The Kings during Elisha’s Ministry Pt. 2

Elisha Kings

Wednesday 02/24/21 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – The Kings during Elisha’s Ministry Pt. 2

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The Kings during Elisha’s Ministry Pt. 2

Scriptures covered: 2Kings 11:21-14:1; 2Chron. 23:16-24:27

Last week we dealt with the difficult subject of Athaliah, Queen of Judah…the beginning of the reign of Joash and the spiritual insight and leadership of Jehoiada the Priest.

The BIG takeaways this week are:

  • A young person should never have too much authority too young. Paul issues a warning by the Spirit that regardless of age, a novice should never be in the position of an elder, lest they be lifted up in pride like the devil to their ruin and the ruin of those who follow them.
  • That we need to own what we believe. It is a dangerous thing to believe something ONLY because someone we like, love or admire and look up to  believe it. If we believe because we’ve invested time, investigation and effort into something – especially our beliefs regarding God, then when opposition against that belief arises, you will be better equipped to stand your ground.
  • Always be open to the Lord using you to both mentor others and be mentored yourself.
  • In our mentoring we MUST be careful to lead and invite – not do the thinking FOR another. People have got to have an encounter with God FOR THEMSELVES – they cannot be sustained on second generation faith. The best way to do this is to invite those we mentor INTO our encounters with us – live a life of conviction before them, tell them the stories of our encounters and encourage them to pursue God on their own. You’ve heard it said that you can lead a horse to water but cannot make them drink – this is true, but you can give them salt to stimulate their thirst. WE are to be salt and light!

This week we begin with just a little overlap from last week by beginning in 2Chron. 23:16.

2Chron. 23:16-21,

“(16) Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the king, and the people that they would be the LORD’s people.  (17)  So all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They broke its altars and images into pieces and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, at the altars.” 

If you remember, the account of this in Kings tells us that they turned the ruins of Baal’s temple into a public bathroom! I just love that!

I want you to notice that Jehoiada was a good man who understood the need for strong leadership. Also, a key component to this story that helps us understand what was going on here is that Jehoiada the Priest had an immediate interest this young king since he was his uncle by marriage. So, his protection of this young man, his very hands on approach to placing him as king as well as this covenant between himself, the boy king and the people of the kingdom had this as an additional motivating factor. 

“(18)  Then Jehoiada put the oversight of the LORD’s temple into the hands of the Levitical priests, whom David had appointed over the LORD’s temple, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and song ordained by David.

Jehoiada knew his history! Back in 1 Chron. 16:1-7, we read about the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It was a time of national rejoicing and it was also at this time that David, out of the joy of his heart, appointed music and praise of thanksgiving to be offered with the offerings.

If you remember, during Daivd’s reign, he had attempted to bring back the Ark once before and it failed, ending with the death of Uzzah who reached up and touched the Ark as it was wobbling on an ox drawn cart. This angered David and he left the Ark and retreated into solitude. If you remember we saw how David MUST HAVE sought God regarding this thing – because even in his offense, his belief in God was his own and was not something easily toppled. In the end, he realized the offense in that they did not honor the presence of the Lord, carrying it on the priestly shoulders of authority God had ordained. David then rectified his error, repented and retrieved the Ark with GREAT joy. Part of that joy was from his renewed and now deeper relationship with God which came out of the conflict he had sustained. That conflict led him to an encounter with God which left David a profoundly changed man!

1Chron. 16:1-7, “(1) And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.  (2)  And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD  (3)  and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.  (4)  Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel.  (5)  Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals,  (6)  and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.  (7)  Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.”

“(19)  He stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the LORD’s temple so that nothing unclean could enter for any reason.”

“(20)  Then he took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land and brought the king down from the LORD’s temple. They entered the king’s palace through the upper gate and seated the king on the throne of the kingdom.  

(21)  All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death by the sword.”

Joash… a follower-leader

2Chron.  24:1-27

“(1) Joash was seven years old when he became king; he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beer-sheba.  

(2)  Throughout the time of Jehoiada the priest, Joash did what was right in the LORD’s sight.”  

Here is one of our lessons. King Joash was a decent person and honored his uncle and respected his words and influence. However, he never owned his relationship with God for himself..and so we will see later, that when influenced by others following the death of his uncle his heart was easily swayed.

“(3)  Jehoiada acquired two wives for him, and he was the father of sons and daughters.” 

