Summary: Sixth in a series on Elisha. Elisha's ministry was to establish a zone of milk and honey in a land of death and bloodshed. Ultimately, God works all things together for good in God's own time. We live as people of the Resurrection.
> Elijah’s ordination of 3
Last view of Elisha’s life, many of the events go back to the early ministry of his mentor, Elijah, finally coming to fruition.
I want to begin at a cave. Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights to get to this cave.
He came here because he was running away from a terrible queen named Jezebel.
He had just had that incredible showdown on the mountain with the 450 prophets of Baa.
God was the clear winner of the contest, and Elijah called on the people to put the prophets of Baal to death so they’d quit spreading their idolatry.
But Queen Jezebel was a very dedicated follower of Baal, and rather than acknowledge that God was the true God, she set out to kill Elijah.
And so here he was, hiding in this cave. He was feeling sorry for himself.
Outside of the cave entrance, there were a series of incredible things that came by.
Strong winds, earthquakes, fire…but God wasn’t in any of those…he came
in the form of a quiet voice.
Elijah said, “I’m the only one that still cares about following you, God.”
God says, “Nonsense. There are 7,000 others like you. What are you doing down here?
You have work to do!
This is very early in Elijah’s ministry, and God assigns him three people to seek out and to anoint. These three will eventually be like the three horsemen of the apocalypse for Ahab and Jezebel’s family.
Anoint Hazael - King over Syria
Jehu - King over Israel
Elisha - to be prophet in your place
He began by anointing Elisha.
SLIDE: Milk and honey
> Elisha’s Completion
How could we describe Elisha’s ministry?
He’s a faithful servant of God who was trying to create a zone of milk and honey in a land now flowing with death and bloodshed.
The kings these days are nothing like King David. They might not mind some worship and observation of the Law, but they’re even more interested in impressing the nations of the world, chasing after those other gods. It’s made them violent.
In 2 Kings 9, we are near the end of our records of Elisha’s ministry.
Now it was finally time to complete the work that God had first given to Elijah, all those years ago in the cave. It was time to go out and anoint the others who would bring judgment on Ahab’s household.
Presuming he was getting older, Elisha sent a son of one of the prophets to anoint Jehu to be King over Israel.
It is clear that Jehu understands what he has to do.
Ahab had been so wicked, and had done so much violence toward God’s people, God had promised to wipe his descendants from the face of the earth.
SLIDE: Jehu Battle
> Jehu’s Crusade
Based on what Jehu does in response to his anointing, he knows what Elijah and others had said about what was to be done to the household of Ahab.
2 Kings 9 reads like an action revenge novel.
One after another, Jehu hunts down and assassinates some of the crooked leaders from Ahab’s family.
He begins with King Joram.
As he rides, up, the King sends out different groups to ask him, “Who are you and why are you approaching so fast?” Every time he says, “I’m not here for peace. Fall in behind me and ride with me!” By the time he gets to the gates, he’s acquired several of the King’s own soldiers into his army.
King Joram hops on his chariot and flees for his life, so Jehu gets out his bow.
It says he pulls it back with his full strength, and shoots him through the back right into his heart.
He took him to Naboth’s vineyard and buried his body there. It’s clear that he is visiting punishment of previous sins on the descendants of Ahab.
SLIDE: Death of Jezebel
> End of Jezebel
Everything really comes to a head at Jezebel’s palace.
She sees him coming, and suspects why he approaches.
She takes the time to put on makeup and pretty herself up.
A proud woman until the end, she calls Jehu a murderer and an assassin, and taunts him.
Jehu calls out to some of the Eunuchs who were serving her and said, “Are any of you guys with us?” So they took her and threw her out the window. She went splat.
Following this, Jehu and the others celebrated their victory, and left her body in the street, intending to return for it later.
But when the men came back to bury her, only her skull, feet, and hands were left. The dogs had eaten the rest of her.
SLIDE: 1 Kings 21:23-24
It is really important to the writer of Kings that we make the connection between what Elijah said and what actually happened…