2 Kings 13 – Is God Too Nice?

Have you ever watched someone be taken advantage of over and over again, and thought, “Why do they put up with that? They’re too nice.”

These thoughts come to mind when reading 2 Kings chapter 13. There you find the king of Israel (Jehoahaz) committing adultery and doing what is evil in Gond’s sight. But, when the king and the people suffer the consequences of being harassed and defeated by Aram, King Jehoahaz prays to God and God rescues him and his people. (2 Kings 13:5) Then, in the very next verse, they go back to sinning and committing adultery!

Then, when king Jehoahaz dies, his son (Jehoash) takes over and he too does what is evil in God’s sight; refusing to give up adultery. Over and over again, the Israelites are overrun by the Arameans. So, Jehoash goes to the ailing prophet (Elisha) and cries out in distress. And once again, God grants Israel success over the Arameans.

Why does God keep responding positively to people who keep disobeying Him and ignoring Him? In 2 Peter chapter 3, Peter says the reason God has not brought judgement already is that He’s being loving and patient. He’s giving everyone every opportunity to repent. His lack of exacting judgement is not a lack of justice. It’s a postponing of justice in hopes that people will respond to His love, grace, and mercy…rather than experiencing His judgement.

Where in our lives has God been patient and gracious with us when our actions and attitudes warranted more harsh treatment? Where have we gone our own way, then called out to God…and He rescued us, rather than punished us? Where in our lives has God been “too nice to us?”

Rather than be upset with God for giving the undeserving a second, third, or fourth chance, we need to be grateful for all the second, third, and fourth chances He has given us. (Nehemiah 9:17) – Bret Legg.

2 Kings 6 – Your Insecurity or His Sovereignty?

If you go to garage sales, you know the scene…

  • A variety of clothes hung on a clothesline between two trees.
  • A folding table with random and miscellaneous stuff.
  • Boxes filled with unrelated items.

In short…the organized disorganization of personal items for all to see.

At first, this was how I viewed 2 Kings chapter 6. It looked like several accounts stuck together as randomly as garage sale items…

  • An ax head comes off the ax handle, flies into the river, and is thought to be lost.
  • The user tells Elisha that the ax was borrowed, and Elisha causes the ax head to float up from the bottom of the river, so it can be retrieved.
  • The Syrian army attacks Elisha, but God reveals their movement to Elisha in advance.
  • God shows Elisha’s servant that the Syrian army is greatly outnumbered by God’s forces.
  • God causes the Syrians to not recognize Elisha, and Elisha leads them right into Israel’s hands.
  • Then Elisha says to feed the enemy army and let them go.
  • Due to a blockade by the Syrians, the economy in Israel becomes so bad, that people are literally cooking and eating their own children.
  • The king of Israel blames Elisha for all of this and sends people to seize him and put him to death.
  • Knowing they’ve come to get him, Elisha tells them that by morning there will be plenty of food.

These are great stories, but they seem randomly stuck together. Yet, if you look closely, you will find a common theme. God’s sovereignty! Sovereignty over the physical world, the political world, the international world, and the economic world.

It’s a reminder to us that there’s not an aspect of our lives that God is not completely sovereign over. That’s not to say that things will always work out the way we want, but we don’t have to worry about the end result, for God is sovereign over everything…all the time!

Is your life marked by insecurity over uncertainty or confidence over His sovereignty?

2 Kings 5 – Two Things That Always Make Sense


While in seminary, I served as a hospice chaplain to patients who were diagnosed with 6 months or less to live.

There was a nice and personable patient who sticks in my memory. This man had a wonderful wife, kids, and grandkids. He had just retired and was getting ready to spend retirement traveling when he received his diagnosis. Instead of enjoying a hard-earned retirement traveling around the country, he would live out a few short months confined to a hospital bed in his house.

I remember leaving that home thinking, “There are bad people in this city who will live to a ripe old age. Yet this sweet patient will die early and never enjoy his retirement. This doesn’t make sense!”