Just to clarify, Jehoiada the Priest was nearing 100 year old and was already both married and the father of sons, so this was clearly a “spiritual father” looking out for a young leader who was coming of “that age” and set before him some women for consideration to marry!

Remember he had the additional relationship of being his uncle.

“(4)  Afterwards, Joash took it to heart to renovate the LORD’s temple.  (5)  So he gathered the priests and Levites and said, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the temple of your God as needed year by year, and do it quickly.” 

However, the Levites did not hurry.”  

“(6)  So the king called Jehoiada the high priest and said, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by the LORD’s servant Moses and the assembly of Israel for the tent of the testimony?  (7)  For the sons of that wicked Athaliah broke into the LORD’s temple and even used the sacred things of the LORD’s temple for the Baals.”  

This is a brief but good example of sphere authority. Even though Joash respected his uncle AND his position as priest, and even though he was clearly MUCH younger than he, Joash still held his authority and called upon it when it was necessary.

People who do not understand authority, have difficulty obeying those younger than them, but understanding authority, helps bridge that mental and social gap.

Also, worthy of mention is a typical human weakness. Here young King Joash makes a clear and accurate claim against Athaliah’s sons who stole from the sacred things of the Lord. Remember this*, because, as things like this often do, this will come up later.

“(8)  At the king’s command a chest was made and placed outside the gate of the LORD’s temple.  (9)  Then a proclamation was issued in Judah and Jerusalem that the tax God’s servant Moses imposed on Israel in the wilderness be brought to the LORD.  

(10)  All the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought the tax, and put it in the chest until it was full.  

(11)  Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites to the king’s overseers, and when they saw that there was a large amount of money, the king’s secretary and the high priest’s deputy came and emptied the chest, picked it up, and returned it to its place. They did this daily and gathered the money in abundance.  

(12)  Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to those in charge of the labor on the LORD’s temple, who were hiring masons and carpenters to renovate the LORD’s temple, also blacksmiths and coppersmiths to repair the LORD’s temple.  

(13)  The workmen did their work, and through them the repairs progressed. They restored God’s temple to its specifications and reinforced it.  

(14)  When they finished, they presented the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, who made articles for the LORD’s temple with it–articles for ministry and for making burnt offerings, and ladles and articles of gold and silver. They regularly offered burnt offerings in the LORD’s temple throughout Jehoiada’s life.”  

“(15)  Jehoiada died when he was old and full of days; he was 130 years old at his death.  (16)  He was buried in the city of David with the kings because he had done what was good in Israel with respect to God and His temple.”

This is how we knew he was nearly 100 year old when Athaliah was overthrown and Joash took the throne. We know Joash only reigned for 40 years and some time had passed already since he was placed in office. Also, notice that being buried in the city of the kings was an honor bestowed upon only certain people.

“(17)  However, after Jehoiada died, the rulers of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them,  (18)  and they abandoned the temple of the LORD God of their ancestors and served the Asherah poles and the idols. So there was wrath against Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs.  

(19)  Nevertheless, He sent them prophets to bring them back to the LORD; they admonished them, but they would not listen.  

(20)  The Spirit of God took control of Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God says: ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’s commands and you do not prosper? Because you have abandoned the LORD, He has abandoned you.'”  

(21)  But they conspired against him and stoned him at the king’s command in the courtyard of the LORD’s temple.”  

Faithlessness & Short memories

“(22)  King Joash didn’t remember the kindness that Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had extended to him, but killed his son. While he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and demand an account.”  

(23)  At the turn of the year, an Aramean army went to war against Joash. 

They entered Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the leaders of the people among them and sent all the plunder to the king of Damascus.  

(24)  Although the Aramean army came with only a few men, the LORD handed over a vast army to them because the people of Judah had abandoned the LORD God of their ancestors. So they executed judgment on Joash.  

(25)  When the Arameans saw that Joash had many wounds, they left him. His servants conspired against him, and killed him on his bed, because he had shed the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.  

(26)  Those who conspired against him were Zabad, son of the Ammonite woman Shimeath, and Jehozabad, son of the Moabite woman Shimrith.  

(27)  Concerning his sons, the many oracles about him, and the restoration of the LORD’s temple, they are recorded in the Writing of the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah became king in his place.”

2Kings 11:21- 14:1,  

“(21) Jehoash [Joash] was seven years old when he began to reign.”

2Kings 12:1-21, 

“(1) In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.  (2)  And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” 

“(3)  Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.”

