Bible Study on the Prophet Elisha
2 Kings 8:7-14: When God Weeps
by I Gordon
 ↩ The answer takes us back... right back to when Elijah was God's main prophet and Elisha was still just working the fields. Have a read of 1 Kings 19:15. Well, here it is for you: 'The LORD said to him (Elijah), 'Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.'
With Elijah wallowing in a cave in self pity, God told Elijah to go and anoint Hazael king of Aram and Elisha as his replacement. He did the later but neglected the former. So in this passage before us Elisha was now doing what Elijah didn't do.
 ↩ While we may all go the same way, the Christian knows the one who has conquered death and should not fear. Heb 2:14-15 ' Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.'
Consider and note the contrast between the following deaths. First those of unbelievers:
"I am abandoned by God and man! Doctor, I will give you half of
what I am worth if you will give me six months' life. I shall go to
"What blood, what murders, what evil counsels have I followed! I am lost; I see it well!" (CHARLES IX)
"I would give worlds, if I had them, if the Age of Reason had never been published. O Lord, help me! Christ, help me! It is hell to be left alone!" (TOM PAYNE)
"Oh, that I were to lie upon the fire that never is quenched a thousand years, to purchase the favor of God and be reunited to Him again! ... Oh, eternity, eternity! forever and forever! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell!" (SIR FRANCIS NEWPORT)
'The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith.' (GEORGE BERNARD SHAW)
The death-bed words of believers:
"How bright the room! How full of angels!" (MARTHA McCRACKEN)
"The sun is setting; mine is rising. I go from this bed to a crown. Farewell." (S. B. BANGS)
"Can this be death? Why, it is better than living! Tell them I die happy in Jesus." (JOHN ARTHUR LYTH)
"Oh, that I could tell you what joy I possess! I am full of rapture. The Lord doth shine with such power upon my soul. He is come! He is come!" (Mrs. MARY FRANCES)
And my favorite...the death bed words of the great Christian, D.L Moody.
"Earth recedes, heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go!" His son who was standing by his bedside said, "No, no father, you are dreaming." "No," said Mr. Moody, "I am not dreaming; I have been within the gates; I have seen the children's faces." A short time elapsed and then, following what seemed to the family to be the death struggle, he spoke again: "This is my triumph; this my coronation day! It is glorious!" (D.L.MOODY)
 ↩ So how much better to agree with God about our own heart and sin! King David was a man who experienced this gaze of God at various times due to unconfessed sin. In Psalm 32 he wrote: 'When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD' - and you forgave the guilt of my sin.'
Or consider what it was that lead David to pray in Psalm 39:13 'Turn your gaze away from me that I may smile again.' Or imagine the guilt and shame that Peter felt after disowning Jesus for we read 'The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter . Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him... And he went outside and wept bitterly.'(Luke 22:61)
From the Bible Knowledge Commentary:
In great contrast with the Greek gods' apathy or lack of emotion, Jesus' emotional life attests the reality of His union with people. Deeply moved may either be translated 'groaned' or more likely 'angered.' The Greek word enebrimeµsato (from embrimaomai) seems to connote anger or sternness. (This Gr. verb is used only five times in the NT, each time of the Lord's words or feelings: Matt. 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5; John 11:33, 38.) Why was Jesus angry? Some have argued that He was angry because of the people's unbelief or hypocritical wailing. But this seems foreign to the context. A better explanation is that Jesus was angry at the tyranny of Satan who had brought sorrow and death to people through sin (cf. 8:44; Heb. 2:14-15). Also Jesus was troubled (etaraxen, lit., 'stirred' or 'agitated,' like the pool of water in John 5:7; cf. 12:27; 13:21; 14:1, 27). This disturbance was because of His conflict with sin, death, and Satan.
Related Series Posts
- Elisha's Journey - How far do you want to go?
- Elisha's Journey - How far do you want to go? (Part 2)
- The Rapture of Elijah - Swing Low Sweet Chariot!
- A tale of two vessels
- Good Old Fashioned Kindness!
- Good Old Fashioned Faith!
- Elisha, Naaman and the offense of the cross
- 2 Kings 6: Open my eyes...
- 2 Kings 6:24-7:20: Faith's Breaking Point
- 2 Kings 8:7-14: When God Weeps