Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3

1 After Ahab died, Moab refused to remain under Israel's control. 2 Ahaziah had fallen through the window of his upstairs room in Samaria. He had hurt himself. So he sent messengers to ask the god Baal-Zebub for advice. Baal-Zebub was the god of the city of Ekron. Ahaziah said to the messengers, "Go and ask Baal-Zebub whether I will get well again." 3 But the angel of the LORD spoke to Elijah, who was from Tishbe. He said, "Go up to see the messengers of Ahaziah, the king of Samaria. Tell them, 'You are on your way to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Are you going to that god because you think there is no God in Israel?' 4 The LORD says to Ahaziah, 'You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!' " So Elijah went to see the messengers. 5 They returned to the king. He asked them, "Why have you come back?" 6 "A man met us on our way there," they replied. "He said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you. Tell him, "The LORD says, 'You are sending messengers to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Are you going to that god because you think there is no God in Israel? You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!' " ' " 7 The king asked them, "What kind of man came to see you? Who told you those things?" 8 They replied, "He was wearing clothes that were made out of hair. He had a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah from Tishbe." 9 Then Ahaziah sent a captain to Elijah. The captain had his company of 50 men with him. Elijah was sitting on top of a hill. The captain went up to him. He said to Elijah, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!' " 10 Elijah answered the captain, "If I'm really a man of God, may fire come down from heaven! May it burn you and your 50 men up!" Then fire came down from heaven. It burned up the captain and his men. 11 After that happened, the king sent another captain to Elijah. The captain had his 50 men with him. He said to Elijah, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down at once!' " 12 Elijah replied, "If I'm really a man of God, may fire come down from heaven! May it burn you and your 50 men up!" Then the fire of God came down from heaven. It burned up the captain and his 50 men. 13 So the king sent a third captain with his 50 men. The captain went up to Elijah. He fell on his knees in front of him. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life! Please have respect for the lives of these 50 men! 14 Fire has come down from heaven. It has burned up the first two captains and all of their men. But please have respect for my life!" 15 The angel of the LORD spoke to Elijah. He said, "Go down with him. Don't be afraid of him." So Elijah got up. He went down with the captain to the king. 16 Elijah told the king, "The LORD says, 'You have sent messengers to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Did you go to that god for advice because you think there is no God in Israel? You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!' " 17 So Ahaziah died. It happened just as the LORD had said it would. He had spoken that message through Elijah. Ahaziah didn't have any sons. So Joram, his younger brother, became the next king after him. It was the second year of Jehoram, the king of Judah. Jehoram was the son of Jehoshaphat. 18 All of the other events of Ahaziah's rule are written down. The things he did are written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
1 Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. The LORD was going to use a strong wind to take Elijah up to heaven. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here. The LORD has sent me to Bethel." But Elisha said, "I won't leave you. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive." So they went down to Bethel. 3 There was a company of prophets at Bethel. They came out to where Elisha was. They asked him, "Do you know what the LORD is going to do? He's going to take your master away from you today." "Yes, I know," Elisha replied. "But don't talk about it." 4 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha. The LORD has sent me to Jericho." Elisha replied, "I won't leave you. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive." So they went to Jericho. 5 There was a company of prophets at Jericho. They went up to where Elisha was. They asked him, "Do you know what the LORD is going to do? He's going to take your master away from you today." "Yes, I know," Elisha replied. "But don't talk about it." 6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here. The LORD has sent me to the Jordan River." Elisha replied, "I won't leave you. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive." So the two of them walked on. 7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets followed them. The men stopped and stood not far away from them. They faced the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan River. 8 Elijah rolled his coat up. Then he struck the water with it. The water parted to the right and to the left. The two of them went across the river on dry ground. 9 After they had gone across, Elijah spoke to Elisha. He said, "Tell me. What can I do for you before I'm taken away from you?" "Please give me a double share of your spirit," Elisha replied. 10 "You have asked me for something I can't give you," Elijah said. "Only the LORD can give it. But suppose you see me when I'm taken away from you. Then you will receive what you have asked for. If you don't see me, you won't receive it." 11 They kept walking along and talking together. Suddenly a chariot and horses appeared. Fire was all around them. The chariot and horses came between the two men. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind. 12 Elisha saw it. He cried out to Elijah, "My father! You are like a father to me! You are the true chariots and horsemen of Israel!" Elisha didn't see Elijah anymore. Then Elisha took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. 13 He picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan River. 14 Then he struck the water with Elijah's coat. "Where is the power of the Lord?" he asked. "Where is the power of the God of Elijah?" When Elisha struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left. He went across the river. 15 The company of the prophets from Jericho were watching. They said, "The spirit of Elijah has been given to Elisha." They went over to him. They bowed down to him with their faces toward the ground. 16 "Look," they said. "We have 50 able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has lifted him up. Maybe he has put him down on a mountain or in a valley." "No," Elisha replied. "Don't send them." 17 But they kept asking until he felt he couldn't say no. So he said, "Send them." And they sent 50 men. They looked for Elijah for three days. But they didn't find him. 18 So they returned to Elisha. He was staying in Jericho. Elisha said to them, "Didn't I tell you not to go?" 19 The men of Jericho spoke to Elisha. "Look," they said. "This town has a good location. You can see that for yourself. But the spring of water here is bad. So the land doesn't produce anything." 20 "Bring me a new bowl," Elisha said. "Put some salt in it." So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring. He threw the salt into it. He told them, "The LORD says, 'I have made this water pure. It will never cause death again. It will never keep the land from producing crops again.' " 22 The water has stayed pure to this very day. That's what Elisha had said would happen. 23 Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. He was walking along the road. Some young fellows came out of the town. They made fun of him. "Go on up! You don't even have any hair on your head!" they said. "Go on up! You don't even have any hair on your head!" 24 He turned around and looked at them. And he called down a curse on them. He did it in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods. They attacked 42 of the young fellows. 25 Elisha went on to Mount Carmel. From there he returned to Samaria.
