Elijah & the Army – II Kings 6:8-23

I LOVE this story! In last week’s story, Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and wow, did God answer that prayer in the affirmative! In II Kings chapters 3 through 6, we can read about so many spectacular miracles done through Elisha. They culminate in the passage we’re focusing on this week where Elisha teaches us at least two important lessons.

First, Elisha shows us with absolute clarity that there is a reality in this world that is totally unseen by the naked eye; it’s the reality of the supernatural world. As Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, there is a battle going on that is “not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil….” But, Elisha reminds us that we have no need to fear “because the One who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” – I John 4:4. Our kids need to know that evil, Satan, and sin are terrible forces, so they shouldn’t play around with them, BUT they do not need to be afraid. Our God is greater; our God is stronger; our God is higher and better than anyone or anything else. He is the victor!

Second, Elisha teaches us the power of grace. Elisha absolutely had the Aramean army by the throat. He led them straight to their enemies (the king of Israel). He could have slaughtered them, but instead he showed them kindness; he fed them and gave them water to drink, and he sent them home. It’s no wonder that they stopped raiding Israel’s territory. Can you imagine finding yourself absolutely helpless in the hands of your enemy, wondering how they might torture you and kill you …, and then being fed and released instead? What relief! What joy! I wonder if we’ll meet any from this Aramean army in heaven one day. Certainly this experience changed some of those men! The Aramean army deserved death; they had been harassing the Israelites for so long. No one would have blamed the Israelites for killing them, but when you receive what you DON’T deserve – when you receive grace instead, it changes you. 

That’s the story of the Gospel. We all deserve death but instead, God gives us love. God gives us Jesus. God gives us forgiveness and grace. Now we have the chance to do the same for others. Every day we can choose to give others some good that they don’t deserve. 

  • Activity – Hidden Messages – use a white crayon to draw your name, a message, or picture onto white watercolor paper. Then, paint lightly over the entire surface with water colors. The message will emerge and become apparent as the watercolors fill in all the space around the markings. The message was there all along just as God is always with those who believe in Him. Discuss:
  • Can you remember a time you were afraid? What were you afraid of? 
  • How could remembering this story of Elisha and the army help you to face your fears?
  • To whom does God promise “I will be with you”? Those who belong to Him, who are trusting Jesus to save them, who believe in Jesus, who have repented of their sins and believe that Jesus paid the penalty for their sins.
  • Would you like to belong to Jesus and know that He will be with you always? Explain that Jesus is with those who are His, who give up their rights to follow Him, who believe that He died for their sins, who know that there is nothing good in them that would cause God to let them into His heaven – only Jesus’ righteousness.

Additional questions:

What did you learn about God/Jesus?

  • God is watching what we do.
  • God is stronger than any evil power or force.
  • God is engaged in spiritual battles that we can’t see.
  • God shows us the ultimate example of grace when He sent Jesus to die for our sins.

What did you learn about people?

  • People can be afraid when they don’t know that God is fighting for them in realms they can’t see.
  • People can show grace and forgiveness to others because that’s what Jesus has shown them.

What did you learn about yourself?

  • I want to be ready to fight against the spiritual forces of evil through Jesus’ power.
  • I want to show grace to others.
  • I need God’s grace in my life.