I have the same feeling when I read 2 Kings chapter 5. The story doesn’t make sense:

  • A slave girl shows care and compassion toward her captor. (2 Kings 5:3)
  • A ruthless king shows compassion and care for a commander and sends him for healing.
  • God’s king and the servant of God’s prophet both are self-centered and lack compassion.
  • The man in need of healing is prideful and arrogant at first, yet he’s still healed.
  • The servant of God’s prophet ends up with leprosy.

In other words, the people you would have thought to be selfish were compassionate, and the people you would have thought to be compassionate were selfish.


Naaman’s healing came about because of people in his life who were compassionate and cared for him, while Gehazi’s leprosy came about because of his greed and lack of compassion. (2 Kings 5:20)

Care and compassion are two things that always make sense because they are akin to God’s own heart. Selfishness and greed, on the other hand, are forces akin to the evil one.

So, despite the assumptions people might make about you, if they dug down to your core, would they find care and compassion for others or selfishness and greed for yourself? Would they find the heart of God or the heart of the enemy?

2 Kings 4 – Use Your Superpowers

If you had superpowers, what would you do? Most of us would say something like, “help others.” But wouldn’t it be tempting to use your power to do a little grand-standing? And how would you know if you were really using your power to help others or to draw attention to yourself?


In 2 Kings chapter 4, Elisha is doing one miracle after another. And because of the way these events are narrated, it appears that Elisha is showing off. But if you look at the chapter carefully, you find that…

  • Elisha’s interest is always focused on caring for the needs of others.
  • The miracles are often done either behind closed doors (2 Kings 4:4, 33) or in the company of the prophets (2 Kings 4:38-44.) The miracles are not to impress the general public.
  • Elisha acknowledges that he is submissive to the real miracle worker…God. (2 Kings 4:27, 43.)


All of us are like Elisha. We may not be able to do dramatic miracles, but God has given us many other things we could use to benefit others. Things like our:

  • Time.
  • Talent.
  • Resources.
  • Experience.
  • Fruit of the Spirit.
  • Etc.

Though more subtle than Elisha’s miracles, we can take what God has given us and produce one miracle after another in other’s lives.

Are you doing that, or are you taking what God has given you and using it for your own benefit? Are you doing what you do for others behind closed doors, so as to not draw attention to yourself? Do you readily acknowledge that what you have is a gift from God to be gifted to others?

We do have superpowers as believers. Jesus even said that we would do even greater things than He did. (John 14:12) The Spirit that empowered Elisha and raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us as believers.

So, how will you use your superpower?

2 Kings 2 – Little Things

Little things are important. If you don’t do the little things for your car…like changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking the fluid levels…it will lead to big problems. If spouses ignore little things like communication, time together, and encouraging each other, it will lead to big problems in the marriage. We tend to forget, it’s the little things that make the big things possible.

In 2 Kings chapter 2, it’s easy to focus on the big, miraculous things recorded there:

  • Parting the Jordan river.
  • A chariot of fire.
  • Elijah taken up in a whirlwind.
  • Purifying the water.
  • Bears attacking kids.

These are the big things that catch our attention in this chapter.

But there is a little thing that sets the stage for all of these bigger things. What is it? It’s Elisha’s commitment to stay close to Elijah.

Three times, Elisha tells Elijah that he will not leave him. Elisha stays as close as he can to the man of God, refusing to let him out of his sight.

There’s a line from an Aerosmith song that says, “I don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to fall asleep, cause I’ll miss you. And I don’t want to miss a thing.” Elisha didn’t want to miss anything Elijah was going to do. It was this little thing that allowed him to do bigger things.

Could that be the reason we don’t do mighty things for God? Is it because we don’t stay close and keep our eyes on Him? It seems like a small thing to do, but this little thing can make all the difference in the world.

If you want to see big God-sized things in your life, do the small things…like staying close and connected to God.