“(4)  Joash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the LORD, the money for which each man is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the LORD,  (5)  let the priests take, each from his donor, and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”  

King Joash takes over the management of the project

“(6)  But by the twenty-third year of King Joash, the priests had made no repairs on the house.  (7)  Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore take no more money from your donors, but hand it over for the repair of the house.”  

“(8)  So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, and that they should not repair the house.”

What was happening here is that the priests had been charged with the task of gathering the tax from the people, but that was not working. It seems more than likely that this was due to some possible distrust that it was going to be applied to that for which it was gathered.

When the king had Jehoiada place a chest before the house of the Lord, then the people seemed to feel more assured and gave not only willingly but with rejoicing!

It is also possible that the work on the temple had been something the priest were intending to do themselves but failed to actually accomplish…so the money was to be handed over to those who possessed the necessary skills for the work. That “may be” what was meant by the words of the last verse, “(8)  So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, and that they should not repair the house.”  “THEY” being the priests.

“(9)  Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the LORD. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.  (10)  And whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s secretary and the high priest came up and they bagged and counted the money that was found in the house of the LORD.”

“(11)  Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD. And they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the LORD,  (12)  and to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the LORD, and for any outlay for the repairs of the house.  (13)  But there were not made for the house of the LORD basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, from the money that was brought into the house of the LORD,  (14)  for that was given to the workmen who were repairing the house of the LORD with it.  (15)  And they did not ask for an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen, for they dealt honestly.”

“(16)  The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the LORD; it belonged to the priests.” 

A waning devotion to God and a threat from a king

“(17)  At that time Hazael king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and took it. But when Hazael set his face to go up against Jerusalem,  (18)  Joash king of Judah took all the sacred gifts that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah his fathers, the kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred gifts, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent these to Hazael king of Syria. Then Hazael went away from Jerusalem.”

“(19)  Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?  (20)  His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash in the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla.  (21)  It was Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, who struck him down, so that he died. And they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.”

*Now, remember how I told you to pay attention to the accusation King Joash spoke regarding the sons of Athaliah…how they stole from God’s sacred things. Here, this same king (though admittedly under different circumstances) finds it easy to follow in their footsteps in order to attempt a bribe intended to avoid attack from Hazael, King of Syria.

This happens often enough in human experience to justify hazarding a guess at satan’s schemes and modivations. Whether you believe in familiar spirits or not, it is undeniable that satan makes it his business to know us and so be informed enough to calculate and formulate future attacks designed to tempt us towards control and away from trust.

No doubt satan saw Joash’a self-righteous condemantion of the actions of Athaliah’s sons and decided to double down on the very high chance that this was a potential weakness of Joash given the right circumstances… a weakness which he could potentially exploit in the future. Often what offends us the most in others, is what we are most like or capable of doing. We instinctively do not approve of our own soul-reflection.

Now… this part of the narrative was hard for me to immediately follow for two reasons: 

  1. I had been examining the passages both in the Holman translation and in the ESV. In the ESV, Joash king of Judah was spelled Jehoash king of Judah, so later when there was an actual Jehoash (king of Samaria) the lines began to blur a bit.
  2. Some commentators align this passage with the one we read earlier in 2Chron. 24:23-27 where the unnamed King of Damascusm orders the troops of Armeana to attack Judah, which they did. They killed many and left King Joash deeply wounded. However, this account only reveals a threat from Hazael King of Syria. So at first, it was a little bit of a mess to unravel…but here it is.

What seems to have happened is this. First off, the commentators are probably both right AND wrong. Both the account here in 2Kings with Hazael king of Syria and the Armenian army who attacks Judah and leads to the death of Joash are the same people – but NOT the same event.

Armenia is IN greater Syria, at least by the time 2Chronicles was written – so the Armenians in 2Chronicles ARE THE SAME PEOPLE mentioned here in 2Kings under Hazael king of Syria and we kinda knew that, since we’ve already read about him in 1Kings 19 during the life and ministry of Elijah. In that passage Elijah, anointed Hazael as King over Syria. Later (and more recently in our trek ‘Thru the Bible’) in 2Kings 8, Elisha predicted that King Hazael would commit attrocities against Israel which the king summerily denied he was capable of commiting.

What we have here are two different accounts regarding two different events both involving the exact same people.

