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18 Elisha(12)

Power of God still acts

UKings 13:14-21
T The last message of Elisha

 We have watched prophet Elisha 12 times, and it is the last inning this morning. It begins; "When Elisha became sick the illness of which he was to die,"(14), but, Elisha, he lived in the times of five Northern Kingdom King of Men of Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Johoash, and at that time, he was about 80 years old. About him, there was an impression that he almost had not got sick, but, he who was so healthy would prepare. Joash rushed in response to news of Elisha critical condition, and cried while grieving; "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!."(14). This is same words of Elisha who cried when Elijah was called, but it sounds like sadness to lose the person who was a man of influence for an Israeli nation. Elisha worked as a consultant of King successively, but Joash of this time was the next King of father Jehoahaz who continued losing for a fight with Aram, and his father had left only cavalry soldiers 50, tanks 10 and foot soldiers 10,000 for him. (7) It seems that he put the hardship that was not averageness on rebuilding of a country as King, but he was the throne for 16 years, and was evaluated thus; "And he did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin, but he walked in them."(11). It was Joash King who aimed at a way of so-called Cannan, but Elisha anointed Jehu once to prevent Cannan and made him King and defeated Omri dynasty, but, he minded Joash till the last and was not going to blame his policy. As a successor of Elijah, Elisha should be the prophet who opposes to Israeli Cannan a special feature, but when we watch such correspondence to Joash king, it seems that a special feature of Elisha was gentleness.

 Surely he himself would be given from God such gentle handling many times. As for the life way of Elisha, it seems that such a faith be lined. From his last message, I want to hear it.

U Help of God

 The reason why Joash king rushed to a sickbed would be that Elisha oneself wanted him to come, I suppose it. Elisha did not want King grieved over his death; it was not written down how he performed any kind of advice, and how King heard it in nothing, but the King respected Elisha as a person of God, however the impression that he did not hear his advice with pleasure followed it, but Elisha would pray and want to leave after he gave such Joash King a blessing of Elisha. Even if he has lost a prophet, but pay more attention to God, it would be a wish of Elisha, I hear it.

 Elisha commanded King to do some. "Take a bow and arrows.", "Open the window toward east.", "Shoot!" It would be a blessing to King that Elisha rode his hand on a hand of the King who had a bow. At the time King shot an arrow, Elisha said; "The Lords's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you shall defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them."(17). Aphek was the name of land of Gilade, and it became main battlefield with Aram sometimes. Joash king understood intention of the prophet enough who invited him to a sickbed, and, he heard it with mind; "Take a bow and arrows." and "Strike the ground,", but, he hit the ground only three times. A writer (a prophet of the disciple who perhaps attended Elijah of a sickbed and nursed) of this article wrote it; "and he struck it three times and stopped." (18), but Elisha said it with his thought; "Hit successively it many times!". When Joash understood it that the number of times is the number of times of victory to Aram and still hesitated, these words are heard like an accusation to him. His hesitation expects an alliance with Aram. A fight with Assyria which planned Palestinian invasion was not able to miss the alliance with Aram. Ahab made an alliance with Aram (the first Ben-hadad) and has won for a fight with Assyria once. Would Joash read that record on himself repeatedly? Elisha saw that route once and accessed Aram, but came to refrain from the negotiations with Aram after God made Hazael Aramic King as an Israeli antagonist. He would want King to learn that the help of God exceeded Aramic power or any kind of power of others. I think that it is the message which we of the present age should hear, too.

V Power of God still acts

 Because Joash beat against the ground only three times, Elisha said in anger. "You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times."(19) This anger of Elisha would be his sorrow. He was a successor of Elijah. Though there were many prophet groups having many prophets in this time, however, Elisha did not have words of God like Elijah got words from God; "Anoint Elisha, and assume him a prophet turning into you.". There was not a successor for him. It seems the article of Verse 4-9 was born out of such his worry. After death of himself, he might have seen the state of the Northern Kingdom lost steering and was confused. Therefore he wished that King would not lose sight of God. This is the center of his will to King, and it may be said that it is a message which was put of gentleness throughout his life.

 The uneasiness to the Northern Kingdom of Elisha proved right. Not only a fight with Aram but also neighboring many races friendly till now have begun to fight against Israel. In Verse 20-21, there is an article called another recollections of Elisha. "And Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land on the spring of the year. And as they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet." Perhaps this article seems that it points in the days of anarchy after the Jehu dynasty fall, because plunder corps of Moab invaded Israel in spring every year (probably there was a grave of Elisha in the neighborhood of Gilgal along the Jordan). Five King of Men appeared in this time in the Northern Kingdom, but four in them killed King in the coup d'etat, and became King each oneself. And the Northern Kingdom encountered time of extinction only 100 years later from Elisha.

 After such unquiet times, a prophet who carried a message to "Obey God" in the same way as Elisha appeared. The genealogy of the prophet which seemed to have been cut off revived once again. They are called description prophets, because they are authors of books gathered up as a prophet in the latter half of the Bible. Perhaps editors of Kings will be the one of them, too. They have continued conveying the message, while they piled up the state that Israel was ruined by Assyria and Babylon on the top of words of God; "Because they lost sight of Me.". They, the editors of Kings, would write this article of a person thrown into a grave of Elisha and revived here, for the testimony that power of God is not lost for unquiet times of Northern Kingdom last years either. Perhaps as for the person who revived, there was testimony of his own, and it would be conveyed as power of God who acted on Elisha. This was very mysterious, but editors took it as a fact of God and left it as a record to posterity. When we look around this present age, it is seen as if things move without God, but that state seems to exceed confusion of Northern Kingdom last years in the days of anarchy far. However, the power of God was not lost in such times either. Paul cried; "For the words of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (TCorinthians 1:18), but I pray that we realize how much our faith to believe Jesus has love and power in this present age.