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Elisha and the three kings

The Moabites, a valley filled with blood and defeat.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish
Elisha went towards Carmel, and then to Samaria. By now his reputation had grown. Word got around that God worked miracles through him. Many people respected him, and some even feared him. Even the local kings considered him to be very important. – Slide 1
In fact, it wasn’t long before the kings needed Elisha’s help. The problem was a war they wanted to fight. <br/>King Jehoram was king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who worshipped false idols. He had persuaded King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom of Israel and the King of Edom to join him and march to fight against their enemy - the Moabites. The three armies started out, but after a while, they realised they had not brought enough water with them. – Slide 2
King Jehoram started to moan and grumble. <br/>‘We’ve come all this way and by the time we get to the battle we’ll be too weak to fight!’ he said. ‘The Moabites will destroy us!’ <br/>King Jehoshaphat brightened up. ‘Hey, cheer up!’ he replied, ‘There might be a prophet of the Lord round here. He’ll tell us what to do!’ – Slide 3
One of King Jehoram’s servants butted in. <br/>‘Excuse me your highness,’ he said. ‘Just down there is the prophet Elisha. He’s the one who took over from the prophet Elijah.’ <br/>‘Great!’ said the king. ‘The Lord speaks through him – let’s go and visit the fellow!’ – Slide 4
So the three kings went off down the hill to visit Elisha. Quite a distinguished crowd to show up at the door you might say? And how do you think Elisha welcomed them? <br/>Well ... actually, he didn’t. In fact, Elisha wasn’t too happy about this bunch of royals showing up at his door. – Slide 5
‘What do you want here King Jehoram?” said Elisha, ‘Get back to your idols, and talk to your false prophets! Don’t waste your time coming here!’ <br/>The three kings were surprised at this reception. Most people bowed and showed great respect. – Slide 6
Jehoram tried to be a bit more humble. ‘If you don’t help us,’ he said, ‘our three armies will be trampled to death by our enemies - the Moabites. You wouldn’t want that would you?’ <br/>Elisha listened and tried to calm down a bit. – Slide 7
‘Get me someone to play some music,' he said. <br/>A musician turned up with a harp and started into a tune. Elisha listened to the music for a while and calmed down. Now he could think without feeling too annoyed with these three wicked kings cluttering up his doorway. – Slide 8
‘The Lord says dig ditches all over this valley,’ said Elisha, ‘because soon there will be water all over this valley. And the Lord says that you will slaughter the Moabites, and when you do that the Lord wants you to bung up their wells and throw rocks all over their paddocks.’ – Slide 9
The three kings went back to their armies and told them what to do. <br/>‘Phew!’ muttered the soldiers. ‘That means a lot of hard work!’ <br/>But the soldiers obeyed orders and started digging ditches – it was a strange way to fight a war. – Slide 10
The ditches were finally dug and the armies had a good night’s sleep. While they snored, something came creeping slowly through the valley. <br/>It was water! It poured across the land and filled the valley from one side to the other, following the ditches and overflowing everywhere. – Slide 11
And in the morning the sky was deep, beautiful and rosy red. When the Moabite soldiers woke up and went out of their tents, they saw a dreadful sight. The valley looked as if it was filled with blood! <br/>And when the three kings and their armies looked across the valley it looked like the Moabites had done an awful lot of bleeding! – Slide 12
‘Charge!’ shouted the three kings. The Moabites were confused and amazed. They were so befuddled they forgot how to fight properly, so when the three kings with their armies arrived, they fell like ripe fruit. <br/>Soon the Moabite army was completely wiped out. – Slide 13
The king of the Moabites thought that perhaps his idol was angry with him, so he rushed home and very foolishly offered his eldest son as a sacrifice to his idol. Well of course this did no good at all because there is only one true, living God, so the king lost the battle, and his territory, and his army, and his son as well. – Slide 14
It was thanks to the Lord that the battle was won, but do you think the kings learned this, and changed their ways? <br/>No, not one scrap. They carried on as if nothing had happened, and Elisha went on with his life as if they had never visited him. <br/>Now, if you want to know what happened after that, read it for yourself in the Bible. – Slide 15
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