Elisha ~ Part 4

In my last post, we continued to explore the ministry of Elisha by looking at 2 Kings 2:22-25 to see what can happen when you tease a prophet of God. In this post, we pick up the ministry of Elisha in 3 Kings 3:11-20 where we learn of another Divine Intervention.

We don’t know what Elisha was doing between 3 Kings 2:25 and 3:11, but a little background is essential.

1 Y’horam the son of Ach’av began his reign over Isra’el in Shomron during the eighteenth year of Y’hoshafat king of Y’hudah, and he ruled for twelve years. 2 He did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective; but he was not as bad as his father and mother, because he got rid of Ba’al’s standing-stone which his father had made.” ~ 2 Kings 3:1-2 (CJB) 5 But after Ach’av died, the king of Mo’av rebelled against the king of Isra’el. 6 Y’horam left Shomron and mustered all Isra’el. 7 He also went and sent this word to Y’hoshafat king of Y’hudah: “The king of Mo’av has rebelled against me. Will you join me in attacking Mo’av?” He answered, “I will join in the attack — I’m with you all the way; think of my people and horses as yours…” 2 Kings 3:5-7a (CJB) 9 So the king of Isra’el set out, along with the king of Y’hudah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout journey of seven days, there was no water for either the army or the animals following them.” 2 Kings 3:9 (CJB)

Map by Crossway Bibles

A Divine Intervention

11 But Y’hoshafat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of Adonai here through whom we can consult Adonai?” One of the servants of the king of Isra’el answered, “Elisha the son of Shafat is here, the one who used to pour water on Eliyahu’s hands.” 12 Y’hoshafat said, “The word of Adonai is with him.” So, the king of Isra’el, Y’hoshafat and the king of Edom went down to consult him.

13 Elisha said to the king of Isra’el, “What do you and I have in common? Go, consult your father’s prophets and your mother’s prophets!” But the king of Isra’el answered him, “No, because Adonai has called these three kings together to hand them over to Mo’av.” 14 Elisha said, “As Adonai-Tzva’ot lives, before whom I stand if I didn’t respect the fact that Y’hoshafat the king of Y’hudah is here, I wouldn’t even look in your direction or take notice of you. 15 But now, bring me a musician.” As the musician played, the hand of Adonai fell on Elisha; 16 and he said, “Adonai says to dig until this valley is full of trenches. 17 For here is what Adonai says: ‘You won’t see wind, and you won’t see rain. Nevertheless, the valley will be filled with water; and you will drink — you, your cattle and your other animals. 18 That’s an easy thing to do, from Adonai’s perspective. He will also hand Mo’av over to you. 19 You will conquer every fortified city and every choice town; you will chop down every good tree, stop up every well and ruin every good field with stones.” 20 The next morning, around the time for making the offering, water came from the direction of Edom, and the countryside was filled with water.” ~ 2 Kings 3:11-20 (CJB)

Elisha made it clear that he wasn’t helping Y’horam, son of Ach’av, but Y’hoshafat, son of David. Once again, it is God’s covenant with David that introduces the grace of God and brings about God’s rescue of His people.

The musician brought quietness to the prophet’s mind and heart and helped to facilitate his communion with the Lord. That can help us as well. After quieting his soul, Elisha revealed God’s plan. The kings were to command their soldiers to dig trenches in the dry valley. God would send rain in the distant mountains, but the army of Moav wouldn’t know it because there would be no sound of wind or storm. The rain would create a flood that would move down from the mountains and cover the arid plain. Some of the water would collect in the trenches and be available for the men and beasts to drink. But God would also use those pools to deceive and defeat the army of Moav.

Then Elisha added that God would enable the three armies to defeat the army of Moav, but it must be a complete victory. They were to tear down, stone by stone, all the fortified cities in Moav and throw the stones in the fields. They must also cut down the trees and stop up the wells. In other words, the three armies should so destroy Moav’s resources that they would not be able to regroup and start fighting back. And we learn in the rest of Chapter 3 they accomplished their mission.

In my next post, we continue to explore the life of Elisha. In this post, we learn that Grace Pays the Debt in 2 Kings 4:1-7.

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