The Assyrians sought to intimidate Judah and king Hezekiah by writing them threatening letters.  The Assyrians were very vicious people and were conquering many nations.  Hezekiah responded in the right way and was delivered.

1.  Position - Hezekiah went to the house of God and acknowledged his dependence on God as a child of God.
2.  Promises - Hezekiah sent to Isaiah to get the Word of God and His promise of protection.
3.  Prayer - Hezekiah prayed to God specifically asking for deliverance.

No matter what fearful thing we are facing we can overcome fear by:

1. Remembering we belong to the Lord and depending on Him.
2. Relying on the promises of God and His encouragement to "fear not".  Read the Word rest in God's truth.
3. Requesting God's help.  Pray about everything.

Walk with the Lord and overcome the fear of the enemy!!!
 
I find it difficult to comment on today's passage.  They all speak about one apostasy after another.  God took the man Abraham out of an idolatrous city and made a nation from his descendants and called them His own special people.  They were His beloved people and now this!  It wasn't just the northern ten tribes but Judah as well.  What should God do next?

I want to talk about a word that could be taken either in a positive or negative way.  That is the word: Jealous.  The right way to look at jealousy is from a loving perspective.  God loves His people so much that he wants to protect them from harm.  He brought them up out of Egypt and freed them from the bonds of slavery but now it seems that they would much rather serve other gods than Him.  God even calls His people his wife in other O.T. scripture passages.  This analogy shows us that God wants a relationship with His people.  Why shouldn't he be jealous?  

In the New Testament Christ now calls His people the Church, His Bride.  Take a good look at what is happening to His beloved people in this nation and around the world.  should Christ be jealous when he sees those he died for wandering away to idolatrous living and serving all kinds of things but Him? To those who fall into this category, I would say, "Come back to Him who bought you with His own blood." 
 
Elisha is on his deathbed after a long ministry for God.  He is allowed to give king Joash an opportunity for great victory.  This passage helps us understand how we can make the most of spiritual opportunities.

1.  Stay in the place of spiritual opportunities - Joash went to visit the man of God, showed him respect and listened to what he had to say.
2.  See the spiritual opportunity - Joash was to shoot an arrow with Elisha and then shoot a quiver full of arrows himself.  This indicated military success.
3.  Seize the spiritual opportunity - Joash only participated halfheartedly and therefore did not receive all that he could have from the Lord.

We will also be given spiritual opportunity from God.  Live wholeheartedly for Christ!  Come expectantly!  Be in the Word! Be in Church!  Listen carefully and hear eagerly!  Yield completely and obey diligently! 

Walk with the Lord and make the most of spiritual opportunity!!!

 
This passage teaches us much about God's patience and mercy.

1.  God measures His mercy - He is plenteous in mercy - shows mercy to all even Ahab and Jezebel.

2.  God multiplies His mercy - His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting toward those who fear Him. Gave Ahab more time when he repented

3.  God mitigates His mercy - There is an end to mercy eventually if there is no repentance. 

God has a deadline to His mercy.  Recognize the mercy of God!  Receive the mercy of God!  Recompense the mercy of God!  Paul said,  "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice..."

Walk with the Lord and praise God for His mercy!

 
First, Elisha predicted by the word of God, "A measure of wheat will be sold for a shekel and a measure of barley for a shekel." How is that to be possible in a starving city.  One of the servants of the king did not believe that.  Elisha said, "It will happen but you will not benefit from it."
Now something happened to the Syrian army to scare them that they ran from the camp.  Four lepers found the camp empty and good stuff was left all over the camp.  One said, "The people are starving in the city.  We have to tell them."  It was true but the man who didn't believe was trampled to death by the human stampede for food.
There are two morals of this story. The lepers who were starving themselves could not keep it to themselves.  We must share the good news to the starving people in the city and that they did.
The second is the unbelief and the disaster of the man who could not accept the prediction of Elisha the man of God.  Unbelief can be disastrous when done against a reliable source.  Paul said, in Acts 27:25, "I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me."
 
The people of God were facing severe consequences for their iniquity and idolatry.  Every person who chooses to live in sin can expect these same types of consequences.

1.  Loss of protection - the same enemy that had been blinded and defeated by God several months earlier now sets up a siege on Israel.
2.  Loss of provision - the same people who had experienced God's abundance of the promised land now faced severe lack.
3.  Loss of perception - the same prophet who had been considered as a source of blessing was now looked on as the cause of problems.
4.  Loss of purpose - Instead of being a witness for God to the enemy the enemy has become a witness for God against the people.

Are you experiencing continued defeat in your life?  Could it be that you are harboring a sin against God or another? Are you experiencing God's joy and blessing or is your experience dry and lacking?  Is the state of your life a witness for God to the enemy or a witness against God?  Do not continue to pay the high cost of low living. Turn from your sin to God.

