2 Kings 7:1-8:15 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Lord Causes the Arameans to Run
Comments for Study 6

2 Kings 7:3-8:15
Memory Verse: 6

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I. The Sound of Chariots and Horses (7:3-9)

>1. What had four Samaritan lepers decided to do? (3-4)

* 2 Kings 7:3-4 "Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? If we say, 'We'll go into the city'--the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die."

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>What did they discover in the Arameans camp?

* 2 Kings 7:5 "At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there"

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>Why had the Arameans abandoned their camp? (6-7)

* 2 Kings 7:6-7 "for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!" So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives."

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>2. What did the lepers start to do? (8)

* 2 Kings 7:8 "The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also."

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>What did they eventually realize? (9)

* 2 Kings 7:9 "Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace."

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>What can be learned from them? (Luke 8:39, 15:8-10)

* Luke 8:39 "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him."

* Luke 15:8-10 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

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II. The Lord Keeps His Word (7:10-20)

>3. What did the lepers tell Samaria?

* 2 Kings 7:10-11 "So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, "We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there--not a sound of anyone--only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were." The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace."

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>What did the king believe?

* 2 Kings 7:12 "The king got up in the night and said to his officers, "I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, 'They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.'"

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>Did he believe the word of the Lord through Elisha? (1)

* 2 Kings 7:1 "Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria."

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>How does faith change our perspective?

* Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

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>4. What did the king's officers propose?

* 2 Kings 7:13 "One of his officers answered, "Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here--yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened."

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>How had the kings words given them fatalism?

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>What can we learn? (Eccl. 5:2-3; Col. 3:15-17)

* Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words."

* Colossians 3:15-17 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

* 2 Timothy 2:14-18 "Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some."

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>5. What did the soldiers find out about the Aramean retreat? (14-15)

* 2 Kings 7:14-15 "So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, "Go and find out what has happened." They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king."

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>What did the desperate Samaritans do when they found out the Arameans left everything in their retreat? (16)

* 2 Kings 7:16 "Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said."

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>6. What happened to the officer who did not believe the Lord's word through Elisha? (17-20)

* 2 Kings 7:17-20 "Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. It happened as the man of God had said to the king: "About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria. The officer had said to the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?" The man of God had replied, "You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!" And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died."

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>What can we learn about as we study the Bible and don't understand everything? (John 2:22, 6:63; Heb. 4:12-13)

* John 2:22 "After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken."

* John 6:63 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

* Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

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III. Hazael's Pride Kills (8:1-15)

>7. Who had Elisha helped earlier and where had she been? (1-2, 4:1-37)

* 2 Kings 8:1-2 Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, "Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years." The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years."

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>Why did she need to go to the king?

* 2 Kings 8:3 "At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land."

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>How did the Lord use her obedience to be a witness to others?

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>8. What was the king interested in? (4)

* 2 Kings 8:4 "The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, "Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done."

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>Was it just coincidence that the woman walked in when she did? (5)

* 2 Kings 8:5 "Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, "This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life."

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>How had the Lord taken care of her while giving a chance for the king to be strengthen in faith? (6)

* 2 Kings 8:6 "The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, "Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.""

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>What can we learn about the Lord's love? (2 Cor. 9:8-9)

* 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."

* Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

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>9. Why was the king of Aram surprised about Elisha's visit? (7-8)

* 2 Kings 8:7-8 "Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, "The man of God has come all the way up here," he said to Hazael, "Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the LORD through him; ask him, 'Will I recover from this illness?'"

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>What did he want to know? (9)

* 2 Kings 8:9 "Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, "Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, 'Will I recover from this illness?'"

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>What paradox was given? (10)

* 2 Kings 8:10 "Elisha answered, "Go and say to him, 'You will certainly recover'; but the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die."

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>10. What surprising thing did the prophet do? (11)

* 2 Kings 8:11 "He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep."

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>What was the reason for it? (12)

* 2 Kings 8:12 "Why is my lord weeping?" asked Hazael. "Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites," he answered. "You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women."

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>What did Elisha tell the officer? (13)

* 2 Kings 8:13 "Hazael said, "How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?" "The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram," answered Elisha."

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>Why might the officer answer his king the way he did? (14)

* 2 Kings 8:14 "Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, "What did Elisha say to you?" Hazael replied, "He told me that you would certainly recover."

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>Was his response to the Lord's word correct? (15)

* 2 Kings 8:15 "But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king's face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king."

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>Is it possible to study and believe the Lord's word and yet still be in error? (Matthew 13:37-43, 23:1-39; Luke 6:46-49)

* Matthew 13:37-43 He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."

* Matthew 23:1-39 gives woes to people such as this official.

* Luke 6:46-49 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

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