April 12: Day 102

Reading: 2 Kings 4-7, Psalm 102 (ESV)

2 Kings 4

Elisha and the Widow's Oil

1Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves." 2And Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?" And she said, "Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil." 3Then he said, "Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside." 5So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6When the vessels were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her, "There is not another." Then the oil stopped flowing. 7She came and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest."

Elisha and the Shunammite Woman

8One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. 9And she said to her husband, "Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there."

11One day he came there, and he turned into the chamber and rested there. 12And he said to Gehazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite." When he had called her, she stood before him. 13And he said to him, "Say now to her, 'See, you have taken all this trouble for us; what is to be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?'" She answered, "I dwell among my own people." 14And he said, "What then is to be done for her?" Gehazi answered, "Well, she has no son, and her husband is old." 15He said, "Call her." And when he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16And he said, "At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son." And she said, "No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant." 17But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.

Elisha Raises the Shunammite's Son

18When the child had grown, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19And he said to his father, "Oh, my head, my head!" The father said to his servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died. 21And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out. 22Then she called to her husband and said, "Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again." 23And he said, "Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath." She said, "All is well." 24Then she saddled the donkey, and she said to her servant, "Urge the animal on; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you." 25So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, "Look, there is the Shunammite. 26Run at once to meet her and say to her, 'Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?'" And she answered, "All is well." 27And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, "Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me." 28Then she said, "Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me?'" 29He said to Gehazi, "Tie up your garment and take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not reply. And lay my staff on the face of the child." 30Then the mother of the child said, "As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So he arose and followed her. 31Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. Therefore he returned to meet him and told him, "The child has not awakened."

32When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36Then he summoned Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite." So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, "Pick up your son." 37She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.

Elisha Purifies the Deadly Stew

38And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, "Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets." 39One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it. 41He said, "Then bring flour." And he threw it into the pot and said, "Pour some out for the men, that they may eat." And there was no harm in the pot.

42A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, "Give to the men, that they may eat." 43But his servant said, "How can I set this before a hundred men?" So he repeated, "Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, 'They shall eat and have some left.'" 44So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.


2 Kings 5

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. 2Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. 3She said to her mistress, "Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy." 4So Naaman went in and told his lord, "Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel." 5And the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel."

So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy." 7And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me."

8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel." 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. 10And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean." 11But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants came near and said to him, "My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" 14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Gehazi's Greed and Punishment

15Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, "Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant." 16But he said, "As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none." And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, "If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord. 18In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter." 19He said to him, "Go in peace."

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him." 21So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?" 22And he said, "All is well. My master has sent me to say, 'There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.'" 23And Naaman said, "Be pleased to accept two talents." And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi. 24And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed. 25He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, "Where have you been, Gehazi?" And he said, "Your servant went nowhere." 26But he said to him, "Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.


2 Kings 6

The Axe Head Recovered

1Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, "See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there." And he answered, "Go." 3Then one of them said, "Be pleased to go with your servants." And he answered, "I will go." 4So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, "Alas, my master! It was borrowed." 6Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7And he said, "Take it up." So he reached out his hand and took it.

Horses and Chariots of Fire

8Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, "At such and such a place shall be my camp." 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there." 10And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

11And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?" 12And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." 13And he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him." It was told him, "Behold, he is in Dothan." 14So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16He said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see." So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, "Please strike this people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19And Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." And he led them to Samaria.

20As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, "My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?" 22He answered, "You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master." 23So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.

Ben-hadad's Siege of Samaria

24Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver. 26Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, "Help, my lord, O king!" 27And he said, "If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?" 28And the king asked her, "What is your trouble?" She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.' 29So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, 'Give your son, that we may eat him.' But she has hidden her son." 30When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath on his body— 31and he said, "May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today."

32Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived Elisha said to the elders, "Do you see how this murderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?" 33And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, "This trouble is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?"


2 Kings 7

Elisha Promises Food

1But Elisha said, "Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria." 2Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, "If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" But he said, "You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it."

The Syrians Flee

3Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? 4If we say, 'Let us enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die." 5So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. 6For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us." 7So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives. 8And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them.

9Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king's household." 10So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city and told them, "We came to the camp of the Syrians, and behold, there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied and the donkeys tied and the tents as they were." 11Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was told within the king's household. 12And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, "I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, 'When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.'" 13And one of his servants said, "Let some men take five of the remaining horses, seeing that those who are left here will fare like the whole multitude of Israel who have already perished. Let us send and see." 14So they took two horsemen, and the king sent them after the army of the Syrians, saying, "Go and see." 15So they went after them as far as the Jordan, and behold, all the way was littered with garments and equipment that the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. And the messengers returned and told the king.

16Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17Now the king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. And the people trampled him in the gate, so that he died, as the man of God had said when the king came down to him. 18For when the man of God had said to the king, "Two seahs of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria," 19the captain had answered the man of God, "If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?" And he had said, "You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it." 20And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.


Psalm 102

Do Not Hide Your Face from Me

A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord.


1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;

let my cry come to you!

2 Do not hide your face from me

in the day of my distress!

Incline your ear to me;

answer me speedily in the day when I call!

3 For my days pass away like smoke,

and my bones burn like a furnace.

4 My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;

I forget to eat my bread.

5 Because of my loud groaning

my bones cling to my flesh.

6 I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,

like an owl of the waste places;

7 I lie awake;

I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.

8 All the day my enemies taunt me;

those who deride me use my name for a curse.

9 For I eat ashes like bread

and mingle tears with my drink,

10 because of your indignation and anger;

for you have taken me up and thrown me down.

11 My days are like an evening shadow;

I wither away like grass.

12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;

you are remembered throughout all generations.

13 You will arise and have pity on Zion;

it is the time to favor her;

the appointed time has come.

14 For your servants hold her stones dear

and have pity on her dust.

15 Nations will fear the name of the Lord,

and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.

16 For the Lord builds up Zion;

he appears in his glory;

17 he regards the prayer of the destitute

and does not despise their prayer.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,

so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:

19 that he looked down from his holy height;

from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,

20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,

to set free those who were doomed to die,

21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,

and in Jerusalem his praise,

22 when peoples gather together,

and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;

he has shortened my days.

24 "O my God," I say, "take me not away

in the midst of my days—

you whose years endure

throughout all generations!"

25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26 They will perish, but you will remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,

27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.

28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;

their offspring shall be established before you.