Evidently Hazael, King of the Armenian army in Syria, attacked Gath and then turned his eye on Judah as his next target. King Joash saw the attack coming and sought to appease King Hazael with gifts. According to our account here in Kings it worked – because the king retreated. More than likely this was supposed to be an annual offering to insure peace, but we do not know that. At any rate, whether it was in the following year or a few years later we do not know for certain, but the gift only bought time – not a lasting peace. Later this same Hazael, King of Syria, came and attacked Judah – killed many of it’s leaders and left Joash deeply wounded.

When those in Joash’s servants saw that he was wounded they conspired against him and finished the job because he had “shed the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest.”

So, let this be a lesson in correctly interpreting scripture.

  • Always take all of the scriptural information available to us into account.
  • Allow stories that appear to overlap to do so, but also allow those passages which offer greater information to fill in the blanks so that you walk away with an accurate picture of what happened.
  • When you’ve done all you can, then referring to extra-biblical historical accounts may also offer some clarity.

In this case, a small amount was clarified for me by consulting Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews book 9 chapter 8. 

The Reign of Jehoahaz, King of Israel

2Kings 13:1-25, 

“(1) In the twenty-third year of Judah’s King Joash son of Ahaziah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria; he reigned 17 years.” 

“(2)  He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight and followed the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.  (3)  So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and He surrendered them to the power of Hazael king of Aram and his son Ben-hadad during their reigns.”

“(4)  Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD heard him, for He saw the oppression the king of Aram inflicted on Israel.  (5)  Therefore, the LORD gave Israel a deliverer, and they escaped from the power of the Arameans. Then the people of Israel dwelt in their tents as before,  (6)  but they didn’t turn away from the sins that the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. Jehoahaz walked in them, and the Asherah pole also remained standing in Samaria.  (7)  Jehoahaz did not have an army left, except for 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers, because the king of Aram had destroyed them, making them like dust at threshing.”

“(8)  The rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and his might, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.  (9)  Jehoahaz rested with his fathers, and he was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoash became king in his place.” 

Jehoash, King of Israel

“(10)  In the thirty-seventh year of Judah’s King Joash, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria; he reigned 16 years.  (11)  He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit, but he walked in them.  (12)  The rest of the events of Jehoash’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and the power he had to wage war against Judah’s King Amaziah, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.”

“(13)  Jehoash rested with his fathers, and Jeroboam sat on his throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.”

THIS is what I mentioned earlier on in the lesson. Jehoash is the one who became king over Israel during the last few years of the reign of Joash king of Judah, but in the ESV, Joash king of Judah was spelled Jehoash king of Judah, so you can imagine how that led to a little bit of confusion.

Now hold on to your hats because it is about to get a little more confusing still.

What we just read was a short overview of Jehoash King of Israel. It told us he was evil and only reigned for 16 years. However, what we are ABOUT to read are some of the events which took place DURING those 16 years.

The Death of Elisha

“(14)  When Elisha became sick with the illness that he died from, Jehoash king of Israel went down and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!”  

“(15)  Elisha responded, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he got a bow and arrows.  (16)  Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So the king put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.  (17)  Elisha said, “Open the east window.” So he opened it. Elisha said, “Shoot!” So he shot. Then Elisha said, “The LORD’s arrow of victory, yes, the arrow of victory over Aram. You are to strike down the Arameans in Aphek until you have put an end to them.”  

“(18)  Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows!” So he took them, and he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” So he struck the ground three times and stopped.  (19)  The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have struck down Aram until you had put an end to them, but now you will only strike down Aram three times.”  

“(20)  Then Elisha died and was buried.”

“Now marauding bands of Moabites used to come into the land in the spring of the year.  (21)  Once, as the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a marauding band, so they threw the man into Elisha’s tomb. When he touched Elisha’s bones, the man revived and stood up!”

*** An interesting “side note” about the connection between the spirit and bones and the soul and blood.***

When I say, “side note” I mean it is some thoughts based upon limited study and observations but which is NOT part of the official doctrines of this church NOR is it a matter upon which I feel I can be dogmatic.

There appears to be a connection in scripture between the blood and the soul of creatures and the bones and the spirit of man.

In Leviticus 17 some interesting statements are made regarding blood and life and rather than recreating an content on this topic I will simple lift some quotes from the following articles on our website:

The word ‘life” is nep̱eš. Its a feminine noun meaning,… breath, the inner being with its thoughts and emotions. It is used 753 times in the Old Testament and in this verse of Lev. 17:11 the word is being used as a synonym for soul or character. THIS is very, very important, for it unlocks a large part of the mystery as to why blood was necessary to save us.

So here in Leviticus, it appears that God is saying that the “soul” or “character” of all flesh is in its blood.

