The Prophet of God

Lesson 12 – Cheap Food Predicted

2Kings 6:24-7:20
Date: 9 September 2020 – Elisha20
1.         Samaria Besieged (2Ki 6:24) [See Map]
a.          Benhadad’s capital was Damascus.
b.          Besieged means that they totally blocked access to the city.
2.         Dreadful Famine in Samaria (6:25)
a.          The people in Samaria were starving, including Elisha and the king. God does not always keep His people from hardships.
b.          Donkey’s heads sold for 80 pieces of silver. About 400g of dove poo sold for 5 pieces of silver. A “cab” was about 1.5L.
3.         The Shocked King (6:26-30)
a.          A woman begged the king for help (6:26). Her request was sickening (6:28-29). Dying of hunger would be a miserable way to die.
b.          The king then tore his clothes and put on sackcloth (6:30).
c.           We note that there is no hint in the narrative that the people or the king sought God’s help during this siege.
4.         King Jehoram Blamed Elisha (6:31-33)
a.          The king acted rashly. He blamed God, so he would kill God’s man to solve the problem. Not very rational!
b.          Elisha miraculously predicted that the king was sending a messenger to get him and that the king was following him (6:32).
c.           He found Elisha in his house sitting with the elders. Perhaps these elderly men were seeking Elisha and God for help, but we are not told.
d.          Elisha showed no fear. Pink reminds us that, “The one who truly fears the Lord, fears not man; and his heart is preserved from those trepidations which so much disturb the rest and so often torment the wicked.”
5.         Elisha Predicts Cheap Food (7:1-2)
a.          Elisha said that the next day food would be sold for cheap prices.
b.          The “lord on whose had the king leaned” was a captain or one of the highest officers of state, and one of the nearest attendants to the king. (Whedon)
c.           Foolishly, that lord mocked Elisha’s prediction. Elisha then assured him that he would see it but not eat of it. Any person who will mock what God has said is a fool. We may not boldly mock the Lord as that man did, but all too often, we secretly doubt the Lord’s ability to answer a prayer that we pray or to fulfil a promise in His Word. When we doubt God, are we any better than that man was? May God increase our faith!
d.          The king must have believed Elisha, at least in part, for he said no more about killing Elisha.
6.         Discovery by Four Lepers (7:3-11)
a.          The four lepers had nothing to lose and everything to gain (7:3-4). They lived outside the city because of their leprosy.
b.          They went toward the Syrian camp in the twilight, just after sunset. Upon entered the Syrian camp and found it deserted. They feasted and hoarded the treasures (7:5-8).
c.           The Lord did a mighty miracle in causing the Syrians to hear noises that did not exist (7:6). The timing and method of God’s deliverance for Samaria was such that it honoured God’s prophet Elisha and gave all the glory to the Lord Himself.
d.          After perhaps hours of partying, these leprous men convicted by their selfishness said, “We do not well.” (7:9)
e.          They went and called to the porter (gatekeeper) of the city and reported what they had discovered (7:10-11).
f.            This is an excellent picture of the Gospel that has satisfied our spiritual hunger and our duty to tell others who are starving.
7.         Search Confirmed the Fact (7:12-15)
a.          The porter awakened the king to tell him the news, but he suspects a Syrian plot (7:12).
b.          His servant gave him wise advice (7:13).
c.           The leper’s story was verified (7:14-15).
8.         Starving People Raided the Camp (7:16)
a.          Immediately, the people storm out of the city and raid the camp of the Syrians.
b.          Just as Elisha had predicted, food prices were cheap that next day. God always keeps His word!
9.         The Mocker Died (7:17-20)
a.          These final verses restate the summary of the previous verse. They detail the event so that God’s word by Elisha is glorified.
b.          The King’s lord who mocked God was trampled to death by the stampede of people.
c.            Food did sell for the cheap price Elisha had predicted. God’s word is dependable.