King Jehoshaphat of Judah was visiting King Ahab

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1 AHAB DIES IN BATTLE 1 KINGS 22:1-40 King Jehoshaphat of Judah was visiting King Ahab of Israel. The two had become friends and wanted to help each other. "The Arameans captured our city of Ramoth-gilead and still have it," Ahab said to his officers. "We are doing nothing to get it back." Then he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you help us get the city back?" "Certainly," Jehoshaphat answered. "We are brothers. My army will help your army. But we should ask the Lord about this first." King Ahab was a very wicked person. He wasn't obeying the Lord. So his way of talking to the Lord was to call his 400 false prophets to see him. "Shall I attack Ramoth-gilead?" he asked. "Yes, the Lord will give you a great victory," they all said. Of course they were saying what they thought Ahab wanted to hear. They didn't know the Lord, so they couldn't give Ahab a message from the Lord. Jehoshaphat saw the difference. "Don't you have a prophet of the Lord here?" he asked. "Yes, we have one named Micaiah," Ahab answered. "But he always has some bad news to give me." Ahab was right about that. But the reason for the bad news was that Ahab lived such a wicked life. Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from Micaiah anyway, so Ahab sent for him. "Shall we attack Ramoth-gilead?" Ahab asked. Micaiah answered, "Certainly. Go ahead, and the Lord will give you a great victory." Ahab knew that Micaiah was making fun of the false prophets. "Tell me what the Lord really says," Ahab insisted. "I see the soldiers of Israel scattered like sheep without a shepherd," Micaiah said. "Their king is dead, and they are going home." Ahab was angry and had Micaiah arrested. He was to have no food except a little bread and water until Ahab came home.

2 So Ahab and Jehoshaphat went to war against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab was dressed like a soldier so that no one would know who he was. But a stray arrow wounded Ahab, and he died in his chariot about sunset. He died in battle, just as Micaiah had said he would. DISCUSSION: What did King Ahab ask King Jehoshaphat to do? What did Jehoshaphat want to do first? What did Micaiah, God's prophet, tell Ahab? What happened to King Ahab? Was Micaiah right? LISTEN TO GOD'S ADVICE. God has lots of good advice for us in the Bible. Read it. Then ask yourself, "What should I do about this?"

3 a whirlwind takes elijah away 2 kings 2:1-14 It was time for Elijah to finish his work. God was going to take him away in a whirlwind to heaven. Elijah knew that God was ready to take him. So did Elisha. The two prophets were ready to leave Gilgal to go to Bethel. But Elijah asked Elisha to stay behind. "No, I promise that I will never leave you," Elisha said. When they came to Bethel, some young men studying to be prophets came to meet them. "Do you know that God will take Elijah from you today?" they asked Elisha. "Yes," said Elisha. "But let's not talk about it." Then Elijah said to Elisha. "The Lord wants me to go to Jericho. Please stay here in Bethel." "No, I promise that I will never leave you," Elisha said. When they came to Jericho, some more young men studying to be prophets came to meet them. "Do you know that God will take Elijah from you today?" they asked Elisha. "Yes, but please be quiet and don't talk about it," Elisha said. Then Elijah said to Elisha, "The Lord wants me to go to the Jordan River. Please stay here in Jericho." "No, I promise that I will never leave you," Elisha said again. So they walked together to the Jordan River. Fifty young prophets watched Elijah fold his cloak and hit the water with it. The water split apart to make a dry path, and they walked across the river on dry ground. "What can I do for you before I leave?" Elijah asked. "I want to know I have the right to take your place," Elisha answered. "If you see me leave, you will know God has given you what you asked," Elijah answered. Suddenly, a chariot of fire appeared, pulled by horses of fire. It went between Elijah and Elisha. Then Elijah was taken into heaven by a whirlwind. Elisha saw him go. When Elisha could no longer see Elijah or the whirlwind, he tore up his robe. Then he picked up Elijah's cloak and went back to the

4 Jordan River. When he hit the water, it left a dry path. Then Elisha knew for sure that God was with him and would help him take Elijah's place. DISCUSSION: Three times Elijah told Elisha to stay behind while he went on. What did Elisha answer each time? What did Elisha ask Elijah to do for him? Did he get what he asked for? Who gave it to him? What were the miracles in this story? Each day we see miracles: a newborn baby, a sunrise, food on your table. Can you name some more? Thank God each day for the miracles he provides for you!

