Elisha: The Humble Hero
By: Carletta Traylor aka C.N.
All of my superhero fans, stand up! Who doesn’t love a good superhero (come on! You know that you do! Haha)?! Regardless of how old we are, or how much technology we owned (or currently own) as kids (comic books and trading cards ROCK…and I’m in my 20s. Haha), most people have at least one favorite superhero-Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Flash, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Thor, Captain America, etc. What do all of these superheroes have in common (I’m glad that you asked!)? Other than having some of the most ridiculous names I’ve ever heard in my life (I mean, really. Who thought that giving superheroes names like Martian Manhunter and Ant-Man was a good idea?! Ah…negative. Please don’t get your fiery fingers of fury ready to convince me that those are good names in the comments section; let’s just agree to disagree. Jesus and I still love you. Haha), many of them possess some grand power that most common folk don’t have-super strength, super speed, X-ray vision, the ability to fly, invisibility, etc.
While these superheroes have grand powers and are able to do great things with them (saving cities from danger, backhanding bad guys into next week, saving the pretty girl from a flaming cupcake balloon in the middle of Tuscon, Arizona (y’all know that it’s hot out there! It’s only a “dry heat.” Oh, yeah? So is a blow torch! Haha), some of them (though not all of them) are cocky, arrogant dipsticks (they think that they’re all of that and a bag of chips, when they’re not even an eighth of that and a half-eaten Dorito! Their heads are so far up their own behinds, they can give themselves a colonoscopy (EWWWWW! Haha). Some superheroes (I won’t name any names. Haha) tend to give themselves too much credit, they make things all about them, and they can’t sleep at night unless they get all of the praise, applause, attention, adoration, and glory in the end (move around, Fred!).
True heroes, however, are humble. A true hero is one that does not make everything about him or her; a true hero is one who genuinely loves and wants to help others, without the need or expectation for praise (they’re not attention hogs! Oink! Oink!). A true hero is one who recognizes that he or she is NOT the source of his or her own strength; he or she recognizes that his or her strength comes from God and God alone. A true hero is a servant above any and everything else.
The greatest hero to ever walk the face of this earth was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God the Father (God Almighty) loved us so much, that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins (bad things that we say, do, don’t do, and/or think, that God doesn’t like), that if we would 1) repent of our sins (ask God to please forgive us of our sins and help us to stop sinning) and 2) trust and believe in Jesus (Jesus is God’s Son, Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day, with all power in his hands, Jesus went back to Heaven with God the Father (where he is now), and Jesus is coming back to take his children home (take all of us believers in Jesus home with him to Heaven forever), and to judge/destroy this world), we would not perish (die in our sins and suffer eternal torment in Hell), but have everlasting life (we’ll be partying with Jesus in Heaven forever, y’all! Aye! Turn up! Ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Haha).
Before Jesus came into the world to become our Lord and Savior, however, God the Father had chosen a man named Elisha to be his primary prophet in Israel (the Israelites were/are God’s people, y’all! His homies! His homeboys! His road dogs! His Day Ones! His home skillet biscuits with butter and jelly on top! His friends! His pals! His…sorry. Haha). If we’ll recall from yesterday’s post, Elijah: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot!, after God took Elijah (God’s greatest prophet and main prophet in Israel) up to the heavens in a fiery, horse-drawn chariot (both the horses and the chariot were on fire, y’all!), Elisha took Elijah’s place as God’s leading prophet in Israel (God appointed Elisha to this position, and Elijah mentored Elisha, preparing him (Elisha) to take his (Elijah’s) place).
God had work for Elisha to do, and Elisha was ready, willing, able, and excited to take on the challenge. The moment that God took Elijah up to the heavens, Elisha hit the ground running (I’m a ride-or-die renegade for the Lord! Let’s blow this popsicle stand! Haha). God had empowered Elisha to perform many miracles that only he himself could perform (and that his Son, Jesus Christ, would perform when he came into the world. Remember, everyone, God takes on three different forms, the Holy Trinity: God the Father (God Almighty), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit, which lives within us and guides us when we repent of our sins and ask Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior), showing that Elisha was truly a man of God, and that God (not Satan-God’s main enemy-or any other fake, phony, fraudulent “gods”) was in control of all things.
