The downward spiral continued for the kingdoms but in the midst of it all stood two great prophets: Elijah and Elisha. At the end of his ministry, Elijah was taken to heaven (ch. 2), and Elisha succeeded him. The times of these two men were times of great miracles, especially the time of Elisha: The Widow's Oil (4:1-7) - The Shunammite Woman (4:8-37) - Feeding Miracle (4:38-41) - Feeding Miracle (4:42-44) – healing of Naaman the Syrian (5:1-27) - The Floating Ax Head (6:1-7).
The healing of Naaman is especially interesting to me. Suffering from leprosy, Elisha had instructed him to wash in the Jordan River but, because of his pride, Naaman refused to do so. His own servants said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” (5:13) Thinking of ourselves, how difficult it so often is for us to humble ourselves before God! Rather than acknowledging their own inability to save themselves and humbly turn to another, many will respond to the gospel, “I’ll do this on my own and trust, before God one day, that it is enough.” “It,” whatever they think “it” is, is not enough; cannot be enough. But, oh, the free gift that our God gives! A couple verses from Charles Wesley’s “Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast.”
Do not begin to make excuse,
Ah! Do not you his grace refuse;
Your worldly cares and pleasures leave,
And take what Jesus hath to give.
Come then ye souls, by sin opprest,
Ye restless wanderers after rest,
Ye poor, and maim'd, and halt, and blind,
In Christ an hearty welcome find.