2 Kings 4:8-44 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Life in the Son and Death in the Pot
Comments for Study 3

2 Kings 4:8-44
Memory Verse: 35

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I. Lay My Staff on the Boy's Face (4:8-37)

>1. What did a rich woman do for Elisha? (8-10)

* 2 Kings 4:8-10 "One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us."

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>Why?

* "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God"

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>2. What kind of help did he offer her? (11-13)

* 2 Kings 4:11-13 "One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite." So he called her, and she stood before him. Elisha said to him, "Tell her, 'You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?'" She replied, "I have a home among my own people."

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>What does her refusal of that kind of help say about her? (Luke 14:12-14)

* Luke 14:12-14 "Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

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>3. When Elisha's servant told him a need she might have what did Elisha promise her? (14-16)

* 2 Kings 4:14-16 "What can be done for her?" Elisha asked. Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old." 15 Then Elisha said, "Call her." So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 "About this time next year," Elisha said, "you will hold a son in your arms." "No, my lord," she objected. "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"

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>Why might she refuse this offer too?

* "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"

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>Did the Lord honor Elisha's word anyway? (17)

* 2 Kings 4:17 "But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her."

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>4. Why might the woman react the way she did when her son died? (18-21)

* 2 Kings 4:18-21 "The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 "My head! My head!" he said to his father. His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.'

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>What did her husband not understand about what she was going to do? (22-23)

* 2 Kings 4:22-23 "She called her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return." 23 "Why go to him today?" he asked. "It's not the New Moon or the Sabbath." "It's all right," she said."

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>Why did he answer Elisha's question as she did? (24-26)

* 2 Kings 4:24-26 "She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, "Lead on; don't slow down for me unless I tell you." 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel. When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, "Look! There's the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?'" "Everything is all right," she said."

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>What does her actions say about her?

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>5. Explain the motives of the three in verse 27.

* 2 Kings 4:27 "When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why."

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>How did Elisha react to her words? (28-29)

* 2 Kings 4:28-29 "Did I ask you for a son, my lord?" she said. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?" 29 Elisha said to Gehazi, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy's face."

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>Why won't she leaven him?

* 2 Kings 4:30 "But the child's mother said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So he got up and followed her."

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>What happened? (31-39)

* 2 Kings 4:31-35 "Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy's face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, "The boy has not awakened." When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes."

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>How did the woman respond?

* 2 Kings 4:36-37 "Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite." And he did. When she came, he said, "Take your son." 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out."

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II. Death in the Pot (4:38-41)

>6. How did Elisha respond to the news of a famine?

* 2 Kings 4:38 "Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these men."

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>What was one of them forced to do since there was a famine?

* 2 Kings 4:39 "One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were."

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>How is this similar to our actions in times of spiritual famine?

* Jeremiah 2:21 "I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?"

* Romans 11:17 "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,"

* Matthew 8:10-12 "When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

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>7. What was wrong with the stew and what probably caused it? (40)

* 2 Kings 4:40 "The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it."

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>How is this like us?

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>8. What did Elisha do to take away the death in the pot?

* 2 Kings 4:41 "Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it into the pot and said, "Serve it to the people to eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot."

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>How is this like what Jesus did for us? (Isaiah 1:18; John 13:8-10; Rev. 7:14, 22:14-15)

* Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

* John 13:8-10 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."

* Revelation 7:14 "I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

* Revelation 22:14-15 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."

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III. Feeding of A Hundred (4:42-44)

>9. What gift was brought Elisha?

* 2 Kings 4:42 "A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. "Give it to the people to eat," Elisha said."

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>What did he say to do with it?

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>When objection came what did Elisha say?

* 2 Kings 4:43 "How can I set this before a hundred men?" his servant asked. But Elisha answered, "Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: 'They will eat and have some left over.'"

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>10. What happened when they obeyed? (44)

* 2 Kings 4:44 "Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD."

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>What events did this foreshaddow? (Matt. 14:17-21, 15:32-38)

* Matthew 14:17-21 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

* Matthew 15:32-38 "Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children.

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>What could not have been mistaken? (John 6:12-14)

* John 6:12-14 "hen they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."

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