calvary Chapel Modesto share that he has a personal 48-hour rule. If he can help it, he doesn’t make any major decision without first waiting for two full days.
A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and feeling a bit insecure about what God had for Him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher. The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the WILL OF GOD for his life and for his ministry. Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact...It wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so. Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem...
It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of GOD's design;
But I cannot unfold its petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.
If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of GOD's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?
So I'll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
Each step along my way.
The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

--- Author Unknown

:31 …if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand


The blame game

Keep in mind that up to this point, Elisha has been a great help to King Joram.
Every time the Syrian army tried to attack Israel, Elisha had forewarned them and they had troops ready to protect the nation. The king of Syria was upset because he thought that someone was spying on them, when really God had been giving enemy intelligence to Elisha.
Yet for some reason, the Syrians were able to lay siege to the city of Samaria.
How could they do that without Elisha giving King Joram advanced warning?

I wonder if perhaps Elisha hadn’t warned them, yet had instructed Joram to do nothing, but to sit inside the city and wait it out. In verse 33, Joram says,

(2 Ki 6:33 NIV) "This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"

It would seem that Joram has been trying to do what Elisha might have said to him, but things haven’t been too pleasant.
So he wants to have Elisha killed.
Sometimes people don’t like the things that God has to say.
(1 Th 4:3-8 KJV) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: {4} That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; {5} Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: {6} That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

It is God’s will that we walk in purity. It is God’s will that we do not be caught in immorality, in sex outside of marriage. We ought to learn how to control our own bodies.

{7} For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. {8} He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

If you have a problem with this, says Paul, you don’t have a problem with Paul, but with God. God has put His “Holy” Spirit in us. He is called the “Holy” Spirit because He is holy. And when He is in our lives, He wants to make us “holy” also. He is the one who is working in you to convict you and draw you closer to God.

Ideally, we shouldn’t be mad at anyone but ourselves for being so slow to trust in God. If God is working in you, learn to let Him do His work without fighting Him.

:32 this son of a murderer

Joram is one of the sons of Ahab and Jezebel. Jezebel had a man named Naboth killed in order to give Naboth’s vineyard to Ahab.

:32 hold him fast at the door

It’s interesting that the leaders of the nation are sitting with Elisha.

Elisha instructs the elders to keep the messenger at the door until the king arrives, so Elisha can talk to the king.

:33 what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

NAS - “Behold, this evil is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”


Don’t give up

It appears the nation is being severely disciplined from the Lord because of their sin, and Joram wants to bail out on it.
It’s kind of like the Christian who wants to take the short cut out of the trial he’s in.
Or the person who wants to bail on their marriage because it’s a little tough right now.
Let God finish the work He set out to do.
(Heb 12:11 KJV) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
In fact, God’s work might be finished quicker than you think!!

2Kings 7

:1 To morrow …a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel

Prices are going to drop dramatically.

Or, 6 ½ quarts of flour will be going for the same price that you could currently buy 1/5 of a cup of dove poop.

:1 two measures of barley for a shekel

Barley was cheaper than wheat. You would be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for a shekel. This isn’t incredibly cheap prices, but it’s a whole lot better than the current state of things.

In a place where people are eating their children, this seems too good to be true.

:2 Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?


More than you can imagine

Sometimes we can think something is impossible, but we’re simply wrong.
The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a “C,” the idea must be feasible.

- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.

- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.

- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.

Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.

- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

God wants to do more in your life than you could even imagine.
(Eph 3:20 KJV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
(1 Cor 2:9 KJV)  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
God is a lot bigger than you think He is. Could He open the windows of heaven?
For some of you, the concept that God could love you seems too good to be true.

:3-11 Adventurous Lepers

:3 four leprous men

These guys are outcasts. They have a disease that kept them at the lowest part of their society. These are the most unlikeliest men to rescue an entire city, but that’s what they’ll do.

God can use anybody.

:4 let us fall unto the host of the Syrians

They figure they have nothing to lose.

If they stay they die, if they go, they might die, but they might live.

So why not go?


A venture in faith

I like these guys - they’re willing to take a little risk or two.
Instead of just staying where it’s comfortable and predictable, they’re willing to try something new.
Another example:
Jonathan and his armor bearer.

They were just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the action to start with the Philistines.

But they decided they had enough of sitting around.

(1 Sam 14:6 KJV) And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.

And two guys decided to take on the whole Philistine army.

What happened? They started beating the Philistines, a few at a time, and eventually when the Israelites saw what was happening, they all joined in and won a great victory.

:5 And they rose up in the twilight

twilight – they leave at sunset, when they get to the camp of the Syrians, it’s dark.

:7 left their tents, and their horses ...

These guys were in such a hurry that they didn’t even bother to ride any of their horses! That’s scared!

:8 ... and went and hid it ...

It hasn’t really dawned on these four lepers what has happened. They think someone’s going to come back or something. They don’t quite seem to realize at first that they have the whole camp to themselves!

:9 We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace

The lepers start to realize that they’re sitting on all this food and loot, while the people are starving back in the city.  They’ve got the most incredible news that can save an entire city.  They can either sit on it or share it.


Share the news.

We too have “good tidings” that need to be shared.
Jesus has changed our lives.  He’s reached out to outcasts and broken people, and made them new again.  We’ve been given the miracle prescription for the human race.  We can either sit on it or share it.
Paul wrote,
(1 Cor 9:16 KJV) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Blunt common sense always characterized Mr. Moody. Once a man rose in one of his meetings to give his experience. “I have been for five years on the Mount of Transfiguration,” he said. Instantly Mr. Moody interrupted him by the sharp question, “How many souls did you lead to Christ last year?’ “Well, I don’t know,” answered the surprised man. “Have you led any?” then came sternly from the preacher. “I-ah-don’t know that I have,” said the man. “Then,” snapped Mr. Moody, still more sternly, “we don’t want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can’t reach down and save poor sinners, there is something wrong.”

:10 the porter of the city

The gatekeeper. The guy in the Wizard of Oz who opens the little hatch in the big door.

:12-16 Making sure it’s real

:12 When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive

He’s suspicious. He thinks it might be a trap.

:15 they went after them unto Jordan

The Jordan River is about 22 miles from the city of Samaria.

:16 So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel

Just like the Lord told Elisha.

:17-20 The Faithless lord

:20 the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died

He was trampled by the stampede of hungry people running towards the camp of the Syrians. He saw the deliverance but he wasn’t able to enjoy it.


The price of unbelief

This man did not benefit from the work of God. He didn’t believe it was possible.
Do you have a famine you’re struggling with in your life? Is there a situation you think is impossible to overcome? Is there a person that is impossible to put up with?
God wants to do great things in your life, but you need to trust Him.
(Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Salvation – we only enjoy it if we believe.
The Bible tells us that our own sins have separated us from God.  The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died on a cross in order to take our sins out of the way.  The Bible says that we can be made right with God if we will choose to receive God’s forgiveness and believe in His Son Jesus.
(John 3:17-18 KJV)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.