Elisha and Our Miracle Working God

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II Corinthians 9:
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
    that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
    may abound to every good work:

God is powerful and always present. He is always ready willing and able to help us and be there for us. This promise in God’s Word is there for us to read, remember and believe. Repeat it to yourself often, let it sink into the innermost depths of you heart. Be convinced of God’s power and benevolence. You will receive when you believe. We have seen many records throughout the Old Testament of people believing God and receiving His promises. God has not changed.

Elisha knew he could trust God and believe Him. Even though Elisha is surrounded by an unbelieving, idolatrous nation; he stands strong for God. Elisha did many miracles during his time. You don’t do miracles unless God is with you giving you Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom. He must have continually recognized the presence of God. He was always listening for that still small voice.

The first two miracles that Elisha did we have already read about in II Kings 2. After Elijah was taken away by God Elisha returned to cross Jordan and parted the waters with Elijah’s mantle (vs. 14). Next he heals the waters of the neighboring city, Jericho (vs. 19-22) by casting salt into the water from a new cruse.

The next miracle was in response to an attack on Elisha.

II Kings 2
:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel:
    and as he was going up by the way,
    there came forth little children out of the city,
    and mocked him, and said unto him,
        Go up, thou bald head;
        go up, thou bald head.
:24 And he turned back,
        and looked on them,
    and cursed them in the name of the LORD.
    And there came forth two she bears out of the wood,
    and tare forty and two children of them.

These two verses have always struck me as odd. Why would Elisha do such a thing as to curse the children because of a little taunting? At least that is what it looks like when one just reads over it not considering the principles involved. First of all let us consider “little children” qatan na‘ar is more accurately translated “young men.” These were more likely teenagers who where brought up worshipping Baal and showed great disrespect to the man of God and God by ridiculing him. In regards to the “bald head” comment; hair on a man’s head is good and lack of it is a shame. We don’t know if he was balding prematurely or whether he had shaved his head (it was common for men, during mourning, to shave their heads). These guys were telling Elisha to go with Elijah, get out of here you are a disgrace.

God had previously set forth some principles that outlines the consequences of walking away from God’s Word:

Leviticus 26
:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me,
        and will not hearken unto me;
    I will bring seven times more plagues upon you
        according to your sins.
:22 I will also send wild beasts among you,
        which shall rob you of your children,
        and destroy your cattle,
        and make you few in number;
    and your high ways shall be desolate.

 When you are obedient to God and do His Word you will prosper and God protects you. When you are contrary to God; consequences follow. These young men mocked God’s prophet and God and received the consequences. When Elisha cursed them he was just speaking the truth of the Word. The young men’s actions caused their destruction. God didn’t send the bears after the young men, they walked away from God’s protection and the devil caused their destruction because he is the one who has the power of death:

Hebrews 2
:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,
    he [Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same;
    that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
        that is, the devil;

Ok, the next question is “where is the miracle in this?” or “why is this considered a miracle?” Miracles are beyond human abilities and also instantaneous. Elijah could not bring the bears upon the young men and after Elisha cursed them, condemning them for their actions the consequences of their actions was swift.

When I think of a miracle, I always think of them in a positive manner. However, we will see another miracle that Elisha did that wasn’t so positive.

For the moment let us also look at a miracle that Jesus did that is specifically called a miracle so we are sure of the properties of a miracle. But first of all let me tell you of the Greek words that are translated ‘miracle(s)’ in the New Testament. The most prevalent is semeion which is also translated ‘sign’ 50 times, ‘miracle’ 23 times, ‘wonder’ 3 times and ‘token’ once. From this we gather that miracles are also signs. Signs are manifestations of God’s ability to work in the lives of people. Since no man has seen God at any time, nor will we until Christ returns, they are used to verify His Word.

‘Miracle’ is also translated from the Greek word dunamis which is translated ‘power’ 77 times, ‘mighty work’ 11 times, ‘strength’ 7 times, ‘miracle’ 7 times, ‘might’ 4 times, ‘virtue’ 3 times,’ mighty’ 2 times, and in other ways 9 times. This is more precisely defined as inherent spiritual power, latent power, God given spiritual ability—power from on high.

 I will only look at one verse that translates miracle as semeion but it is a good example.

John 4
:46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
        where he made the water wine.
    And there was a certain nobleman,
    whose son was sick at Capernaum.
:47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee,
    he went unto him,
    and besought him that he would come down,
    and heal his son:
        for he was at the point of death.
:48 Then said Jesus unto him,
    Except ye see signs [semeion] and wonders, ye will not believe.
:49 The nobleman saith unto him,
        Sir, come down ere my child die.
            [He believed completely that Jesus could heal his son]
:50 Jesus saith unto him,
        Go thy way; thy son liveth.
    And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him,
    and he went his way.
:51 And as he was now going down,
    his servants met him,
    and told him, saying,
        Thy son liveth.
:52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend.
    And they said unto him,
        Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
:53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, 
    in the which Jesus said unto him,
        Thy son liveth:
    and himself believed,
        and his whole house.
:54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did,
    when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Here we see several spiritual principles. The parent believes for his child. The person needing the healing didn’t have to be present. The miracle was beyond human capability, it was instantaneous and it was profitable—the nobleman believed as well as his household. This is the second miracle that Jesus did; turning the water into wine at the wedding was the first.

These are definitely signs to the people around them of the greatness of God and His Word.

Mark 16
:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them,  [the apostles] 
    he was received up into heaven,
    and sat on the right hand of God.
:20 And they went forth,
    and preached every where,
    the Lord working with them,
    and confirming the word with signs following.

The Word is confirmed with signs—miracles. That same power (dunamis) that resided in the apostles resides in us today. God is with us always, ever present—omnipresent. We can walk and talk with Him as Jesus Christ did for he made it available to us.

Ephesians 1
:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Father of glory,
    may give unto you the spirit of wisdom
    and revelation
    in the knowledge of him:
:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
    that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
    and what the riches
        of the glory
        of his inheritance in the saints,
:19 And what is the exceeding greatness
    of his power (dunamis)
    to us-ward who believe, . . .

This power is to us who believe. How do we believe? Like Elisha we are convinced of God’s Word and walk in His power and might. We practice God’s presence for He is omnipresent. We can trust in Him, talk with Him and be always listening for that still small voice.