Dead But Alive

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from Jehoahaz his father in war. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.”  2 Kings 13:25 ESV

Elisha was the aide to the prophet Elijah who asked boldly for a “double portion” of the Lord’s Spirit to rest upon him. We see during his life that this came true in a literal sense. Of the miracles scripture records of Elijah and Elisha we find that Elisha did perform twice the number of miracles of Elijah.

The final miracles and fulfilled prophecy of Elisha took place after his death. Elisha unlike his predecessor Elijah was not “taken up to the heaven in a chariot of fire.” Elisha died and was buried in a tomb. We read this account,

“…as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.” (2 Kings 13:21 ESV)

That’s a tough one to explain, but impressive indeed! God’s man of “faith and power” had God’s power residing in his bones sufficient to raise the dead! Hebrews says of Abel, “And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4 ESV) We could say, “Elisha through God’s power, though he died, still performed miracles.”

As Elisha knew the time of his death was close he called in King Joash of Israel. He told the King to open a window and to shoot an arrow. He then instructed the King to take an arrow and strike the ground. With each he uttered prophetic words of victory over Israel’s enemies.

However, the King only struck the ground three times. Elisha was upset with the King, because he said that if he would have struck the ground with the arrows many more times he would have completely wiped out the Syrians. Now he would only defeat them three times.

Because of the evil of Joash’s father we read at the beginning of the chapter, “…the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Syria and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.” (2 Kings 13:3 ESV)

For two generations of Kings, Joash’s father would be dominated by Syria. But at the end of the chapter we read that Joash took from Ben-hadad three cities that had belonged to his father, in keeping with the word of Elisha.

My simple “take-a-ways” from this chapter are:

1 – God’s power is far greater than we can imagine. May we live so close to the Lord and so full of His Spirit that there would be God’s life even “in our bones.”

2- Don’t sell God short. Believe for great things. Greater things than we believe are possible with God.

3 – God’s judgment on one generation can be redeemed by the faith, courage and obedience of the next generation.

Prayer for today…. Lord may we be those who walk with you and believe You for greater things.