II Kings Bible Experiment

II Kings Bible Experiment

Here we are once again on this road to Revelation. At the beginning of this journey I thought it a trivial task to march from Genesis to Revelation. Now I’m wishing I had bitten off a much smaller bite… like let’s say, Genesis to II Kings maybe?  Hahhaha. Anyway, I thought it would be an interesting journey to read every book of the Bible, summarize it in at least 1 thousand words… though my posts have been normally three times that goal or more. It’s fairly difficult, I am finding, to wrap one’s brain around a book in a thousand words. Especially books in the Old Testament. But what do I know, I haven’t made it to the New Testament yet. We shall see. If you’d like to join us at the beginning, you can do so here.


II Kings Overview – 

Everyone knows Elijah and Elisha. Or at least we think that we know them. Elijah started his prophecy and his ministry back in II Kings – though my word count last time did not allow me to dive into him much at all. Elijah was a dynamic figure that performed some amazing miracles. I’ve gone through the books of First and Second Kings and compiled the miracles that he performed.

II-Kings-DroughtI Kings 17 – He caused a drought for three years

I Kings 17 – Multiplied oil and grain daily for the widow

I Kings 17 – Raised Widow’s son from the dead

I Kings 18 – Called down fire from heaven upon drenched altar

I Kings 18 – Restores the rain, and ceases the drought

2 Kings 1 – Calls down fire from heaven on 51 soldiers

2 Kings 1 – Calls down fire upon 2nd 51 soldiers

2 Kings 2 – He parts the river Jordan in dramatic fashion

Elijah’s job in I and II Kings was mainly to call out the sin of the nation(s) of Israel and to call them to repentance. The nation of Israel wasn’t unaware… or ignorant. But they were very confused. And that confusion came from knowing too many claims to truth. I think we can relate to that. We have numerous claims to truth here in America, and throughout the world today. But Israel was God’s people that were specifically brought out of Egypt and specifically guided to the holy land. And yet, as the nation forgot their way, they married into different cultures and different religions, not too unlike what Solomon did last week. Soon they had a hard time discerning right from wrong and they began playing in greys. Then they began sacrificing infants to false gods and they said nothing. And when God’s prophets were slaughtered by Jezebel’s command Israel remained silent and lost in their darkness.  There is no evidence at all that Elijah’s efforts at sharing the truth with the people of Israel worked.

And then Elijah’s successor Elisha, who was following in Elijah’s footsteps, asks for a double portion of Elijah’s blessing. And his request is granted. He even performs twice as many miracles that are recorded throughout II Kings:

II Kings 2 – Jordan river divided again

II Kings 2 – Waters are restored at the spring of Jericho

II Kings 2 – Calls forth bears to destroy those that were mocking God

II Kings 3 – Water is provided for the kings

II Kings 4 – Oil provided for the widow

II Kings 4 – Gift of a son is provided

II Kings 4 – Elisha raises a child from the dead

II Kings 4 – The blight is healed

II Kings 4 – Bread multiplied for the people

II Kings 5 – Naaman washes in Jordan and is healed

II Kings 5 – Gehazi is struck down

II Kings 6 – Elisha causes the iron to float

II Kings 6 – Sight is given to the blind

II Kings 6 – Strikes men with blindness

II Kings 6 – Restores the sight to the men

II Kings 13 – Man comes to life after touching Elisha’s bones

I only list out the amazing signs and all the amazing miracles because I want to make a point that signs and wonders really don’t mean anything at all. But I guarantee you, if you and I were having coffee together, and someone walked in and claimed to be the creator of all things… the first things you would ask for would be proof. Right? You would. I promise. I know, because that’s exactly what happened to God when He came to earth as man.  After Jesus flipped tables in the temple He was asked, “What miraculous sign will you show us, to prove your authority to do this?” Yes? How is it that you can do this? Why should we allow you to live? What authority do you have for being so disruptive?

And yet many wouldn’t believe… even after the amazing signs.

Just as a thought experiment, here are 40 of Jesus’ miracles that he performed while walking the earth. He was born of a virgin. Changed water to wine. Healed the royal official’s son. Healed Capernaum demoniac. Healed Peter’s mother-in-law. Healed the sick throughout the evening (many included here). Caught an enormous number of fish. Healed a leper. Healed the centurion’s servant. Healed a paralyzed man. Healed a withered hand. Raised the widow’s son from the dead. Calmed the storm. Healed the Gerasene man possessed by demons. Healed the woman who was internally bleeding. Raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Healed two blind men. Healed the mute demon-possessed man. Healed the 38 year old. Fed the 5000 with only some bread and a few fish. Walked on water. Many healed in Genesaret. Fed the 4000 with just a little bit of food. Healed a blind man. Healed a man who was born blind. Healed a boy who was possessed by demons. Instructed disciples to catch a fish with a coin in its mouth. He healed a blind and mute demon possessed man. He healed a woman with an 18 year old sickness. Healed a man with dropsy. Healed the 10 lepers. Raised Lazarus from the dead. Healed Bartimaeus of blindness. He cursed a fig tree and it withered. Restored an ear cut off from the Guards. Instructed disciples and they caught 153 fish. He ascended into heaven.

Now, obviously, these aren’t but a tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jesus’ miracles because it says in John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” And yet many still do not believe. And why is that? Because its a heart issue. I really don’t think its a belief issue. It ultimately comes down to a question of the will.

The same thing happened with both Elijah and Elisha. They performed many signs and yet the people of the Northern Kingdom were hauled off into captivity never to be released… never to return. Why is it that we don’t really care about signs and miracles? Today I mean. Why don’t we believe? Or better yet, why don’t they matter when we see them? I think its because it doesn’t really matter. Not to the heart anyway.

Ultimately, it won’t change your mind. If you and I are having coffee and we meet the creator of the universe and we ask Him for a sign, like say, turning this cup of water into wine, maybe? And when He does it, we will say… why weren’t you hear earlier?!  This is the good stuff! (Which is basically what the wedding guests said when they brought out the wine created by Jesus. We’ll come back to this point later… but suffice it to say, what would it take you to believe that Jesus really is God? My guess is that miracles wouldn’t help you at all. So what would do it?

So, even after Hoshea, the evil king of the Norther Kingdom hears from both Elisha and the prophet Hosea he continues on his path without listening. And the Assyrians haul the whole of this northern people off into slavery never to return.

“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.”… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophetsHowever, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.” II Kings 17:7-8 & 13-14

The rest of the book is fascinating, but I think that the main point, the critical thing that I’m taking away from this book has already been annunciated. Elisha was a foreshadowing of Christ Himself. Elisha’s miracles even foreshadowed Jesus and the miracles He would perform 600 years later. Elisha raised the Shunammite woman’s son (2 Kings 4). He healed Naaman of leprosy (2 Kings 5). And he multiplied the loaves of bread to feed a hundred people. And if Elisha was mirroring the miracles than he was also mirroring the message as well. So what was Elisha’s message? He was concerned with the weak, and the poor as indicated by who his miracles were done for.

His message was also for the tribes of Israel to stop sinning and return to God. From day one I’ve been amazed at how the Bible was all about our love relationship with Him. And even though we don’t listen to signs, He is giving them to us. Plenty of them. All around us. All the time. The question is, are we seeing them?