Tuesday, October 6, 2009


If Jerusalem Post existed that day, the headline would scream, “ARE WE ONE AGAIN? King of Judah aligns with King of Israel”.

The animosity between the southern and the northern kingdoms of Israel had been bitter since the nation broke into two. The bitterness was sweetened somewhat by Jehoshaphat son's marriage into Ahab’s family. What was Jehoshaphat thinking when he took in Ahab’s daughter as his daughter in law that day? Was it his vision or curiosity that Israel could be one again? Or was it to strengthen his kingdom? The intermarriage and the alliance with Ahab to fight the Arameans began the thaw in the relationship between the two kingdoms. God’s unhappiness with Jehoshaphat for collaborating with Ahab was overshadowed by the great awakening in the land that the king of Judah administered.

When King Joram took over from his Baal-worshipping brother, Ahaziah, son of Ahab, as king of Israel, he allied with King Jehoshaphat of Judah to fight the Moabites. Interestingly, this march included King Edom, a previous enemy of Israel.

The three kings comprised of three different categories of spirituality. King Jehoshaphat was a godly king who worshipped and followed Yahweh. Then there was the Edomite king, a pagan, whose sole purpose of joining forces was to continue to rule. Lastly, King Joram, a very much confused king.

Prophet Elisha was unhappy with the alliance and particularly Joram, whose heart was far away from Yahweh. Fresh from his double portion of anointing of Elijah, his predecessor, Elisha knew God wanted him to do even more. Elisha and the band of prophets never wanted Elijah their master to leave as the great prophet had done astounding miracles right before their eyes. After he was taken up gloriously to heaven in chariots of fire, the company of the prophets went searching for him but to no avail. They finally understood that God’s plan and focus had turned toward Elisha, their new master. God gave Elisha’s authority in the eyes of his followers by a miracle and a judgment. The healing of the curse land brought great relief and hope. And the mauling of wicked youths by two bears signified a seriousness of God’s business, under Elisha’s ministry.

Elisha agreed to counsel with the three kings concerning the impending battle against Moab only at the request of the righteous Jehoshaphat. The works of God wrought by the prophet Elisha in this battle marked the beginning of his ministry to the nation. That Yahweh’s name would always be lifted high and honoured!

Throughout his ministry, whether with his own disciples or others, inside this nation or faraway lands, the prophet would perform great works of God with compassion and zeal. He was shouted at by the Shunammite woman’s distress in losing her son, yet he brought the child back to life by the power of God. Syrian commander, Naaman, scolded him for asking him to wash in the Jordan river, yet he continued to pray for his healing. Once he helped to capture the army of the Arameans and King Joram wanted to kill them all but was stopped by the prophet. Instead, Elisha asked to provide a feast for them and then had them released. Through Elisha, Yahweh’s fame was broadened outside the borders of Israel, far and wide. Indeed, Yahweh was not only Israel’s God but the God of all nations!

God knew the alliance between the three nations would never work. In fact no evil in the land would stand strong without God’s judgment! First Edom rebelled against Judah. Then under Elisha’s counsel, a prophet was sent to Israel to anoint Jehu as king and to carry out God’s judgement on the house of Ahab. Jehu assassinated King Joram of Israel and all the household of Ahab, including Jezebel. This was in accordance to the prophecy given earlier by the prophet Elijah. God’s spoken word would never fail! God’s judgment would be inescapable and to be carried out under His discretion. The grandson of Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah, perished too in the hands of Jehu as the king of Judah walked in the pathway of evil Ahab.

Jehu cleared out Baal’s priests in the land and followed Yahweh but only for a short period of time. Later, he sinned against God and was replaced by his son, Jehoahaz, as king of Israel. At this time, the Arameans became much stronger than Israel. For a long time, Israel was subdued by the power of the Arameans. Meanwhile, Attaliah, daughter of Ahab, the mother of Ahaziah, took control of Judah and wanted to destroy the royal family. God preserved Joash, a son of Ahaziah. God always preserved a "son" of David as His promise to this nation that Davidic kingdom would reign forever! All prophets understood this. As expected, when Attaliah was overpowered and killed during her brief rule, Joash, a "son" of David, took over.

After Jehoahaz died and Jehoash took control of Israel, Elisha was gravely ill. Even in his illness, he was still concerned of Israel being overpowered by Aram. The prophet would always serve the Lord, in health and in sickness. When Jehoash came to visit, Elisha declared to him the Lord’s plan of victory over Aram. The prophet gave him arrows to shoot out of the open window. Then he asked the king to strike the arrows on the ground. Jehoash struck just three times albiet half-heartedly. The king’s hesitance had caused Israel to only overpower the Arameans three times instead of a complete victory. Elisha had seen enough of half-heartedness of kings. He had had enough with idolatrous rulers of this precious land of God. But his eyes were not on earthly kings but on the King of all kings. Yahweh, the Master of the Universe was not only the absolute Supreme Leader of both Israel and Judah but all the nations on earth.

When Elisha died and was buried, one dead man got thrown into his tomb and touched Elisha’s bones. He was raised back to life. Could it be that Israel one day be raised back to life even though at this point, it was dead spiritually? Absolutely! The raising of the dead in the Elisha’s tomb could also symbolise that the ministry of the prophets would continue. The voices of the prophets must continue to be heard and followed!





What would prophet Elisha say to us if he were still alive today?

1. Sin will drown out the guiding voice of God for your life.
2. You can be successful for a short time without the Lord but it would be cut short.
3. Consequences and judgment will follow your sins to the very end if you do not repent.
4. Look up to God in faith instead of focusing on people and things of the world. God is the Supreme Leader of this Universe.
5. Always be whole-hearted in your worship of God like king Jehoshaphat!

Next: Prophet Joel


  1. Stay faithful! And may I be indeed be whole-hearted in my worship--in spirit (free of flesh) and truth (free of misconceptions of who God is).

  2. Amen, sister! Thank you for visiting and comment. I appreciate it! God bless you, your family and your ministry!


  4. Thank you for visiting and the positive comment.