A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
2 Kings 3-4
2 Kings 3
Jehoram Overcomes Moab’s Revolt
1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father, and like his mother, for he removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3 Nevertheless he held to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit. He did not depart from them.
4 Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he supplied the king of Israel with the wool of 100,000 lambs, and of 100,000 rams. 5 But when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel. 7 He went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me against Moab to battle?”
He said, “I will go up. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 8 He said, “Which way shall we go up?”
He answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”
9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched for seven days along a circuitous route. There was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 The king of Israel said, “Oh no! The Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord by him?”
One of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah, is here.”
12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother.”
The king of Israel said to him, “No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As the Lord of Armies lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I respect the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you, nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” When the musician played, the hand of the Lord came on him. 16 He said, “The Lord says, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’ 17 For the Lord says, ‘You will not see wind, neither will you see rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, and you will drink, both you and your livestock and your other animals. 18 This is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord. He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. 19 You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.’ ”
20 In the morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
21 Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, they gathered themselves together, all who were able to put on armor, young and old, and stood on the border. 22 They rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 They said, “This is blood. The kings are surely destroyed, and they have struck each other. Now therefore, Moab, to the plunder!”
24 When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land attacking the Moabites. 25 They beat down the cities; and on every good piece of land each man cast his stone, and filled it. They also stopped all the springs of water, and cut down all the good trees, until in Kir Hareseth all they left was its stones; however the men armed with slings went around it, and attacked it. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too severe for him, he took with him 700 swordsmen, to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not. 27 Then he took his oldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel; and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.
2 Kings 4
Elisha Multiplies the Widow’s Oil
1 Now a certain woman among the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead. You know that your servant feared the Lord. Now the creditor has come to take for himself my two children to be slaves.”
2 Elisha said to her, “What should I do for you? Tell me: what do you have in the house?”
She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go, borrow empty containers from all your neighbors. Don’t borrow just a few containers. 4 Go in and shut the door after you and your sons, and pour oil into all those containers; and set aside those which are full.”
5 So she went from him, and shut the door after herself and her sons. They brought the containers to her, and she poured oil. 6 When the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”
He said to her, “There isn’t another container.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
The Shunammite Woman
8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman; and she persuaded him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. 9 She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God who passes by us continually. 10 Please let’s make a little room on the roof. Let’s set a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp stand for him there. When he comes to us, he can stay there.”
11 One day he came there, and he went to the room and lay there. 12 He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 He said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Listen, you have gone to all this trouble for us. What is to be done for you? Would you like to be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the army?’ ”
She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”
14 He said, “What then is to be done for her?”
Gehazi answered, “Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 He said, “At this season, when the time comes around, you will embrace a son.”
She said, “No, my lord, man of God, do not lie to your servant.”
17 The woman conceived, and bore a son in that season, when the time came around, as Elisha had said to her.
Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son
18 When the child was grown, one day he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”
He said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.”
20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the man of God’s bed, and shut the door on him, and went out.
22 She called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God, and come back.”
23 He said, “Why would you want go to him today? It is not a new moon or a Sabbath.”
She said, “It’s all right.”
24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward! Don’t slow down for me, unless I ask you to.”
25 So she went, and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her, and ask her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?’ ”
She answered, “It is well.”
27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of God said, “Leave her alone; for her soul is troubled within her; and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”
28 Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me’?”
29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and go your way. If you meet any man, don’t greet him; and if anyone greets you, don’t answer him back. Then lay my staff on the child’s face.”
30 The child’s mother said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”
So he arose, and followed her.
31 Gehazi went ahead of them, and laid the staff on the child’s face; but there was no voice and no hearing. Therefore he returned to meet him, and told him, “The child has not awakened.”
32 When Elisha had come into the house, the child was dead, and lying on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them both, and prayed to God. 34 He went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself on him; and the child’s flesh grew warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself out on him. Then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 He called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite!” So he called her.
When she had come in to him, he said, “Take up your son.”
37 Then she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground. Then she picked up her son, and went out.
Elisha Purifies the Poisonous Stew
38 Elisha returned to Gilgal. There was a famine in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, “Get the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”
39 One went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds from it, and came back and shredded them into the pot of stew; although they did not recognize them.
40 So they served it for the men to eat. As they were eating some of the stew, they cried out, and said, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
41 But he said, “Then bring grain.” He threw it into the pot; and he said, “Serve it to the people, that they may eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
42 A man from Baal Shalishah came, and brought the man of God some bread of the first fruits: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. He said, “Give to the people, that they may eat.”
43 His servant said, “What, should I set this before a hundred men?”
But he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for the Lord says, ‘They will eat, and will have some left over.’ ”
44 So he set it before them, and they ate, and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
The Visit to Lystra and Derbe
8 At Lystra a certain man sat, weak in his feet, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked. 9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” He leaped up and walked. 11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 They called Barnabas “Jupiter”, and Paul “Mercury”, because he was the leading speaker. 13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them; 16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he didn’t leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
18 Even after saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them. 19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. The next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.
The Return to Syrian Antioch
21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and telling them that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God. 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
The Report to the Church at Antioch
26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. 27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations. 28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
1 Deliver me, God, from the evil man.
Preserve me from the violent man:
2 those who devise mischief in their hearts.
They continually gather themselves together for war.
3< They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent.
Viper’s poison is under their lips.
4 God, keep me from the hands of the wicked.
Preserve me from the violent men who have determined to trip my feet.
5 The proud have hidden a snare for me,
they have spread the cords of a net by the path.
They have set traps for me.
6 I said to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Listen to the cry of my petitions, God.
7 God, the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 God, don’t grant the desires of the wicked.
Don’t let their evil plans succeed, or they will become proud.
9 As for the head of those who surround me,
let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
10 Let burning coals fall on them.
Let them be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, from where they never rise.
11 An evil speaker won’t be established in the earth.
Evil will hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
12 I know that God will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to your name.
The upright will dwell in your presence.
22 A cheerful heart makes good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.