These chapters are some of my favorite because it revolves around all the works Elisha was able to do because of being a Man of God. Many of the acts that Elisha takes part in are phenomenal but are nothing compared to Jesus! But they are great to read about and see how God worked through him, and all that God showed to others through Elisha! They are just such uplifting stories!
So one of the first happenings we read about in chapter 4 involves a widow. She is like many that Elisha helps – they fear God and are huge believers. The widow’s late husband feared God along with his whole family, so Elisha helped. The widow owed many debts that her husband left behind and it got to the point where if she did not pay off the debts then their children would be taken away as slaves to work off the debts. So Elisha told the widow’s children to gather all the empty vessels that they could find and to bring them back to the house. The only thing that the widow owned was a jar of oil, so Elisha told her to pour oil form her jar into these empty vessels, and oil continuously flowed out. After all the vessels were full the oil stopped pouring and Elisha, whom is named “man of God” throughout 2 Kings) said, “‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest,’” 2 Kings 4:7. After leaving the widow, Elisha went to Shunem where a woman whom knew that Elisha was a holy man of God, created a room for him to stay in whenever he traveled through. Elisha was very grateful and provided the Shunammite woman the best gift she could have ever received: a child. Her husband was older and it was more difficult to have children. Elisha told her, “‘At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son,’” 2 Kings 4:16. This occurs a lot throughout the Bible – giving barren women or older couples children when they believed they could not have any; it is the upmost miracle. Years later the same Shunammite woman’s son died. The Shunammite woman went to find Elisha and told him about her son, whom Elisha immediately wanted to help. To bring the child back to life Elisha laid the son down in the room that his mother had made for Elisha and laid directly on top of him, “putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands,” 2 Kings 4:34. Elisha did the same thing twice and finally the boy sneezed 7 times and came back to life. This number 7 comes up a lot throughout the Bible when it comes to miracles and God’s workings and this is just one of the many times; this is why 7 is considered God’s number. The last miracle Elisha does in chapter 4 will make you think of the New Testament with Jesus serving the thousands. Elisha was able to purify soup that was accidentally poisoned and then split 20 loaves of bread amongst 100 people. So many miracles line up between the New and the Old Testament.
Chapter 5 continues on with more workings of Elisha. One is when he heals Naaman, the commander of Syria, or leprosy. God had lead Naaman to victory in His favor before, so God of course had seen the good in Naaman. Elisha tells Naaman to heal himself by washing in the Jordan 7 (!!!!!) times. Naaman at first does not want to go to the Jordan because he does not understand why any of the Syrian waterways would not work, but then he thinks of Elisha as the man of God and agrees to wash himself in the Jordan seven times after all. “According to the word of the man of God, his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean,” 2 Kings 5:14. Throughout 2 Kings Elisha is mentioned to be with his servant named Gehazi a lot. He is mentioned once again when Elisha tells of how Naaman offers him gifts for cleaning him of leprosy, but Elisha said, “‘As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none,” 2 Kings 5:16. What Naaman was offering Elisha was a HUGE amount of money, so it is hard to imagine someone turning down the money, and Gehazi believed this as well. Gehazi tracked down Naaman after Naaman left with the declined acceptance and decided to take what Naaman had to offer. When Gehazi returned, he lied to Elisha about what he had done. Gehazi was suppose to follow Elisha and not accept the money or gifts but did not do so, so he was punished for his greed! Gehazi received the leprosy that Naaman had just been cleaned of. I cannot imagine, but this just shows once again about how one should fear the LORD.
Another miracle that Elisha takes part in, seems silly to include but it is still interesting. A son of a prophet lost an axe head in the Jordan. Now the Jordan is huge and if you drop something in there, it will be pretty much impossible to find it. The son had borrowed the axe, so if he lost the axe then he would be in debt which could eventually mean forced labor. What Elisha did is awesome and would be so cool to witness, “he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float,” 2 Kings 6:6. That seems like such a minuscule story, but it truly shows how God works in the small ways and the HUGE ways. The next part of the chapter is by far one of my favorite stories surrounding Elisha…it involves the blindness and openness of spirituality! We had a whole sermon at my church about this, because there is just so much to take from it, but I will give a brief explanation. So Syria and Israel at war…again, and the Syrian armies were trying to surprise the Israeli armies (think guerrilla warfare), so Elisha tells the Israeli armies where the Syrian armies are hidden. The Syrian king was angry that Elisha helped Israel so the Syrian king sent the army to bring him Elisha. The next morning Elisha’s servant woke up and saw the Syrians armies approaching, and of course he was scared to see all those men with weapons heading their way. Elisha merely responds, “‘Do not be afraid for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. ‘ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,” 2 Kings 6:16-17. Now y’all by opening the servants eyes, he could see what surrounds us CONSTANTLY. We are always surrounded by angels protection from God, and we are just not capable of actually seeing so. Elisha then had the Syrian armies blinded literally, and taken to Samaria where all the Israeli armies waited. Elisha merely told them to give the Syrian soldiers a feast and send them home, for then Syria could not be brutal towards the Israelis for how they treated the Syrians. To end the chapter the scene is set for chapter 7. Samaria is besieged by Ben-hadad and the Israelis are going through a famine at the same time. 2 women decide to cook one of their sons one night and then the other’s son the next in order to have food, and the second woman changes her mind after they eat the first child, because she does not want to actually lose her son. The King did not know how to respond and searched for Elisha. So chapter 7 will start out with Israel in terrible conditions and we will see what happens with Elisha and the other Israelites.