Through the Bible Day by Day
Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
THE POWER BEHIND THE THRONE
Nothing happens in our life or in the world apart from the divine appointment or permission. Behind every event and incident there is a divine providence. The Shunammite who had done so much for Elisha was remembered and cared for, years afterward. The King has a wonderful memory for those who fed him when he was hungry, and ministered to him when he was in need. “When saw we thee…? Inasmuch as…,” Mat_25:37. This conversation between the king and Gehazi might have seemed an accident, but it was a providence. If we abide in the will of God, life will be sown with divine coincidences.
Here is another instance: Elisha comes to Damascus, evidently at God’s bidding, just when Benhadad is sick. That sickness would not be mortal, but he would die prematurely from another cause. Would that men of God today had more of this gift of weeping over sinners and their destiny! No one resented hearing D.L. Moody talk of hell, because his voice always faltered. The prophet read Hazael’s destiny from the Book of God-not from his set face-and how astounding it was! Ah, what depths of wickedness there are of which we are capable! “Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins.”
And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
ATHALIAH’S WICKED HUSBAND AND SONS
Jehoram’s history furnishes a terrible example of how an ill-marriage may mar a man’s life. He had a good father, but a bad wife, and the latter more strongly influenced him than the former, 2Ch_21:6. The fuller story of Jehoram’s reign, and the apparent extinction of the royal family, is told in 2Ch_22:1-12. But notice especially 2Ki_8:19. The lamp was kept burning for David’s sake, Psa_132:17. Surely the grace of God can keep that same lamp burning in the hearts of our children. A lamp, as we learned from the Chicago fire, may make a very great conflagration.
Ahaziah followed in the steps of his parents. What could be expected from the training of such a mother! Misled by her, he followed the dreary steps of Ahab. The close intimacy between the two houses led to alliance in war and a common fate. Little did Jehoshaphat realize all the evil that would result from his dealings with Ahab, 1Ki_22:4. The story told in these pages is sad reading, but through it all God’s purpose moves on. See Mat_1:8. As a water-lily grows from a muddy bottom, so the pure life of Christ came, on the human side, out of this family. God’s purpose shall finally emerge from this present strife in a further revelation of the Son of man.