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March 18, 2022 - 2 Kings 1-4

With 2 Kings, and after the death of Ahab, Elijah is still around, though he has already anointed Elisha as his successor. The prophet berated king Ahaziah because, when he became sick, he sent to the Baals for help. Sort of like, in the days of Hosea and Amos and Isaiah, the prophets scolded the people for looking for help from the Egyptians and the Assyrians rather than God. Not long after, Elijah was taken up to heaven (interesting story about Elisha following him around), and Elisha took his place. With a double portion of the power of God's Spirit on him, Elisha did amazing things; I mean, one miracle after another.

There are historical periods in the biblical narrative during which great numbers of miracles were performed: the days of Moses, the days of Elijah and Elisha, Jesus’ ministry, and the years of the apostles. All this is a good reminder that our God does miracles, and he can break into his creation and into history at any moment and do amazing things. What stories are here! The bad water made good. War with Moab. The widow and the oil. The Shunammite’s son. Sometimes, we seem to get so weary with it all but, oh my, the streams of love and mercy in the midst of it all!

Weary trav’ler cease thy doubting;

If thy soul is sore distressed,

Dig the trenches in the valley,

God Himself will do the rest.

Streams of love and mercy blended,

Into every well will flow,

Then, refreshed, revived and strengthened,

On to vict’ry thou shalt go.

Praise the Lord, the Lord Jehovah!

God of Israel, God of all.

Thou art ever near Thy people,

Thou dost answer when they call. -- Henry J. Zelley (19th century)

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