VERSES: 2 Kings 6:24-7:20
MEMORY VERSE: 2 Kings 7:1 "...Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of flour be sold for a shekle..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review all of the Old Testament books from Genesis to Jonah.
PRAYER: Thank God for our food.
SPECIAL SONG: No, Not One (see June - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog)
- We have studied before about famines and we know that a famine was a time when there was no food for the people to eat. Remember the time when Joseph saved his family from a terrible famine that lasted seven years (Genesis 41:54). Also, there was such a bad famine that Naomi and her family moved to Moab and one of her sons married Ruth (Ruth 1:1). Famines were never good. People always need food to eat and when they don't have any, times are very tough. There are tough times in our lesson today.
- There had been a great famine in Samaria and people were very hungry, but when the king of Syria went up and besieged Samaria, times were terrible. When a city or an area is "besieged", it means that there were no supplies at all coming in to the city or area. Usually it meant that an army had circled the city and had cut off all the food going into the city or area. There would be nothing going into the city. Nothing. No flour. No meat. No vegetables. For a little while, people might be fine, but eventually, people would run out of food in the city and people would get so hungry that they would surrender to the army that was besieging it. This is what Syria was hoping to do to Samaria. It had been a while since any food had come into Samaria, and people were paying a lot of money for anything to eat. They were eating things that normally they would never eat! Times were extremely tough.
- The king was desperate and was looking for someone to blame for the bad times and guess who he chose to blame? That's right! God and his prophet, Elisha! Elisha was sitting in his house talking with the elders when Elisha suddenly knew that the king of Israel had sent a messenger who was coming to kill him, so he said to shut the door and not to let him in. The messenger arrived before Elisha had finished talking. The messenger said that the LORD had made all the terrible things happen to the Samaritans and why should he continue to wait on the LORD to help them?
- Elisha replied that the LORD God said that tomorrow flour would be selling for nearly nothing. An important man who had been meeting in Elisha's house asked how could that be true? He said that even if the LORD would send rain right then, how could that happen? Elisha told him, "You shall see it with your own eyes, but you will not taste any of the food."
- Now there were four men who had leprosy and were about to enter the gate of Samaria. They wondered out loud what to do. Should they go into the city where they knew they would die without any food because there was no food in the city. They also thought about going to the Syrians and hoped they would not be killed, so in the evening, they went into the camp of the Syrian army. But something was very, very strange! There was not one man found in the camp! Not one! The LORD had caused the entire Syrian army to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a huge of amount of people! They thought that the king of Israel had help from his neighbors and they were going to come and kill them, so they ran away as fast as they could and left everything in their tents as the sun was setting.
- As they entered the Syrian camp, the men with leprosy went inside one tent and found that there was plenty of food and valuables, so they took some and went and hid it. They came back and did the same thing to the next tent. But then they thought that they should be sharing the food with the people inside the city, so they went and told the one guarding the city. He went and told the king in the middle of the night, but the king thought it might be a trick to take the city. He thought all the Syrian soldiers were hiding and would come in and take the city if they went out of the city. One of the king's servants suggested that they send out a couple of horses that were still surviving and check it out.
- When the soldiers saw that there were no enemy soldiers in the camp and all the horses were still tied up, they went back and told the king. The people hurried out of the city to see if there was something to eat in the tents,and, just like Elisha said, flour was sold for almost nothing the next day. Elisha's word was true. Also true, the man who was in charge of the gate was the same man that doubted Elisha's word and the Word of God in Elisha's house. There were so many people running out of the city to get food that he was trampled to death in their hurry, so Elisha's words were true again. The man saw the food, but he never tasted any of it. Elisha told the truth.
- Military strategies that were successful in Old Testament times still work today. This tactic of besieging a city is used in many countries to win battles.
- God's Word is true, isn't it? Whatever God says is truth. It doesn't matter if people don't believe God or His prophets, or if they are skeptical, His Word is always true.
ACTIVITY: Envelope Turned Into A Tent
Materials needed: 5" x 7" envelope, scraps of colored paper, scissors, glue, marker.
- Hand out envelope to students.
- Cut off the open flap of envelope.
- Cut off one long edge of envelope.
- Place corner down on table and bend slightly.
- Press down to make a tent.
- Crease edges.
- Cut off excess at bottom of envelope..
- Cut up middle of tent Make sure you are only cutting the top paper and not both papers..
- Fold back 'flaps' of tent.
- Decorate with scraps. For example, make a bed, pillow, boxes of food, shoes, arrows, shield, clothes.
- Write "food" on boxes.
- Make a couple of boxes for the outside of the tent.
- Close tent and write "2 Kings 7:6, 7" and "The Syrians heard a noise of chariots...and left their tents..." (see #12 picture).
- Write "Open Here" by the middle of the tent.
- Hopefully, the tent will stand up on its own. If not, make sure the bottom of the tent is cut straight. (see top picture).
- The students should love their tents that have no men in them. (They are cute!)