Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Kings 4; 2 Kings 5

1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha. She said, "My husband is dead. You know how much respect he had for the Lord. But he owed money to someone. And now that person is coming to take my two boys away. They will become his slaves." 2 Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me. What do you have in your house?" "I don't have anything there at all," she said. "All I have is a little olive oil." 3 Elisha said, "Go around to all of your neighbors. Ask them for empty jars. Get as many as you can. 4 Then go inside your house. Shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all of the jars. As each jar is filled, put it over to one side." 5 The woman left him. After that, she shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her. And she kept pouring. 6 When all of the jars were full, she spoke to one of her sons. She said, "Bring me another jar." But he replied, "There aren't any more left." Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She went and told the man of God about it. He said, "Go and sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on what is left." 8 One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A rich woman lived there. She begged him to stay and have a meal. So every time he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 The woman said to her husband, "That man often comes by here. I know that he is a holy man of God. 10 Let's make a small room for him on the roof. We'll put a bed and a table in it. We'll also put a chair and a lamp in it. Then he can stay there when he comes to visit us." 11 One day Elisha came. He went up to his room. He lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, "Go and get the Shunammite woman." So he did. She stood in front of Elisha. 13 He said to Gehazi, "Tell her, 'You have gone to a lot of trouble for us. Now what can we do for you? Can we speak to the king for you? Or can we speak to the commander of the army for you?' " She replied, "I live among my own people. I have everything I need here." 14 After she left, Elisha asked Gehazi, "What can we do for her?" Gehazi said, "Well, she doesn't have a son. And her husband is old." 15 Then Elisha said, "Bring her here again." So he did. She stood in the doorway. 16 "You will hold a son in your arms," Elisha said. "It will be about this time next year." "No, my master!" she objected. "You are a man of God. So don't lie to me!" 17 But the woman became pregnant. She had a baby boy. It happened the next year about that same time. That's exactly what Elisha had told her would happen. 18 The child grew. One day he went out to get his father. His father was with those who were gathering the crops. 19 The boy said to his father, "My head hurts! It really hurts!" His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 The servant lifted the boy up. He carried him to his mother. The boy sat on her lap until noon. Then he died. 21 She went up to the room on the roof. There she laid him on the bed of the man of God. Then she shut the door and went out. 22 She sent for her husband. She said, "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey. Then I can go quickly to the man of God and return." 23 "Why do you want to go to him today?" he asked. "It isn't the time for the New Moon Feast. It isn't the Sabbath day." "Don't let that bother you," she said. 24 She put a saddle on her donkey. She said to her servant, "Let's go. Don't slow down for me unless I tell you to." 25 So she started out. She came to Mount Carmel. That's where the man of God was. When she was still a long way off, he saw her coming. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Look! There's the woman from Shunem! 26 Run out there to meet her. Ask her, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?' " "Everything is all right," she said. 27 She came to the man of God at the mountain. Then she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away. But the man of God said, "Leave her alone! She is suffering terribly. But the LORD hasn't told me the reason for it. He has hidden it from me." 28 "My master, did I ask you for a son?" she said. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't get my hopes up'?" 29 Elisha said to Gehazi, "Tuck your coat into your belt. Take my wooden staff and run to Shunem. Don't say hello to anyone you see. If anyone says hello to you, don't answer. Lay my staff on the boy's face." 30 But the child's mother said, "I won't leave you. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive." So Elisha got up and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead. He laid Elisha's wooden staff on the boy's face. But there wasn't any sound. The boy didn't move at all. So Gehazi went back to Elisha. He told him, "The boy hasn't awakened." 32 Elisha arrived at the house. The boy was dead. He was lying on Elisha's bed. 33 Elisha went into the room. He shut the door. He was alone with the boy. He prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed. He lay down on the boy. His mouth touched the boy's mouth. His eyes touched the boy's eyes. And his hands touched the boy's hands. As Elisha lay on the boy, the boy's body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away. He walked back and forth in the room. Then he got on the bed again. He lay down on the boy once more. The boy sneezed seven times. After that, he opened his eyes. 36 Elisha sent for Gehazi. He said to him, "Go and get the Shunammite woman." So he did. When she came, Elisha said, "Take your son." 37 She came in. She fell at Elisha's feet. She bowed down with her face toward the ground. Then she took her son and went out. 38 Elisha returned to Gilgal. There wasn't enough food to eat in that area. The company of the prophets was meeting with Elisha. So he said to his servant, "Put the large pot over the fire. Cook some stew for these men." 39 One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs. He found a wild vine. He gathered up some of its gourds. He brought them back with him in his coat. Then he cut them up into the pot of stew. But no one knew what they were. 40 The stew was poured out for the men. They began to eat it. But then they cried out, "Man of God, the food in that pot will kill us!" They couldn't eat it. 41 Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it in the pot. He said, "Serve it to the men to eat." Then there wasn't anything in the pot that could harm them. 42 A man came from Baal Shalishah. He brought the man of God 20 loaves of barley bread. They had been baked from the first grain that had ripened. He also brought some heads of new grain. "Give this food to the people to eat," Elisha said. 43 "How can I put this in front of 100 men?" his servant asked. But Elisha answered, "Give it to the people to eat. Do it because the LORD says, 'They will eat and have some left over.' " 44 Then the servant put the food in front of them. They ate it and had some left over. It happened just as the LORD had said it would.
