While 2 Kings has a lot to do with kings, it also follows the adventures of a new prophet, Elisha. You may remember from last week that Elijah was pretty much the coolest prophet in the world. He did all sorts of miracles and other cool stuff. Well at the beginning of 2 Kings, Elijah is just finishing up his ministry and by chapter two, he's suddenly on a chariot of fire and horses on his way to heaven. That may sound crazy, but you gotta remember, that's pretty much how Elijah rolled. "Crazy" for me and you is "normal" for him. He probably dipped his french fries in applesauce, and people would be like, "Elijah, that is crazy." and he'd be all, "what, you don't dip your fries in applesauce?" That's how crazy he was!
Less -Jah, More -Sha
So pay close attention here.... Early in 2 Kings, Elijah leaves the scene and Elisha is now the big prophet on campus. You may remember Elisha from 1 Kings too. He showed up midway through and was mentored by Elijah. Elisha was like the incoming freshman and Elijah was the senior. It doesn't necessarily say anything about it in the Bible (as a general rule I never let that stop me from speculating), but I'd bet Elijah did some sort of initiation week for Elisha. You know, like duct-taping him to the temple door, or telling him that cow dung was manna just to see the look on his face when he bit into it. Elijah just seems like that kind of dude. Remember in 1 Kings how he teased the false prophets that their god was busy on the toilet? Elijah, you so crazy!
A New Kind of Crazy
So Elisha is now the prophet in the land. Apparently, he paid close attention to his mentor, because he doesn't waste time gettin' his crazy on. One of the weirdest stories was when some teenagers teased him because he's bald, Elisha got all bizarro Dr. Doolittle and called out 2 bears from the woods and "they mauled 42 of the youths." That's one way to get kids to respect their elders and keep bears well fed. (Was that too far? If so I apologize.)
Please Pass the Salt
As much as I wanted to do a bears-maul-teenagers design, it just didn't work out (but I did do one later on), so I ended up choosing a different Elisha story. He's hangin' in Jericho and apparently the spring that supplies all the water for the city became dirty and unusable. People know Elisha has some mad God-power skills so they go tell him about their water problem and he drops some salt in the spring and God heals the water. I like this story because it seems like something that God is always doing. Throughout the Bible there are many instances of God taking something unclean and making it clean. Redeeming it, no matter how many times it gets dirty. Based on how often I screw up, I'm glad he has that type of patience and persistance. In fact, I may need some cleaning up after that bear feeding comment above.
Next week we jump into the chronicles of 1 Chronicles.