Introduction: Time is coming to an end for the Northern Kingdom
called Israel. Time is also coming to an end for Elisha. This week
we turn our study to these “last events” for Israel and Elisha. Let’s
- Jehoahaz Rules
- Read 2 Kings 13:1-2. What is wrong with the rule of King
- Wasn’t his father, Jehu, very zealous in combating
idolatry? (See 2 Kings 9:22)
- Read 2 Kings 10:28-29, 31. Why would Jehu be so much
against Baal worship, but tolerate calf worship? (Sin
is not always logical.)
- Have you seen believers who are very concerned
about God’s law in some areas of their lives and
completely unconcerned about other equally
- Have you seen Christians who are determined to
“wipe out” certain sins in the church while at
the same time displaying other sins in their
- Does this describe you?
- What effect did Jehu’s failure to put aside calf
worship have on his son, Jehoahaz? (The son
adopted his father’s bad habits, but not his
- Read 2 Kings 13:3-4. We see a change of heart in Jehoahaz.
Did God also change? (No! God brought this trouble on
Jehoahaz so that he would repent. God did not change His
mind, He simply listened to the “call for help” He hoped
to hear from Jehoahaz.)
- Read 2 Kings 13:5. Is this the way the Lord works today?
Will He provide a “deliverer” for you when you get into
trouble – even trouble of your own making?
- What is the key to God coming to your rescue?
(Repenting and turning to God.)
- Read 2 Kings 13:6-7. Did Jehoahaz continue to turn to
- What was the result?
- How much power did Israel have? (Almost none! 50
cavalry and 10 chariots in addition to foot
- Jehoahaz dies and his ungodly son, Jehoash becomes king.
Read 2 Kings 13:14. Elisha was in what kind of physical
condition? What would be your guess? (It seems that he
looked so bad that Jehoash was brought to tears.)
- If Elisha is an old, sick man, how can King Jehoash
call him “The chariots and horsemen of Israel?”
- Is this merely a reference to the fact that last
time we heard, Israel had only 50 horses and 10
chariots? Was the military as bad as Elisha
looked? (I do not think this is what is meant.
Even this evil king recognized that God’s work
through this righteous man was the real power of
Israel and not its army or its kings.)
- Are you as perceptive as this evil king? Do you
recognize that the real power in your life comes
from God and not your own talents, efforts or
- Read 2 Kings 13:15-16. Now here is a good idea. The old,
sick prophet will play bows and arrows with the king.
Does the king need target practice?
- What is going on?
- Read 2 Kings 13:17-19. Was this a game of imagination
that the prophet was playing with the king?
- What do you think each arrow meant? How do you know?
- Notice that Elisha (v. 16) put his hands over the
king’s hands as he shot the arrows. Was Elisha
providing a little strength or steadiness to the
king? (I doubt it, in Elisha’s condition. We can tell
from the first arrow that the shots are symbolic of
what God will do for His people. The hands of the
prophet on the hands of the king shows the
partnership that God seeks to have with us in doing
- Who decided how many arrows would be shot that day?
- What is the symbolism in this? (That with each
bow-shot Israel won another battle against its
- What is the practical lesson in this for us?
- How much control did the King have over his own
future? (This is a powerful lesson. God
encouraged, directed and guided by His prophet,
Elisha. But, when all was said and done, the
extent of the power that the King received from
God was in his own hands. He decided how much he
would allow God to work through him.)
- Is this true today? Is the extent of the
power of God that is available to us a
matter of our own decision?
- Does God let us determine how much of His
Spirit we will use?
- Does God allow us to determine how many
battles we will win in life?
- Is God angry with us (v.19) when we do not
ask for all of the power and blessings
that He has in mind for us?
- Read 2 Kings 13:20a. Elijah was taken to heaven in a
chariot. Elisha died and was placed in the dirt (really, a
tomb). If Elisha had wanted, could he have decided to go
to heaven in a chariot? Could he have taken advantage of
the “Just Shoot” lesson he had given the king? (Just like
the king was told to “open the east window” and “shoot,”
so God gives us windows of opportunity to exercise our
faith and “expand our borders.” However, God is
ultimately in charge of which windows are open and which
are not. I do not think Elisha had the option to go to
heaven in a chariot. God had not opened that window to
- Read 2 Kings 20b-21. Imagine the picture here. Friends
are carrying a friend to be buried. What do you think the
friends did when they saw the Moabite raiders? (They ran
- Our text tells us that in their haste to run away,
they tossed their friend into Elisha’s tomb. When
the dead man touched Elisha’s bones, he came to life
and stood on his feet. What do you think he did when
he saw the Moabite raiders heading his way? (He would
have had the same reaction as his friends. He no
doubt started running after his friends.)
- Let’s keep going with this story. Do you think the
friends turned around to see how close the raiders
were getting to them? What do you think they saw when
they turned around? (Their dead friend running at top
speed after them!)
- How fast do you think the friends are now were
running? (I think they turned things up a notch!
Not only did they have Moabites to worry about,
but now a “ghost” of their dead friend is after
- This is a fun story – one of my favorites in the Old
Testament. Why is it here in the account of the last
days of Israel? Does it have any spiritual lesson for
us? Or, is it just some bizarre story that makes you
rethink things like the Shroud of Turin?
- Does it have any relationship to the “Just
Shoot” story that preceded it? (Yes. Both
stories illustrate the power of God to work
through weakness. You can never say that you
cannot do this or that for God. When Elisha was
almost dead, he was still the “chariots and
horses” of Israel because God worked through
him. Even more amazing, God was able to work
through Elisha when Elisha was just “bones.”
Israel was on its last legs too. This story
illustrates that it was not too late for Israel
to turn back to God and live.)
- Is your life spiritually dead? Are you
just a dried up old bone — spiritually
speaking? (If so, there is hope for you!)
- The End
- 2 Kings 17 reveals the end of the existence of Israel and
the reasons why. I recommend you read the entire chapter.
In the class this morning, let’s read just the concluding
verses. Read 2 Kings 17:35-37. What is the contract
(covenant) that God made with His people? What was the
obligation on each side? (God saved them (brought them out
of Egypt) and they would worship only God.)
- Is that contract, or something similar, still offered
today? (I think so. Jesus saved us from eternal
death. In exchange, He asks for our exclusive worship
and our loyalty.)
- Read 2 Kings 17:40-41. Was the problem that the people
completely turned away from God? (No. They worshiped God
and they worshiped idols.)
- How do you think they rationalized this practice?
- Does this practice exist today?
- Friend, have you given your entire heart to Jesus? Or,
like the Israelites, do you have “some God” and “something
else” in your heart? Are you “on the fence,” “open-minded” when it comes to your allegiance? God calls for
us to give Him our whole heart.
- Next Week: Manasseh and the Early Days of Josiah