Today’s post is going to be a little different (oh, boy. Haha). Whereas I usually break down an entire Bible story into simpler, more understandable terms, I’m simply going to highlight six of Elisha’s miracles in this post-they were truly jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring! Without further ado, let’s take a look at Elisha’s miraculous works (as documented in 2 Kings 4:1-6:7 (KJV)), shall we?
1) The Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4:1-7): When a prophet dies, his widow (surviving wife) and children are left with a huge debt that they cannot pay. The creditor (person whom they owe money to) decide that the widow’s two sons will pay the debt…by becoming slaves (NOOOOOO!!!!). The woman begs Elisha for help, telling him that she only has a single jar of oil in her house. Elisha instructs the woman to borrow empty vessels (vases/pots) from her neighbors, fill them with oil, and sell them for money. God (through Elisha) miraculously provides the woman with enough oil to sell. The widow’s profits were so great that not only was she able to pay off ALL of her family’s debts, but she and her sons were able to live off of the remaining money for the rest of their lives!
2) Resurrecting A Dead Child (Bringing Little Timmy Back To Life!) (2 Kings 4:8-37): A Shunammite woman’s child has died (for the record, we don’t know the child’s name; I just like the name Timmy. Haha), and Elisha performs a divine type of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, if you will: Elisha places his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eye, and his hands on the child’s hands. While Elisha is doing this, the child’s flesh becomes warm (it’s as if Elisha has just transferred some of his living spirit into the boy). The boy suddenly sneezes seven times (the number 7 is very symbolic: it represents good fortune and God himself), and he’s brought back to life. He’s alive! He’s alive!
3) First Feeding Miracle-The Stew Is Safe To Eat! (2 Kings 4:38-41): The people of Gilgal are suffering from a terrible famine-there’s no food or water in the land! Elisha sees a group of prophets sitting before him, and he tells his servants to cook a big pot of stew for them (teaching people about the Kingdom of God can make a person hungry!). One of Elisha’s servants goes to gather herbs from the field, unknowingly grabbing and cooking wild gourds in the stew, which are poisonous and can kill humans. As the prophets began eating the stew, they complained that the soup was deadly (this stew is going to be the death of me! What kind of death trap is this? What have I ever done to you, man?! Don’t do a brother (or sister) like that! Haha). Elisha immediately instructed his servant to put flour in the stew, and when he did, all was well in the world again (not really, but you all know what I mean). The stew was now safe to eat, it was absolutely DELICIOUS, and everyone got full! Hallelujah!
4) Second Feeding Miracle-Elisha Feeds 100 Men (2 Kings 4: 42-44): A man from Baal-Shalishah (that’s the name of a place! He didn’t worship Baal! Ahhhh. What a relief. Haha) brought Elisha 20 loaves of barley (that’s a type of chewy, nutty-flavored grass seed) and fresh ears of grain. Elisha instructed the man to pass the food out and feed a group of 100 people. The man must have thought that Elisha was speaking gibberish (or Spanglish. Haha), as he didn’t know how they were going to feed that many people with a few dinky barley loaves and grain. Elisha assured the man that everyone would eat and get full, AND…get this…there would be leftovers! The man did as Elisha had instructed him to do, and SURE ENOUGH, God miraculously fed all 100 people, and…get this again…there were leftovers!
5) Naaman the Syrian Is Healed of Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-27): I dedicated an entire blog post to this miracle! Haha. Long story short, Naaman was a great army commander in the country of Aram (he and his boys could tear up some serious enemy tushy! They kicked butt, took names, chewed bubble gum, and asked questions later! Haha), but he had leprosy (an infectious skin disease that produces red or white-colored bumps, reduced sensation, numbness, and weakness in the hands and feet). One of Naaman’s wife’s young female servants told her about Elisha, and how Elisha could heal Naaman of his leprosy (there was no cure for leprosy back then, though we do have a cure today!).
