Monday, July 02, 2012

July 2, 2012 … Life Lessons from Elisha

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Kings, Chapters 5-8 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: 2nd Kings 5: 11-12 :[NIV] … 11 But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. 
Highlight Passage #2: 2nd Kings 6: 4-7 :[NIV] … 4 And he [Elisha] went with them [his student priests]. … They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. "Oh no, my lord!" he cried out. "It was borrowed!" … 6 The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.7 "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it. 
Highlight Passage #3: 2nd Kings 7: 8-9 :[NIV] … 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. 9 Then they said to each other, "What we're doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace." 
Highlight Passage #4: 2nd Kings 8: 12-13 :[NIV] … 12 "Why is my lord weeping?" asked Hazael. "Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites," he answered. "You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women." 13 Hazael said, "How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?" "The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram," answered Elisha. 

My Journal for Today: Today, I’m back in 2nd Kings, Chapters 5-8, learning a number of life lessons from the life and times of the Prophet Elisha. These lessons were emboldened for me by the highlight passages which I’ve quoted above.

Life Lesson #1 from 2nd Kings 5: 11-12: Naaman, the mighty warrior and leader of the Aramean army was first unwilling to humble himself before God and Elisha, simply not being willing to try Elisha’s simple prescriptive bathing in the Jordan river to allow God to heal Naaman of his skin disease. But when Naaman was finally willing, in his brokenness, to humble himself before God and bathe as Elisha recommended in the Jordan, the healing was forthcoming. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to learn God’s lesson here. God simply doesn’t dole out His grace to the prideful (see also Prov. 3: 34).

Life Lesson #2 from 2nd Kings 6: 4-7: Elisha healed generals (Naaman) and delivered the Israelites from the Arameans; but this passage, shows the Prophet also attended to the needs of a group of simple student priests, which illustrates that God, through Elisha, will even float an axhead on behalf of a common student of Elisha who needed God’s intervention. We should never feel that we are not important enough for God to listen to our needs; and we so often think that our simple, common needs are not worthy of God’s attention. ……………. NOT!!!

Life Lesson #3 from 2nd Kings 7: 8-9: The story about the four desperate lepers who learned of the good news of God’s deliverance teaches us all to shout out the great news about God to others. The willingness of these men to break with deeply held fears and conventions involving their leprosy and to share the good news about God’s power is a lesson to us all that God’s great news – the greatest news, the Gospel – which should be shouted to all who will hear it no matter what it takes for us to get the message out.

Life Lesson #4 from 2nd Kings 8: 12-13: The Aramean leader, Hazael, who would become King of Aram and ultimately wipe out the northern tribes in Israel, balked when he heard Elisha’s, God-inspired – prophesy of Hazael one day doing things of unspeakable cruelty. This illustrates that mankind should never be in denial about how unspeakable the sin of any man (or woman) can be. That is why, when I see others committing horrible acts of evil, I force myself to realize – “There, but for the grace of God, go I!” These are great lessons from the life and times of Elisha; and may we all glean God’s wisdom, His will, and His ways from God’s Old Testament characters, like Elisha, … lessons for our lives; because these stories can shape our lives and allow us to be more powerful and effective disciples of our Lord, sharing God’s truth with all who will hear.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank you for reshaping my life from the life of Elisha. Amen

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