Bible Commentary: 2 Kings 6:24-7:20

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2 Kings 6:24-7:20

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Miraculous Delivery From Famine 

After a lengthy siege of Samaria under Syrian King Ben-Hadad II, famine had broken out in the city—so severe that women were cannibalizing their own children (2 Kings 6:28-29 2 Kings 6:28-29 [28] And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said to me, Give your son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. [29] So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said to her on the next day, Give your son, that we may eat him: and she has hid her son.
American King James Version×
). Somehow, King Jehoram of Israel blamed Elisha for this tragic state of affairs (verse 31). Elisha, though, told the king that God would deliver those in Samaria and provide food for them the very next day: "You will be able to buy a large sack of flour or two large sacks of barley for almost nothing" (7:1, Contemporary English Version). But this seemed impossible under the circumstances. The chief officer accompanying the king responded, "Look, if the Lord would make windows from heaven, could this thing be?" (verse 2). The Contemporary English Version paraphrases this as, "I don't believe it! Even if the Lord sent a rainstorm, it couldn't produce that much grain by tomorrow"—that is, produce enough to make grain cheap during a famine. However, through a chain of miraculous events carefully directed by God, Elisha's prophecy came true. The fleeing Syrians abandoned all their foodstuffs. And the doubting officer was "accidentally" killed and therefore could not enjoy the food, just as Elisha had announced (verses 2, 17-20).

This passage should serve as a good example for us. Many times, when we are in need and distress, there does not seem to be relief in sight, and we begin to doubt God's powerful might to work miracles. If we can't "see" HOW it could happen, we don't believe THAT it will happen. But we are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 2 Corinthians 5:7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
American King James Version×
). Christ pronounces a special blessing on him who does not see but still believes (John 20:29 John 20:29Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
American King James Version×
). We don't have to know how God will intervene—but we must believe that everything will work out for good as long as we love God (Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
American King James Version×
). But if we doubt, as the officer did, we won't receive anything from God, as James 1:6-8 James 1:6-8 [6] But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. [7] For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. [8] A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
American King James Version×
tells us.