Healing the Water of Jericho; Elisha Is Jeered and Threatened (2 Kings 2:19 – 25)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 2:19 – 25

1. How do you like your water? Tap? Bottled? Babbling? Imported?

2. Who in your family is bald? Do you fear baldness? Why?

3.What might have contaminated Jericho’s water source (verse 21)?

4. What might the new bowl and the salt symbolize (see Numbers 18:19)?

5. Concerning the youths’ harassment of Elisha, what parable of judgment is enacted here and for what reason?

6. Do you ridicule people to their faces, or just behind their backs? What can you do about back-biting?

7. Is any part of your life rancid spring water? What could unleash your potential?

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Additional Comment:

Bethel was a hotbed of Baal worship. And the word translated “little children” in fact refers to young people in their late teens. In other words, a large gang of teenagers was threatening a prophet’s life. Elisha cursed them, but there is no indication he actually called for a bear attack.

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Elijah Taken Up To Heaven (2 Kings 2:1 – 20)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 2:1 – 20

1. What’s your longest hike? Was it under duress? Why?

2. Were you a “hand-me-down” child? Whose clothes did you get? Whose “outgrown” things would you appreciate these days?

3. Why does Elijah continue to ask Elisha to stay behind (verses 1 – 6)? Why does Elisha keep refusing? What does it tell about each man and their relationship?

4. How do the “companies of prophets” know about Elijah’s upcoming departure (verses 3, 5)? Do they seem to have a better rapport with Elisha than Elijah? Why doe Elisha ask them to keep it “hush-hush”?

5. What does everyone suspect about Elisha (verse 7; see also 1 Kings 19:19)?

6. Why use a cloak instead of a bridge or boat (verses 8, 14)? To what authority does this action tie him (see Exodus 14:21, 22; Joshua 3:7, 13)?

7. What does Elisha mean by “a double portion of your spirit” (verse 9; see also Deuteronomy 21:17)? Is this a presumptuous request? Why does Elijah say its a “difficult thing” (verse 10; see also Numbers 11:17, 25)?

8. What do you suppose happened next to Elijah and why? What doe the eyewitnesses think happened (verses 15 – 18)?

9. Why does Elijah get special treatment (compare him with Enoch; Genesis 5:24)?

10. What does Elisha mean in verse 12? How does he feel? Has he passed Elijah’s test (verse 10) or been granted the request (verse 9)? How does he “double-check”?

11. Why doesn’t Elisha fill the prophets in on the true meaning of these events?

12. Many biblical heroes – Elijah, John the Baptist, Paul, Jesus – raised no family. What are the advantages of being single or celibate? Disadvantages? Did you ever consider it an option for you?

13. Have you ever had the mantle of leadership passed onto you? What was it like? Could you truly be yourself?

14. In what company (outside immediate family and friends) would you like to spend a day walking and talking? What would you hope to learn?

15. Would a miracle-working cloak be helpful to you? Why or why not? Is there a modern version of Elijah’s cloak?

16. In what manner would you like to die? Is a believer’s death like Elijah’s disappearance? How so?.

The Lord’s Judgment on Ahaziah (2 Kings 1)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 1

1. If someone questioned whether you were a Christian, how would you react and why?

2. Where is your place to be alone to pray, think and write letters?

3. Using a Bible map, determine how far out of his way did Ahaziah have to go to consult the god of Ekron. Who is Baal-Zebub (see Luke 11:14, 14)? Why does Ahaziah consult this god?

4. Why do the messengers turn back (verses 5 – 8)? Why would a king’s squadron obey the word of a single unknown man over the king’s order?

5. What tone of voice do you expect from Ahaziah on hearing the man’s description?

6. What could Elijah be doing on a hilltop (verses 9 – 12)? Why does he take offense at their question? Why does the third captain succeed (verses 13 – 15)?

7. Does this story strike you as:

  • accurate history of God’s methods of persuasion?
  • folklore revealing how little the ancients respected life?
  • a parable on respecting God’s prophets?
  • other?

8. How does Elijah’s message in person vary from the ones delivered by go-betweeners? With what effect?

9. What would you say God is like if this chapter were your starting point?

10. In the midst of all the demands on your time, do you take time out to think, pray or meditate (as Elijah)? Is there enough time for you to meet God?

11. With which character do you identify?

  • the bed-ridden Ahaziah, fumbling for answers
  • the first two captains, staunch but sorry loyalists
  • the third captain, a practical man
  • Elijah, afraid yet aware of God’s true power

12. What would you do with several uninterrupted minutes each day alone with God? Would you run out of things to talk about?

13. How has God proven Himself powerful through a recent victory in your life?

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