The purpose of Elisha’s ministry was to restore respect for God and his message, and he stood firmly against the evil kings of Israel. By faith, with courage and prayer, he revealed not only God’s judgment on sin but also his mercy, love, and tenderness toward faithful people.
Elisha’s mighty miracles showed that God controls not only great armies but also events in everyday life. When we listen to and obey God, he shows us his power to transform any situation. God’s care is for all who are willing to follow him. He can perform miracles in our lives.
Every evil king in both Israel and Judah encouraged idolatry. These false gods represented war, cruelty, power, and sex. Although they had God’s law, priests, and prophets to guide them, these kings sought priests and prophets whom they could manipulate to their own advantage.
An idol is any idea, ability, possession, or person that we regard more highly than God. We condemn Israel and Judah for foolishly worshiping idols, but we also worship other gods—power, money, physical attractiveness. Those who believe in God must resist the lure of these attractive idols.
EVIL KINGS/GOOD KINGS
Only 20 percent of Israel and Judah’s kings followed God. The evil kings were short sighted. They thought they could control their nations’ destinies by importing other religions, forming alliances with pagan nations, and enriching themselves. The good kings had to spend most of their time undoing the evil done by their predecessors.
Although the evil kings led the people into sin, the priests, princes, heads of families, and military leaders all had to cooperate with the evil plans and practices in order for them to be carried out. We cannot discharge our responsibility to obey god by blaming our leaders. we are responsible to know God’s Word and obey it.
God told his people that if they obeyed him, they would live successfully; if they disobeyed, they would be judged and destroyed. God had been patient with the people for hundreds of years. He sent many prophets to guide them. And he gave ample warning of coming destruction. But even God’s patience has limits.
God is patient with us. He gives us many chances to hear his message, to turn from sin, and to believe him. His patience does not mean he is indifferent to how we live, nor does it mean we can ignore his warnings. His patience should make us want to come to him now.
After King Solomon’s reign, Israel lasted 209 years before the Assyrians destroyed it; Judah lasted 345 years before the Babylonians took Jerusalem. After repeated warnings to his people, God used these evil nations as instruments for his justice.
The consequences of rejecting God’s commands and purpose for our lives are severe. He will not ignore unbelief or rebellion. we must believe in him and accept Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf, or we will be judged also.