VERSES: 2 Kings 6:8-23
MEMORY VERSE: 2 Kings 6:16 "...for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jonah. Write "Jonah" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class for at-home memorization.
PRAYER: Thank God for his constant care and protection.
SPECIAL SONG: On Jordan's Stormy Banks (see June - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Bible map, showing Dothan, Samaria, and Israel. Make an example of the Activity to tell the story. (see below)
- Sometimes we really don't know why kings went into battle against each other. At times, it would be a territorial conflict or land trouble where one king taking another king's land and the other king was forced to fight for his own land or lose it. Other times, one king would want revenge and fight a battle to get even with the king because someone had wronged him. Today's lesson is not so much about the battle, but what Elisha did to stop a battle.
- There were two kings, the King of Syria and the King of Israel. The King of Syria started a fight against Israel. He told all of his servants that his camp would be in a certain place, but the Bible doesn't tell us where he was camped. Elisha, the man of God, sent a messenger to the King of Israel and said do not pass by this certain place because the Syrians will come down and fight you. So the King of Israel was smart and stayed away from that place, and there was no battle. This happened at least three times that the King of Israel was saved by Elisha telling him not to go where the King of Syria was camped.
- The King of Syria was troubled. He couldn't figure out how the King of Israel knew where he was going to be, so he asked his servants which one of them was on the King of Israel's side. The king's servants told the king that none of them were on Israel's side, but they knew that Elisha, the prophet in Israel told the King of Israel everything that the King of Syria said in private.
- The King of Syria told his servants to go and spy on Elisha and find out where he was staying, so that they could bring Elisha back to the king. The king's servants went out and quietly found out that Elisha was in the city of Dothan.
- When the King of Syria found that out, he sent out a great number of chariots and horses and soldiers to capture Elisha at nighttime. There were so many soldiers that they completely circled the city. Then they waited.
- When Elisha's servant got up very early the next morning, he looked out and he saw the tremendous amount of soldiers and chariots and horses. He went straight to Elisha and told him what he saw. Elisha's servant was afraid and asked Elisha, "What are we going to do??" Wise Elisha replied, "Don't be afraid. There are more that are with us than are with them." Elisha knew that God was on their side. Then Elisha prayed to God and asked if his servant's eyes could be opened, so he could see what Elisha saw. The LORD opened the servant's eyes of the young servant and saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire!
- When the Syrians came down to take Elisha back to the King of Syria, Elisha prayed that the LORD would strike the Syrians with blindness and the LORD did as Elisha asked. Elisha went out and told the soldiers that the way they were going was not the right way and that this was not even the right city. The soldiers did not know because they couldn't see anything. Elisha said he would take them to the man they were looking for. Guess where Elisha took the great amount of soldiers who were blind? He took them to Samaria! That was where the king of ISRAEL was!
- When Elisha and the HUGE blinded Syrian army arrived in Samaria, Elisha prayed that all of the Syrian soldiers eyes would be opened. When the LORD granted Elisha his prayer, can you imagine the Syrians surprise when they opened their eyes and they were right in the middle of Samaria, the enemies' city?
- When the King of Israel saw the Syrian soldiers, he asked Elisha two times, "Can I kill them? Can I kill them?" but Elisha said no and asked if the king had taken captives in battle, would he have killed them? Elisha knew that no king would kill the captives he took in battle. Elisha told the king to give them bread and water which the king did. Then the King of Israel did a little more because he sent away the Syrian army with food for their trip back home.
- Do you know what the best part of this story was? For a while, the band of Syrian soldiers did not come back to the land of Israel to fight. Elisha solved a problem and no one was hurt.
- Check on the map where Dothan, Samaria and Israel were located.
- Even kings had ethics when it came to battle, as many of the armies do today. It must have been common knowledge that the kings did not kill captives of war.
Materials needed: one paper bowl, 2" x 4" piece of shiny red paper such as wrapping paper, 2" x 3" scrap of brown paper, tape, marker, scissors, glue.
- Hand out bowls to students. This is the mountain around Elisha's house with the house being in the valley.
- On the outside of the bowl, write "The LORD opened the eyes of Elisha's servant" and "2 Kings 6:8-23."
- On the inside of the bowl, around the edge 2" down, write "For they that be with us are more than they that be with them." and "2 Kings 6:16.
- Fold brown paper in half.
- Fold brown paper in half again. (see top picture). This Elisha's house.
- Tape to secure.
- Write "Elisha's house" on the roof of the house.
- Glue inside the bottom of the bowl.
- Hand out shiny red paper.
- Fold in half, then cut.
- Fold in half again, then cut.
- Keep folding and cutting until the paper can be managed and cut in tiny pieces. These are the horses and chariots of fire that Elisha and his servant saw on the mountain.
- Glue tiny shiny pieces all around the top edge of the bowl, so it looks like Elisha's house is surrounded by horses and chariots of fire.