05/11

May 11

John 3:22-36

John says, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” He was speaking of Christ when he heard the report of Jesus’ ministry. He acknowledged the hand of God was on Jesus, recognizing that Jesus was stepping into His calling. Then John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” For John, his calling to prepare for Christ’s ministry is being completed and Christ’s is starting. However, there is also a principle here that when we die to ourselves and yield to Christ, He can do more in us and through us. May the Lord have His way!

2 Kings 1-3

2 Kings is believed to have been part of one big with 1 Kings, but later divided. It is believed to have been written by an author who was a witness to the fall of Jerusalem. Chapters 1 through 17 write about the reign of kings from both Israel and Judah, the divided kingdom. In chapters 18-25, the focus is on Judah exclusively.

At the end of 1 Kings, we read about Ahaziah, and chapter one of 2 Kings is a continuation of Ahaziah, king of Israel, following Ahab. Ahaziah suffers a fall. He knows of Elijah and the fire from heaven. However, instead of going to God, Ahaziah sends messengers to inquire of false gods. God sends Elijah to intercept them. Ahaziah’s health was noticed by God, and his health was in the hands of God. It was because of his sin that God allowed the king to die.

If we encounter trouble, our first instinct should be to call out on God.

Ahaziah tried to change God’s mind by sending captains of fifty men to Elijah, God’s prophet, and each time Elijah called fire from heaven to devour them. It sent the resounding message of denial to King Ahaziah.

Obviously, the lives of these soldiers were not valued by Ahaziah. The third captain showed a fear of the Lord, and God spared him. God sent Elijah to have a face-to-face with Ahaziah, where he again predicts the king’s death. Not only did he die, but his royal lineage died with him, having no son. Jehoram became king in his place.

In chapter 2, Elijah was older and the time came for him to pass over to eternity. Elijah and Enoch are the only two men that we have Scriptural record of going to be with the Lord without their bodies dying first. Obviously there has to be some transformation somehow and someway because human flesh cannot stand in the Presence of God.

We see Elisha’s loyalty to Elijah. We see his zeal to fulfill his life’s purpose. We see his tenacity to have a strong anointing to serve God. Elisha followed Elijah to Gilgad, Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan. It seemed like each time, Elijah was trying to have a private moment to be taken to heaven.

Together, they cross the Jordan after Elijah uses his mantle to separate the water. There is significance in crossing a river. Once across, Elijah asks Elisha what he wants. Elisha asks for a double portion of the anointing that was on Elijah. Elisha was a servant of God, and he recognized the way to do the job well was to have the Spirit of God on his ministry. Elijah told Elisha that if he saw him depart, then he would receive his request. Elijah knew his death was different from most. He knew he would be taken up in a whirlwind to heaven. Elijah knew that it was an event that was spiritual, and Elisha’s spiritual eyes would need to be open in order to see it.

A chariot of fire with horses of fire separated Elisha from Elijah and a whirlwind caught Elijah and took him up into heaven. He took up his mantle that had fallen from him. Elijah’s clothes fell from his body. He went through some kind of change.

Then Elisha goes to the Jordan to do the same miracle of parting the Jordan, and God moved, confirming the call, the anointing, the purpose on Elisha’s life. Then sons of prophets from Jericho met him. The term “sons” meant that they were part of a group. More than once, we see in the Bible that prophets would sometimes gather together.

These prophets were from a group out of Jericho. They confirm that the spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha after they both split the Jordan.

Elisha begins to perform miracles, cleansing water in a city. Elisha began his way to Bethel where youths were mocking him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead.” Elisha turned to them and cursed them for their dishonor and mockery. Two female bears came out of the woods and mauled 42 of them. Let’s learn not to despise what God honors. God honors His prophets and the anointing on their lives.

In chapter 3, Moab rebels against Israel. God uses the prophet to help with the civil issues of the day. The prophet calls for a musician, and when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. Is worship important? Oh yes, because when our dependent, obedient faith finds expression, the anointing of God will roll into our situation. Elisha hears from God, gives direction, the people carry it out, and God brings victory to Israel.

#covertocoverwithmelanie #covertocover #growchurches #bible #biblecommentary #melaniestone #readthebible #readingthroughthebible #biblereadingplan

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