Saturday, November 16, 2013

Elisha-Dealing with The Ornery and the Good

by Mary Vee
II Kings 3

From King Jehoshaphat's Journals

I know I shouldn't help Joram, king of Israel. He doesn't put his faith in God. However, we are brothers, and kings of the people chosen by God to live in the promise land.

My name is Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

Joram sent me a message. I happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. The message stated the Moabites had rebelled against him. "Will you go with me to fight against Moab?"

We may not get along, but it is my duty to help protect the Israelites. I sent a message back. "I'll go. We are brothers, my people are as your people, my horses are as your horses. What is your battle plan?"

We met together with our armies not far from Jerusalem where I lived. Joram greeted me. "Here is my plan: We will go through the Desert of Edom to attack Moab."

We traveled to the Edom and there asked the king of Edom to join us. He did. 

The three armies marched for seven days then ran out of water. There wasn't any for the soldiers or the animals.

Remember, I said Joram hadn't put his faith in God. When he discovered there wasn't any water left and there wasn't a spring, pool, or lake nearby he became angry. 

"What! Has the Lord called us three kings together only to hand us over to Moab?"

Sigh. Of course he meant he was terribly thirsty.

I turned to the others standing nearby and asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord here for us to ask questions to God through him?

One of Joram's officers nodded. "Yes. Elisha is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."

"Perfect. The word of the Lord is with him. Let's go ask him."

We found where Elisha was staying and asked to speak with him.

Elisha came out of his tent. "What do you want? You have the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother."

This was not a good way to start. He had been looking at Joram and knew Joram didn't put his faith in God. I understood his point. Why give the king of Israel an answer from God when the man didn't believe in God?

Joram shook his head. "No, we can't go to them because it was the Lord who called us three kings together and now he plans to hand all of us over to Moab!" 

This wasn't the best way to speak to Elisha. If you want something from someone, insulting the person is not the way to get it.

Elisha took a deep breath and squinted at Joram. He pointed his finger and said, "As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I didn't have respect for the  presence of this man," he pointed at me, "Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not even look at you or notice you." 

He looked away from Joram and huffed. "Bring me a harpist."

A harpist would play sweet music to calm down the tempers. Good idea. A harpist was found and brought to Elisha. As the music played Elisha closed his eyes, not to sleep, but as if he heard something or someone. 

Elisha spoke, "This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord. He will also hand Moab over to you. You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones."

We thanked him and set the men to work digging ditches and the Lord said.

I will finish this telling next time. Hopefully Joram will be kinder then.

1, ___________ is the king of Israel.
2. ___________ is the king of Judah.
3. ______________ caused trouble for Israel.
4. King Joram asked _______________ to help him fight the battle.
5. Along the way they asked the king of ______________ to help them.
6. The three kings traveled over the desert and became _____________
7. They asked _______________ for help.
8. ______________ was rude to Elisha.
9. Elisha still prayed to God for help. God told the kings to ________________

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