The prophet Isaiah draws the connection so tightly that it practically makes the point for us, for Isaiah uses the words soul in place of the word blood. Would it surprise you to realize that the word blood is NEVER EVEN MENTIONED in Isaiah chapter 53?

Let’s read the verses in that passage which specifically address Christ’s offering for sin…

 Isaiah 53:10-11, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shall make HIS SOUL an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of HIS SOUL, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.”

Let me be VERY CLEAR, at this church we believe that it was in fact the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST that erradicated sin. We believe whole-heartedly that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. Remember our verse in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life (soul or character) of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life (or character).” 

So in mentioning this we are NOT casting doubt upon the necessity of the Blood, but addressing WHY blood WAS 100% necessary for the elimination of sin and it’s tyrannical reign over mankind. We are simply attempting to have the scriptures interpret and further deepen our understanding of the necessity of blood.

The idea of the soul or character of the flesh being in the blood is hinted at in Genesis and in Hebrews when the blood of Abel and of Christ are said to have a voice crying out either vengeance or forgiveness. These are cognitive thoughts and emotions which are associated with the soul of man – certainly not things commonly associated with the red, life sustaining fluid in our veins.

Let’s look at these verses…

“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” Then He said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!” ~ Gen 4:9-10

&

“…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” ~ Heb. 12:24

Now of course, if we were going to go much further with this tonight we’d have to address the soul of man and whether we are a two or three part being – ALL OF WHICH is WAY beyond the scope and intentions of this study tonight but which IS addressed in the links above.

The point of all of this is that I strongly believe that on some level, the blood of man is directly connected to the soul of man AND by extention, the character of man.

Regarding the bones and spirit of man, there is less to go on, but what is mentioned in scripture does seem to point to the conclusion that there is some connection. I will only offer a couple of citations at this juncture, but which I found to spring irresistbly to mind when reading this passage about the bones of Elisha.

In Ezekiel 37 is the famous passage where God causes the prophet to have a vision in which he sees a valley filled with old, dry bones. The Lord asks him, “Can these bones live once more?” To which the prophet wisely replied, “Only You alone Lord can tell.” So the Lord commanded him to call upon the winds to blow upon those bones. When he did, the bones stood erect (presumeably in full skeletal form) and muscle, sinew, and flesh came upon them and they were brought back to life. This was a prophetic foreshadowing of the new birth. The reason this is significant regarding bones is because these bones were used as illustrative of the dead spirits of the people of Israel (and by extention all of mankind) coming to life at the New Birth. It is further interesting that it was, (I believe) in direct relation to this prophetic vision that the New Birth of the disciples took place when Jesus breathed upon them and He commanded that they recieve the Holy Spirit.

“(21) Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (22) After saying this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ~ John 20:21-22 

At her creation Eve is not only referred to as flesh of Adam’s flesh, but bone of his bone. In common thought, bones are one with the body, so why the distinction? Yes, God took of Adam’s rib (a point about which we do not know if Adam was aware) but a rib has muscle and sinew as much a part of it as bone. So why single out bone? Throughout the Bible – especially in the Old Testament, there seems to be much preoccupation with the location and condition of ones bones after death.

However, of particular note was the prophecy and its real life fulfillment in the person and crucifixtion of Jesus that not a bone would be broken. I believe this was at very least a symbolic way saying that though He took on the sins of the world it was only IN HIS OWN BODY that He bore the sins of the whole word, but His spirit remained unbroken.

Of course there are other passages which hint at this connection, but this is more than sufficient for the purpose of illustrating the importance of bones and the clear fact that on some level, the anointing which was on the man Elisha, remained in some measure in his bones after his death.

In closing this particular indulgence I want to stress again that this is a conjecture which is based, I believe, on considerable evidence, but is NOT a hill to die on nor a point upon which I believe we should ever be dogmatic unless more evidences present themselves over time.

Man may forget, but God remembers and honors

“(22) Hazael king of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz,  (23)  but the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned toward them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was not willing to destroy them. Even now He has not banished them from His presence.”

“(24)  King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Ben-hadad became king in his place.  (25)  Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz took back from Ben-hadad son of Hazael the cities that Hazael had taken in war from Jehoash’s father Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Ben-hadad three times and recovered the cities of Israel.”

2Kings 14:1,

“(1) In the second year of Israel’s King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah.”

Next week we should pick up with Amaziah, son of Joash king of Judah.

Blessings!

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!