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Bible Pathways - May 3, 2005

May 3


Read II Kings 6 -- 8


In Today's Reading:


The ax head made to float; Syrians (Arameans) attack Israel; famine in Samaria; Elisha's prophecy fulfilled


Ben-hadad was a title of the king of Syria and may not have been the king who initiated the the Syrian soldiers to capture the prophet Elisha. Those soldiers had been miraculously blinded and were then led by Elisha inside the walls of the capital city of Samaria. Once trapped there, the soldiers had been at the mercy of the king of Israel. However, at Elisha's command, the king prepared great provision (a great feast) for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. And it came to pass after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria (II Kings 6:23-25).


Now the once-powerful, luxurious fortress-city of Samaria was faced with all the horrors of an extended famine. To surrender to Syria meant death for King Jehoram (Joram) and slavery for his people. But, remaining within the walls eventually reduced the people to starvation, some even resorted to cannibalism. These pitiful conditions resulted from Israel's disobedience to God and His Word (see Leviticus 26:14-29).


When it appeared there was no hope, the Lord again brought Jehoram face to face with Elisha, who proclaimed: Hear . . . the Word of the LORD . . . Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria (II Kings 7:1). One of the king's officials ridiculed him saying: Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? Elisha replied: Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat thereof (7:2). The prophecy was miraculously fulfilled from a most unexpected source and at a most surprising time when God, in His great mercy, sent fear into the hearts of the Syrian army and they hurriedly abandoned their camp leaving their food in abundance for the Israelites. The king's unbelieving official was trampled to death in the rush for food (see 7:17).


Obedient Christians need not fear for tomorrow! Instead, we can rejoice in the promises of God, who shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).


Christ Portrayed:


By Elisha, who wept when he realized what Hazael would do to Israel and its people (II Kings 8:11-12). We are reminded of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered your children together . . . and you would not! (Matthew 23:37-38).


Word Studies:


6:1 strait = small; 6:30 within = underneath; 7:5 uttermost part = border, outskirts; 8:11 settled his countenance = stared intensely; 8:26 daughter = granddaughter.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ezell Rosborough · BPM Staff: Rick Hash · Government Officials (Listed on their Birthdays): Rep. Ralph Hall (TX), Rep. C.L. Otter (ID),and Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) · Country: Ukraine (52 million) east-central Europe · Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian · Religious freedom · 55% Ukrainian/Autocephalous/Old Believers/Armenian Orthodox; 15% Catholic; 3% Protestant; 1% Jewish; .5% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast in secret so that only the Lord knows (Matthew 6:16-18).


Optional Reading: Romans 6


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:22

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