5 ELISHA HELPS A POOR WIDOW 2 KINGS 2:15; 4:1-7 After God took Elijah to heaven, Elisha became the leader of God's prophets. The young prophets followed Elisha just as they had followed Elijah before, and they learned from him. It was like going to school and learning to serve God. One day a prophet died. His widow came to see Elisha. She cried as she told him about her husband and how he had died. "My husband followed you and helped you. You know how much he loved God and wanted to please Him. But now he is dead." The woman went on to tell Elisha that before her husband died he had borrowed some money from another man. At the time he died he still had not been able to pay the money back to the other man. So the man came to the prophet's widow and told her she had to pay him the money. "He said that I had to pay him back," the woman told Elisha. "If I can't pay him, he will take my two sons to be his slaves." "What shall I do to help you?" Elisha asked. "Tell me, what food do you have in your house?" "All I have is a jar of olive oil," the widow answered. "Gather all the empty jars you can find," Elisha said. "Borrow as many as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go with your two sons into your house. Close the door so people can't see what you are doing. Pour olive oil from your jar into all the empty jars you have gathered. As you fill them, put them to one side." The woman did exactly what Elisha told her. She and her sons gathered a lot of empty jars. Then they closed the door and began to fill the empty jars. The woman's sons brought the empty jars to her one at a time. They brought many, many jars. At last every jar was full of olive oil. "I need another jar," the woman called to her sons. "There aren't any more," one of the boys said. The woman had filled every jar with oil! As soon as the last jar was full, no more olive oil would come out of her own jar. The widow went back to Elisha and told him what had happened.

6 "Sell the olive oil and pay the man the money that you owe him," he told her. "There will be plenty of money left over to take care of you and your sons." The woman was very glad she had asked Elisha to help her. DISCUSSION: How did the poor woman get into debt? What was going to happen if she could not pay back the money that her husband had borrowed? What did Elisha tell her to do? How did this help her get the money she needed? Do you think the widow was thankful? Do you think she thanked God for helping her? God showed Elisha how to help the woman. The woman obeyed God by doing what Elisha said. God can do wonderful things if we follow HIs commands!

7 A ROOM FOR ELISHA 2 KINGS 4:8-17 Elisha visited the town of Shunem one day. While he was there, an important woman asked him to eat with her and her husband. The three of them had a good time together. So after that, each time Elisha went through Shunem he stopped to eat with these two people. "I think Elisha is a holy prophet of God," the woman told her husband. "Let's make a room for him on the roof. We will put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp in the room. Whenever Elisha comes this way, he will have a place to stay." The husband agreed with his wife, so that's what they did. One day Elisha came back to Shunem. He was resting in his room when he had an idea. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Tell the woman I would like to talk with her." So the woman came to see Elisha. For some reason, Elisha had his servant do the talking. "Tell her that we are thankful for everything she has done for us. Then ask what we can do for her," Elisha said. "Does she want me to tell the king something nice about her? Shall I ask the general of the army to do something special for her?" But the woman didn't really need anything. "My family takes good care of me," she said. After the woman left, Elisha asked Gehazi, "What do you think we can do for her?" "Well, she doesn't have a son, and her husband is very old," Gehazi said. "Ask her to come back," Elisha said. When the woman came back, Elisha gave her a promise from God. "About this time next year you will have a son," he said. "Please don't lie to me," the woman said. Elisha was telling the truth. It happened just as he said it would. The next year the woman had a baby boy!

8 DISCUSSION: What did the woman and her husband do for Elisha? What did God do for the woman and her husband? God loves to give gifts to giving people. We should love to give because we love God, who loves to give to us. We should never give because we hope to get something for it. Do you love to give to God and to others? Do you think God loves to give to you? Don't ever give to God because you expect Him to give to you. Give to God because you love Him!

9 ELISHA RAISES A BOY FROM THE DEAD 2 kings 4:18-37 The woman from the town of Shunem was happy that God had helped her and her husband to have a baby boy. This little miracle baby was very special to them. When the baby grew and became a little boy who could walk, he went to the field where his father was harvesting grain. While he was there, the boy began to cry. He said his head hurt a lot. The father told a servant, "Carry the boy home to his mother." The boy's mother held him on her lap, but about noon he died. So the woman carried him up to Elisha's room, laid him on the prophet's bed, and closed the door. She sent a message to her husband. "Have one of the servants bring a donkey to me," she said. "I need it so I can ride out to see Elisha." When the servant came with the donkey, the woman rode out with the servant to find Elisha. "Don't slow down to make me more comfortable," she said. Elisha saw her coming. "Hurry to meet the woman," Elisha told his servant, Gehazi. But the woman wouldn't tell Gehazi the problem. She went right to Elisha and bowed down in front of him. "You were the one who told me I could have a son," she said. "I told you not to lie to me." Then Elisha knew what had happened. "Hurry to her house with my walking stick," Elisha told Gehazi. "Don't stop for anything. Lay my walking stick on the boy's face." "You must come home with me too," the boy's mother said to Elisha. "I won't go home without you." So Elisha went with her. Gehazi got to the house first. He put Elisha's stick on the boy's face, but nothing happened. So Gehazi went out to meet Elisha. "The boy is still dead," he said. Elisha went into the room where the boy lay. He shut the door and prayed. Then he lay down and put his mouth to the boy's mouth. His eyes were close to the boy's eyes. And his hands were on the boy's hands.

