2 Kings 13

* Reign of Jehoahaz. (1-9) Jehoash, king of Israel, Elisha

dying. (10-19) Elisha's death, The victories of Jehoash. (20-25)

1-9 It was the ancient honour of Israel that they were a

praying people. Jehoahaz, their king, in his distress, besought

the Lord; applied himself for help, but not to the calves; what

help could they give him? He sought the Lord. See how swift God

is to show mercy; how ready to hear prayer; how willing to find

a reason to be gracious; else he would not look so far back as

the ancient covenant Israel had so often broken, and forfeited.

Let this invite and engage us for ever to him; and encourage

even those who have forsaken him, to return and repent; for

there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared. And if the

Lord answer the mere cry of distress for temporal relief, much

more will he regard the prayer of faith for spiritual blessings.
10-19 Jehoash, the king, came to Elisha, to receive his dying

counsel and blessing. It may turn much to our spiritual

advantage, to attend the sick-beds and death-beds of good men,

that we may be encouraged in religion by the living comforts

they have from it in a dying hour. Elisha assured the king of

his success; yet he must look up to God for direction and

strength; must reckon his own hands not enough, but go on, in

dependence upon Divine aid. The trembling hands of the dying

prophet, as they signified the power of God, gave this arrow

more force than the hands of the king in his full strength. By

contemning the sign, the king lost the thing signified, to the

grief of the dying prophet. It is a trouble to good men, to see

those to whom they wish well, forsake their own mercies, and to

see them lose advantages against spiritual enemies.
20-25 God has many ways to chastise a provoking people. Trouble

comes sometimes from that point whence we least feared it. The

mention of this invasion on the death of Elisha, shows that the

removal of God's faithful prophets is a presage of coming

judgments. His dead body was a means of giving life to another

dead body. This miracle was a confirmation of his prophecies.

And it may have reference to Christ, by whose death and burial,

the grave is made a safe and happy passage to life to all

believers. Jehoash was successful against the Syrians, just as

often as he had struck the ground with the arrows, then a stop

was put to his victories. Many have repented, when too late, of

distrusts and the straitness of their desires.

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