As such, Naaman went to his king (explaining that he wanted to visit Elisha in Israel), and his king sent him to Israel’s king, with gifts and a letter in hand, asking the king of Israel to heal him of his leprosy. The king of Israel knew that he didn’t know how to cure anyone of leprosy, and as such, he became angry upon reading Naaman’s letter: he thought that the king of Aram wanted to fight him. Naaman explained that he had heard great things about this prophet, this man of God, Elisha, and he wished to see him for himself.
The king of Israel allowed Naaman to visit Elisha’s home, and when he did, Elisha’s messenger told Naaman to go wash himself in the Jordan River seven times-if he did this, he would be healed of his leprosy. Naaman followed Elisha’s messenger’s instructions (not without first complaining about how special he was and how Elisha should have greeted a man of his stature himself and blady-blady-blah! Haha), dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times (Elisha said “wash,” but Naaman only “dipped” himself in the Jordan River seven times…that scared weenie. Haha), and he was healed of his leprosy!
In a hilarious turn of events, one of Elisha’s servants, Gehazi, tried to trick Naaman into giving him silver (money! Cha-ching!) and clothing-Gehazi lied and said that Elisha had requested this of Naaman (Elisha had requested no such thing!). Once Gehazi returned home and spilled the beans to Elisha, Elisha inflicted Gehazi with leprosy! That’s right, everyone! The very disease that Elisha had healed Naaman from, he now gave to Gehazi (as punishment for being a lying, cheating, money-hungry dipstick. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. See Spot Run (this only refers to Gehazi, not anyone actually suffering from leprosy. I’m not a mean, cruel person. Haha)!).
6) The Floating Ax Head (2 Kings 6:1-7): Elisha was teaching a group of faithful believers about the Kingdom of God, and they felt that their classroom was overcrowded (Elisha was gaining more and more of a faithful following, and his students wanted a bigger space for them to meet in). As such, they decided to build a bigger meeting space near the Jordan River for their growing community…with Elisha’s supervision. While the students were cutting down trees, one of the guys had a little accident: his iron ax head broke off and fell into the water (at that time, it took many hours of intense labor and preparation to create an ax like that; such an ax was very valuable, and very expensive). To make matters worse, the ax was borrowed-these boys were poor and couldn’t afford to replace their buddy’s ax! When the student asked Elisha for help, Elisha asked him where the ax had fallen, Elisha cut off a stick, he threw it into the water, and the iron ax head began to float (skip flying saucers! We have floating ax heads! Haha)! Elisha told the boy to pick the ax head up, and he just reached out and grabbed it! Problem solved!
As we can all see, God empowered Elisha to perform many wondrous miracles during his lifetime (this was a preview of the similar, but GREATER, miracles that Jesus Christ would perform when he came into the world). Through all of these miracles, Elisha remained HUMBLE. At no point in time did Elisha think that HE was so great, that HE was so special, or that HE had the power to perform miracles. Elisha always recognized God’s power and authority in his life-he worshipped God, he served God, and God gave him the power to perform the wondrous miracles that he did. Elisha gave God the credit for all that he had done, and that, my friends, makes Elisha a true hero.
Given the length and nature of today’s post, I will not do a modern-day remix of it. Never fear, though (I won’t do y’all bogus like that!)! I have instead included a wonderful video from The Holy Tales: Bible, summarizing Elisha’s life beautifully (the video also includes information that we haven’t discussed yet! Bonus! Haha).
The Holy Tales: Bible-Stories Of Elisha (YouTube):
I hope that you all enjoyed today’s post (I know that I did. Haha)! There will be plenty more articles where this one came from! Until then, I love you all, God bless you all, and I’ll see you all on the next one!