Crossroads: Elisha – But That’s Ridiculous!

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2 Kings 5:1-19

My Story

As a child, I loved to watch a show called Doug. It was an animated show about a boy named Doug who has moved to a new town and started a brand new school. It follows his adventures with his best friends, Skeeter and Patti, and his dog, Porkchop. In this show, there was a bully named Roger who always tried to embarrass Doug. One day Roger convinced Doug that he could be popular and special if he could only catch a Neematode. Of course, this was a mythical creature that didn’t actually exist, and although Doug makes himself look silly, he eventually convinces Roger that they are, in fact, real.

Some stories or things seem so crazy or silly that they seem to be untrue. Many of us laugh at old wives’ tales because we think there’s no way those could be true. One old wives’ tale, for example, is that you can catch a cold simply by being out in the cold. Sounds like something made up by parents to keep kids inside on cold days right? The truth is that cold weather doesn’t carry more germs than warm weather. But it does lower our defenses, which can cause us to get colds. Here’s another: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Sounds like it’s designed to make children eat fruit right? Researchers have said that apples may help fight everything from cancer to strokes.

Sometimes directions or warnings sound so ridiculous that there’s no way they are true. And yet, sometimes they are, as Namaan found out from Elisha in our Bible story today.

Your Story

Has someone ever told you something that sounded ridiculous but worked when you tried it? Have you been surprised to find out something was true and not made up? Take a few minutes with your children to tell those stories, or look up some strange but true stories on the Internet.

The Bible Story

Read 2 Kings 5:1-19.

Elisha was a prophet who studied under the prophet Elijah and succeeded him after Elijah was taken up to heaven. He performed miracles and told the people about visions God gave him. In this miracle story in 2 Kings, we find Elisha performing a miracle without ever seeing Namaan.

In 2 Kings 5:1-19, Namaan was prepared to do whatever necessary to be healed of his skin disease. He traveled with a good bit of money and clothing in the hopes that the prophet Elisha would be able to cure him. But when he got to Elisha’s house, Elisha didn’t even come outside! Instead, he sent a message out to tell him to go wash in the Jordan River. This suggestion sounded crazy to Namaan. He knew for sure it wouldn’t work. After all, if a bath would’ve cured him, he would’ve already been cured. Plus there were other rivers that were a lot cleaner than the Jordan River. Angry and dejected, he left Elisha’s house. Then one of his servants convinced him that he should at least try Elisha’s suggestion. After all, he was prepared to do much worse to be healed. And amazingly enough, once he washed seven times in the Jordan River, he was healed, just as Elisha had said. This cure that seemed ridiculous actually worked! After that, Namaan began to serve God.

Sometimes the easy way seems to be too easy. There’s no way that could work. And sometimes that is true. But other times, we, like Namaan, find that all we need is a little push and an easy solution to change our whole lives. It is always easy to come before God—all you have to do is start talking to Him. Although many times it is hard to follow the Christian life, God has made it very easy for us to find Him. He is always there, sometimes giving us a little push like Namaan’s servant, waiting for us to invite Him in. And once we take that step, He can change our lives.

Discussion

• Why do you think it was hard for Namaan to take the easy way? Why do you think he didn’t follow Elisha’s directions in the beginning?
• Talk about things that seem to be too good to be true—name specific examples. Are these things in fact too good to be true, or are they real?
• Talk about ways you can know if it is God showing you a direction or if it’s you wanting to take the easy way out (how your conscience feels, what others who are following God diligently say, etc).

Action and Prayer

• Is there a decision that you or your family needs to make that seems to be too good to be true? Do you feel that it is, or do you feel God calling you to take a leap? Discuss any decisions you feel called to make.
• Ask God to help you and your family make the decisions He wants you to make, easy or not.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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