To my surprise and delight, 2 Kings chapter 3 has lessons on faith- ask, act & receive! This past week, my scripture study covered 2 Kings 2-7. I don’t remember many details from my previous studies of this section of the Old Testament, and it can be a bit confusing. While studying the scriptures, I often turn to podcasts and other resources to help me understand. One of my favorite resources is the Seminary student manual.
Here’s a bit from the manual:
In 2 Kings 3:1–15, we learn that after Ahaziah (Ahab’s son and successor) died, his brother Jehoram became the king of Israel. The Moabites, who had been paying tribute (taxes) to Israel, rebelled against Jehoram, who then sought help from Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. These two kings, along with the king of Edom, united to stop the Moabite rebellion.
After these three kings had traveled together for seven days, there was not enough water for the soldiers or their animals. Jehoshaphat and the other kings turned to Elisha, the prophet of the Lord, for guidance. Elisha assisted the kings.Old Testament Seminary Student Material
Ask for Guidance
While the Israelites were inconsistent in keeping the covenant made with the Lord, I am grateful they turned to the prophet when they were in distress. Asking for guidance demonstrates the Israelites’ faith- even when it didn’t seem like they believed.
Can’t we all relate to turning to the Lord in times of need? Sometimes we are like the Israelites and only turn to the Lord when we have exhausted all options we can figure out on our own- or the situation seems impossible! I know that I do this more often than I admit.
Act in Faith
Here’s Elisha’s answer to their request for water:
And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.2 Kings 3:16-17
I love that the army was told to dig ditches for the water, and they did! I think it’s vital when we pray to then have faith to take action to prepare to receive the blessing. “Faith is a principle of action and of power.”
Taking action also demonstrates that we believe the desired outcome is on its way! I love this quote, and it’s excellent advice!
Receive with an Open Mind
The water didn’t come as the army expected it- in this case, rain! Often we think we know HOW something should show up for us. Faith also helps us to let go of the WAY and instead focus on the RESULT. Faith “carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for.
The following morning, the Moabites saw the sun reflecting off the water and thought it was blood. They incorrectly assumed that the three kings’ sldiers had fought each other in a bloody battle! The Moabites entered the city expecting to easily defeat any remaining defense and take any remaining valuables.
Instead, the Moabites met the combined armies that had been refreshed with meat and clean water. If it had rained, the Moabites wouldn’t have been caught off guard when they entered the city, and the outcome could have been much different.
I love that we can learn even from the war chapters of the scriptures! I didn’t know 2 Kings chapter 3 contains several lessons on faith.
- Ask for guidance by turning to the Lord and following the prophet.
- Demonstrate true faith by taking action in preparing to receive requested blessings.
- Be open to receiving answers to prayers and blessings in other ways than expected.