The One where they Ate their Children

Now as the King of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried out to him, “Help, my lord king!”

He said, “No! Let the LORD help you. How can I help you? From the threshing floor or from the wine press?” But then the king asked her, “What is your complaint?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son; we will eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son and we will eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.”

When the king heard the words of the woman he tore his clothes . . .  and he said, “So may God do to me, and more, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat stays on his shoulders today.” (2Ki 6:26-31)

King Jeroram had been leading his people in evil ways which has caused the city to be under siege by an army. His people can’t get food so they resort to eating their children.  Not good on so many levels.

But notice, the King not only doesn’t think it is his job to take care of his people, he sends his thoughts and prayers when they ask for help: “Let God help you.”  He doesn’t take responsibility.  He doesn’t try to help. He doesn’t even take action against this horrible crime. Instead… he blames the prophet Elisha by sending out an ancient tweet: Today I will cut off Elisha’s head!

Why blame your local prophet?

Elisah, the prophet, had made King Jeroram aware that because of his evil,  a siege was coming where desperate men and women end up eating their children. The ancient book of Deuteronomy goes on to say that when that happens, worse will follow:

“God will overwhelm both you and your offspring with severe and lasting afflictions and grievous maladies . . . until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:52-59).

King Jeroram is scared. It seems that, in his mind, Elisha was supposed to make things right with God. But that isn’t how prophets work – they warn you to repent and the rest is pretty much between you and God.

If you were Elisha, what would you tell the powers today to repent of?

April’s Books


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