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Class: Continual Syrian and Israelite War, 2 Kings 6.8-7.20



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Continual Syrian and Israelite War 

Second Kings 6.8–7.20

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 22, In the year of our Lord, 2017

  1. Second Kings 6.8–12 | Who Is for the King of Israel?

    8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.” 9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
    1. How did Elisha know what the king of Syria would do?
    2. How many times did Elisha warn the king of Israel of the Syrian king’s intentions?
    3. The Syrian king thought one of his men was a spy.
    4. Somehow a servant of the king knew of Elisha.
      1. The servant said that Elisha knew what the king said in private.
      2. How would a Syrian servant know such?
  2. Second Kings 6.13–18 | One Man Versus an Army

    13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.” 14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then 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. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
    1. Why did the king bring his army to get Elisha?
      1. Did he fear Elisha’s powers?
      2. You need many to search even for one person.
        1. Look at the typical Search and Rescue operation.
        2. Look at police looking for a criminal.
    2. Elisha’s new servant feared, but did Elisha fear?
      1. Why did Elisha not fear?
      2. How did Elisha know who was with him and that their numbers outnumbered the Syrians?
        1. God may have told him.
        2. Elisha may have simply known that it was true.
          1. See 2Sa 5.24
          2. See 2Ch 32.8
          3. See 1Jo 4.4
    3. See how the Lord answered Elisha’s prayers!
      1. The Lord may have told Elisha what to do.
      2. However, remember James 5, that James used Elijah to show us the power of prayer.
  3. Second Kings 6.19–23 | The Sighted Lead the Blind

    19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria. 20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria! 21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” 22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
    1. Elisha could have taken advantage of the Syrian army, but he did not do it.
      1. What would we do?
      2. Can you go against public opinion and the opinion of your friends, if they are wrong?
    2. What did the Syrians think when they opened their eyes in Samaria?
    3. The king of Israel was beyond excited and wanted to kill the Syrians.
      1. However, what do you think of Elisha’s response?
      2. Elisha instructed them to feed their enemies.
        1. Are Christians supposed to do the same?
        2. Romans 12
        3. How you ever seen it done?
    4. What was the result of Israel feeding the Syrians?
  4. Second Kings 6.24–31 | The Ravages of a Famine

    24 And it happened after this that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver. 26 Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” 28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, Give your son, that we may eat him; but she has hidden her son.” 30 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body. 31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”
    1. How does this section jive with the previous one that said, “the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel”?
      1. This is the first time that we have heard of Ben-Hadad.
      2. Therefore,
        1. 6.23 may have referred to the previous Syrian king, or
        2. 6.23 may have referred to those particular raiders.
      3. Either way, it shows the power of
        1. the miracle and
        2. the kindness of Israel.
      4. What do you think about overcoming evil with good?
    2. To show the severity of the famine from the Syrian siege, the writer
      1. listed the price of lowly items,
      2. showed that women were eating their children,
      3. that the king wore sackcloth under his regular clothes.
        1. The Lord through Moses had revealed that these things would happen when Israel turned their back on the Lord.
        2. Lev 26.27–29
        3. Deu 28.52–57
        4. Later Judah experienced the same consequence: Lam 4.10
    3. Who did the king of Israel blame for the famine?
      1. Why did the king blame Elisha?
      2. Elisha had prevented the king from killing the Syrians.
  5. Second Kings 6.32–33 | Elisha Knows of the King’s Vengeance

    32 But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, “Surely this calamity is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”
    1. Elisha was at an elders meeting!
    2. The Lord communicated that the king had sent a messenger and that the king followed behind.
      1. Elisha knew why the messenger and king came.
      2. Therefore, Elisha had the men capture the messenger.
    3. What did the king mean by his statement in verse 33?
      1. He believed that their current problems came from the Lord.
      2. Therefore, why wait for the Lord?
        1. Yet, if the Lord did cause their problems, they truly needed to wait on the Lord.
        2. If He brought the calamity, He could remove it.
  6. Second Kings 7.1–2 | Things Can Change Quickly and Unexpectedly

    1 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” 2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
    1. What did Elisha mean in verse 1?
      1. Something dramatic would happen the next day that would drop prices drastically.
      2. Yet, an officer of the king did not believe.
        1. The officer thought that if the Lord opened the windows of heaven, that would not be enough to drop the prices as Elisha prophesied.
        2. Elisha revealed that the officer would see it happen, but he would not experience the blessing, because of his unbelief.
    2. Can things change dramatically in a nation, even over night?
  7. Second Kings 7.3–9 | The Lord Turned Things Around with Four Leprous Men

    3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter the city, the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” 5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. 6 For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” 7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. 8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
    1. The Lord does the unexpected with unexpected people.
      1. Who would have expected Moses to deliver Israel?
      2. Who would have expected David to defeat Goliath?
      3. Who would have expected an unknown young lady would bring the Savior into the world?
      4. Can you think of others?
    2. How did the four lepers reason?
      1. They believed they could die going into the city or going to the Syrians.
      2. Why then did they go to the Syrians?
        1. There was the possibility that the Syrians might let them live.
        2. There was no hope of that in the city.
    3. Why did they find?
      1. The Syrians had abandoned their camp.
      2. Why did the Syrians leave?
    4. Why did the lepers think they were doing something wrong?
  8. Second Kings 7.10–13 | Testing the Change

    10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” 11 And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside. 12 So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.” 13 And one of his servants answered and said, “Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see.”
    1. Do you think the king of Israel acted appropriately at first?
      1. He saw it as a trick of the Syrians.
      2. Yes, his people were dying, but a massacre by the Syrians would have been worse.
    2. However, one of the king’s servants suggested an investigation.
  9. Second Kings 7.14–20 | The Doubter Dies

    14 Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.” 15 And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD. 17 Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. 18 So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.” 19 Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, “Now look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
    1. Did the doubter see what would cause the price drop?
    2. Did he get to experience it?
    3. Do not doubt the word of God, even if you cannot see how something is possible.
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