1 Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a very important man in the eyes of his master. And he was highly respected. That's because the LORD had helped him win the battle over Aram's enemies. He was a brave soldier. But he had a skin disease. 2 Companies of soldiers from Aram had marched out. They had captured a young girl from Israel. She became a servant of Naaman's wife. 3 She spoke to the woman she was serving. She said, "I wish my master would go and see the prophet who is in Samaria. He would heal my master of his skin disease." 4 Naaman went to see his own master. He told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 "I think you should go," the king of Aram replied. "I'll give you a letter to take to the king of Israel." So Naaman left. He took 750 pounds of silver with him. He also took 150 pounds of gold. And he took ten sets of clothes. 6 He carried the letter to the king of Israel. It said, "I'm sending my servant Naaman to you with this letter. I want you to heal him of his skin disease." 7 The king of Israel read the letter. As soon as he did, he tore his royal robes. He said, "Am I God? Can I kill people and bring them back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be healed of his skin disease? He must be trying to pick a fight with me!" 8 Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes. So he sent the king a message. It said, "Why have you torn your robes? Tell the man to come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel." 9 So Naaman went to see Elisha. He took his horses and chariots with him. He stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger out to him. The messenger said, "Go. Wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed. You will be pure and clean again." 11 But Naaman went away angry. He said, "I was sure he would come out to me. I thought he would stand there and pray to the LORD his God. I thought he would wave his hand over my skin. Then I would be healed. 12 And what about the Abana and Pharpar rivers of Damascus? Aren't they better than any of the rivers of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be made pure and clean?" So he turned and went away. He was burning with anger. 13 Naaman's servants went over to him. They said, "You are like a father to us. What if the prophet Elisha had told you to do some great thing? Wouldn't you have done it? But he only said, 'Wash yourself. Then you will be pure and clean.' You should be even more willing to do that!" 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River. He dipped himself in it seven times. He did exactly what the man of God had told him to do. Then his skin was made pure again. It became clean like the skin of a young boy. 15 Naaman and all of his attendants went back to the man of God. Naaman stood in front of Elisha. He said, "Now I know that there is no God anywhere in the whole world except in Israel. Please accept a gift from me." 16 The prophet answered, "I serve the Lord. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that I won't accept a gift from you." Even though Naaman begged him to take it, Elisha wouldn't. 17 "I can see that you won't accept a gift from me," said Naaman. "But please let me have some soil from your land. Give me as much as a pair of mules can carry. Here's why I want it. I won't ever bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god again. I'll bring them only to the Lord. I'll worship him on his own soil. 18 "But there is one thing I hope the LORD will forgive me for. From time to time my master will enter the temple to bow down to his god Rimmon. When he does, he'll lean on my arm. Then I'll have to bow down there also. I hope the LORD will forgive me for that." 19 "Go in peace," Elisha said. Naaman started out on his way. 20 Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, the man of God. Gehazi said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman from Aram. He should have accepted the gift he brought. I'm going to run after Naaman. I'm going to get something from him. And that's just as sure as the LORD is alive." 21 Gehazi hurried after Naaman. Naaman saw him running toward him. So he got down from the chariot to greet him. "Is everything all right?" he asked. 22 "Everything is all right," Gehazi answered. "My master sent me to say, 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me. They've come from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them 75 pounds of silver and two sets of clothes.' " 23 "I wish you would take twice as much silver," said Naaman. He begged Gehazi to accept it. Then Naaman tied up 150 pounds of silver in two bags. He also gave Gehazi two sets of clothes. He gave all of it to two of his own servants. They carried it ahead of Gehazi. 24 Gehazi came to the hill where Elisha lived. Then the servants handed the things over to Gehazi. He put them away in Elisha's house. He sent the men away, and they left. 25 Then he went back inside the house. He stood in front of his master Elisha. "Gehazi, where have you been?" Elisha asked. "I didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, "Didn't my spirit go with you? I know that the man got down from his chariot to greet you. Is this the time for you to accept money or clothes? Is it the time to take olive groves, vineyards, flocks or herds? Is it the time to accept male and female servants? 27 You and your children after you will have Naaman's skin disease forever." Then Gehazi left Elisha. And he had Naaman's skin disease. His skin was as white as snow.
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