Walk with the Lord and refuse to pay the high cost of low living! 
 
The sons of the prophets complain that the place where they currently are is too strait (small).  The question I have is what are we doing with the space we have?  I don't necessarily think this is a success story.  They go to this place near Jordon thinking that they will be better off than where they were.  Thankfully they ask Elisha if he would go with them and he consents to go.

In the next instance, they are all busy cutting wood to build something, or perhaps to clear the land.  Now one young man's axe head falls into the water.  He panics and cries out "Alas, it was borrowed."  There are two things.  Can't we have an axe of our own?  If we must borrow, we need to inspect the tool before we use it to see if it is safe.  This may be a danger if we must borrow in spiritual work.  We could do much damage with an axe with a loose head.  Thankfully Elisha was there as a spiritually seasoned man who knew what to do.  How often do we do foolish things from which we need to be rescued? 
 
I find God interesting when I read Bible stories like this one.  In I Kings chapter 19 we see Elijah depressed and scared of Jezebel. He has run and hid himself and now is wanting to die. He now views himself as a victim instead of a conqueror.   After God's display of power and  great victory on the mount over the prophets of Baal one might ask, "Where is your faith? Can God not protect you from this evil woman?".  Now in today's passage we see him going to heaven without dying.  This tells me that I cannot out-think God.  

Elijah has been mentoring Elisha and he knows he is about to leave this earth.  They are now going to pass by what are important places in the history of Israel.  In each place, Elisha is asked by Elijah to stay behind while he continues on but Elisha refuses to leave his side.  I'm not sure that even Elijah knew just exactly how this day was going to play out.  He only knew it was his final day here on earth.  Perhaps he wanted to spare Elisha from the sorrow of seeing him die. To me the lesson is if I should be somewhere in the will of God, it is important that I am there.  We have an expression that we 'need to be where the action is'.  When it is God's action, it is more important yet.

God had obviously revealed to many of these young prophets that this was to be Elijah's final day on earth (verses 3 & 5), but they did nothing about it. (Though in verse 7 we do find that 50 of the sons of the prophets went and stood to view what would happen from a distance.)   Mere knowledge doesn't work.  I would think something like this should have set them off enough to have wanted to be more than bystanders.  I am afraid there are too many bystanders in the church today.

Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit.  If he had stopped anywhere along the way he wouldn't have gotten it.
 
This is the end of the story about a man named Naboth and the wicked king Ahab who wanted the vineyard that Naboth owned.  Ahab wanted that piece of land so the evil queen Jezebel had Naboth killed to get the vineyard.  The story is about covetousness.  Remember Jesus said beware of covetousness for your life does not consist of the things possessed.  
When Elijah meets Ahab he accuses him of selling himself to work wickedness. With that I want to ask, " Do you possess your possessions, or do they  you? Are you willing to cheat or even use certain tactics to get what you want?"  We can link all kinds of human nature to this kind of thing.  When Elijah told Ahab his fate  he humbled himself . God decided not to bring the punishment in his day.  It would come later.  God says to not be deceived, God is not mocked.  What ever a man sows that shall he reap.  where is your life today?
  
 
In the Christian life we talk about mountain-top experiences and times when we are down in the valleys.  We even write songs about it (The God in the good times is still God in the bad times...).  Elijah had a mountain-top at Mt. Carmel.  The LORD showed Himself to be the God to all those who were present, including King Ahab.  Elijah either slew himself or oversaw the execution of 400 false prophets.  And, after praying and seeking the Lord, the rain returned.  AND...then he outran Ahab's chariot through the valley back to Ahab and Jezebel's home.  What a day.

We might think that after Elijah heard the news about Jezebel's threat on his life that Elijah would have instantly gone to prayer.  We might think that the prophet of God would call down another firestorm.  Instead he ran.

The reality is, God might have sent him to the mountainous wilderness.  What if Elijah had prayed and God had told him to go to the wilderness where food and water would be brought by an angel.  A very similar arrangement had been made not too long ago.  It was not where Elijah went that concerns us...it is that he did not ask God first.  Jezebel became the greater power in his heart and he feared her.

Praise God for his mercy and grace.  He know we are but dust.  He knows we do not always acknowledge Him in all our ways so that He can direct our paths (Prov. 3:5-6).  He provided for Elijah and He provides for us when we do the exact same thing...and we do.  Be encouraged to seek the Lord in every area of your life, even when an unexpected valley comes your way.

P.S. - When things are going very well in the church...when souls are being saved and people are being baptized, when children and teens are growing in the Lord and people are repenting and growing; Watch out for those who are critical and attack leadership.  Remember Jezebel.  Rebuke them and continue to fight the good fight.