10 So the boy's body began to get warm. Elisha walked around a little, and then he did the same thing again. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! Elijah asked Gehazi to call the woman into the room. "Your son is alive!" Elisha said. The woman got down on her hands and knees and thanked Elisha. Then she carried her boy out of the room. DISCUSSION: Where did the boy get sick? What did the boy's mother do about this? What did Elisha do to bring the boy back to life? Did Elisha bring the boy back to life by himself? No, only God can bring a dead person back to life again! NOTHING is too big or too hard for God!

11 NAAMAN IS HEALED 2 KINGS 5:1-14 Naaman was an Aramean general. He had led the Aramean army to many victories. But Naaman had a terrible problem with his skin. He had leprosy. A little girl from Israel lived at Naaman's house. She had been captured by his soldiers and was now a maid for his wife. One day the girl said to Naaman's wife, "If my master would go to see the prophet in Israel, he could be healed." Naaman told the king of Aram what the girl had said. "I will send a letter with you to the king of Israel," Naaman's king said. Naaman set out with 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold, as well as 10 sets of clothes. He took the letter to the king of Israel. It said, "My servant Naaman has leprosy. I want you to heal him." When the king of Israel read that, he was upset. "Does he think I am God?" he asked. Elisha sent a message to the king of Israel. "Send Naaman to me," he said. "He will learn that there is a true prophet of God here in Israel." So Naaman went to Elisha's house and stood at the door. Elisha did not go out to see him but sent this message: "Go to the Jordan River and wash seven times. Then you will be healed." Naaman was angry. "At least Elisha could have come out to talk with me," he said. "We have better rivers in Aram." So he left the house angry. But Naaman's officers talked with him. "If the prophet had told you to do something great, you would have done it," they said. "So why don't you do what he tells you?" So Naaman went to the Jordan River. He went into the river seven times. When he came out the last time, he was healed, just as Elisha said he would be!

12 DISCUSSION: What did the little servant girl tell Naaman's wife? What did Elisha say Naaman had to do to get well? What did Naaman think of that? Who told him to do what Elisha said? If we want God to help us, we must obey Him, no matter what he says. Think of something you know God wants you to do, but you don't want to do. Maybe it's obeying your parents at bedtime, or being nice to a little brother or sister. Ask God to help you do what He wants.

13 ELISHA'S GREEDY SERVANT 2 KINGS 5:15-27 After Naaman went into the Jordan River seven times, his leprosy was gone. Then he knew that God had healed him. So he went back to find Elisha. "I know now that the God of Israel is the true God," he said. "Please accept the gifts I have brought for you." But Elisha said, "No, I will not accept any gifts." Then Naaman asked for two loads of dirt that he could take back home. "From now on I'll give no more offerings to false gods. I will give offerings only to the Lord," he said. Then he left for home. Gehazi, Elisha's servant, was not happy that Elisha turned down the gifts. He decided to go after Naaman and get some of the gifts. Naaman saw him coming and went out to meet him. "Two young prophets just came," Gehazi said. It was a lie, of course. "My master would like 75 pounds of silver and two sets of clothes for them." Naaman gave him the clothes and 150 pounds of silver. He even sent two servants back with Gehazi to carry the money. But when they came near the house where Elisha lived, Gehazi sent the servants away. Then he carried the money and clothes into the house and hid them. "Where did you go, Gehazi?" Elisha asked. "I didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered. "Don't you know that I was there in spirit when you followed Naaman?" he asked. "This is not the time to get money and other gifts. Because you did this wicked thing, you will get Naaman's leprosy. Your family will suffer from it too." When Elisha said that, Gehazi left the room. He looked at his skin and saw that he already had leprosy. DISCUSSION: After Naaman was healed, what did he say to Elisha? What did Naaman want to do for Elisha? Why do you suppose Elisha did not accept Naaman's gifts? Why did Gehazi chase after Naaman? What two lies did he tell? How was Gehazi punished? Gehazi lied to get the money and clothes, then lied to Elisha to cover up his first lie. Lies are like that. Often you must tell a second lie to cover the first lie. Remember Gehazi the next time you are tempted to lie. It's better to love God and obey Him, isn't it?

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