1 Joram became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 18th year that Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. Joram ruled for 12 years. He was the son of Ahab. 2 Joram did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. But he wasn't as bad as his father and mother had been. His father had made a sacred stone that was used to worship the god Baal. Joram got rid of it. 3 But he kept on committing the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Jeroboam had also caused Israel to commit those same sins. Joram didn't turn away from them. 4 Mesha raised sheep. He was king of Moab. He had to supply the king of Israel with 100,000 lambs a year. He also had to supply him with the wool of 100,000 rams a year. 5 Ahab died. Moab's king refused to obey the next king of Israel. 6 So at that time King Joram started out from Samaria. He gathered all of Israel's troops together. 7 He also sent a message to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. It said, "The king of Moab is refusing to obey me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?" "Yes. I'll go with you," he replied. "My men will go with you. My horses will also go with you." 8 "What road should we take to attack Moab?" Joram asked. "The one that goes through the Desert of Edom," Jehoshaphat answered. 9 So the king of Israel started out. The king of Judah and the king of Edom went with him. Their armies marched around the southern end of the Dead Sea. After seven days they ran out of water. There wasn't any water for the men or their animals. 10 "What should we do now?" exclaimed the king of Israel. "The LORD has called us three kings together. Did he do it only to hand us over to Moab?" 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD here? Can't we ask the LORD for advice through him?" An officer of the king of Israel spoke up. He answered, "Elisha is here. He's the son of Shaphat. Elisha used to serve Elijah." 12 Jehoshaphat said, "The LORD speaks through him." So the king of Israel went down to see Elisha. Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom also went there. 13 Elisha spoke to the king of Israel. He said, "What do you and I have in common? Go to your father's prophets. Go to your mother's prophets." "No," the king of Israel answered. "The LORD called us three kings together. He did it to hand us over to Moab." 14 Elisha said, "I serve the LORD who rules over all. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that I have respect for Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. If I didn't, I wouldn't look at you or even notice you. 15 But now bring me someone who plays the harp." While that person was playing the harp, the LORD's powerful hand came on Elisha. 16 Elisha announced, "The LORD says, 'Dig a lot of ditches in this valley.' 17 Do it because the LORD says, 'You will not see wind or rain. But this valley will be filled with water. Then you, your cattle and your other animals will have water to drink.' 18 "That's an easy thing for the LORD to do. He will also hand Moab over to you. 19 You will destroy every city that has high walls around it. You will destroy every major town. You will cut down every good tree. You will stop up all of the springs of water. And you will cover every good field with stones." 20 The next day, the time came to offer the morning sacrifice. And then it happened! Water was flowing from the direction of Edom! In fact, the land was filled with water! 21 Now all of the people of Moab had heard that the kings had come to fight against them. So Moab sent for all of its fighting men. It didn't matter whether they were young or old. They sent for everyone who could carry a weapon. All of them were stationed at the border. 22 They got up early in the morning. The sun was already shining on the water. Across the way, the water looked red to the men of Moab. It looked like blood. 23 "That's blood!" they said. "Those kings must have fought and killed each other. Let's go, Moab! Let's take everything that has any value." 24 So the men of Moab went to the camp of Israel. Just as they arrived there, the men of Israel got ready to fight. They fought against the men of Moab until they ran away. The men of Israel marched into the land and attacked it. They killed the people of Moab. 25 They destroyed the towns. Each man threw a large stone on every good field. They did that until the fields were covered. They stopped up all of the springs of water. And they cut down every good tree. The only town that was left with any stones in place was Kir Hareseth. But men who were armed with slings surrounded it. Then they attacked it. 26 The king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him. So he took with him 700 men who had swords. They tried to break through the battle lines to the king of Edom. But they couldn't do it. 27 Then the king of Moab got his oldest son. He was the son who would become the next king after him. He offered his son as a sacrifice on the city wall. That shocked and terrified the men of Israel. So they pulled back. And they returned to their own land.
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