Posted by: phillipmway | March 21, 2011

Dead Men’s Bones

A Cave used as a Grave.

In 2 Kings 13 we read that Elisha the prophet became sick and after one last prophecy to the king of Israel, he died and was buried. As the seasons changed and spring was springing, it came time for war. The winter rains and the barren cold were being replaced by warmer and longer days, and armies were on the march. Groups of men from Moab began to attack without warning.

One day, as a man was being buried, the friends and family who were burying him spied a band of these raiders and so they rushed to finish the burial. When they did this they lowered the body down into the grave of Elisha, which was likely a cave that had been covered with a stone and had many caverns or rooms for burying dead bodies. As this particular body was hurriedly put into Elisha’s grave it touched Elisha’s remains, and the Bible says that when his body touched Elisha’s bones this dead man came back to life.

Yes indeed, what an awakening. This man was dead and when his body touched Elish’s bones, he was resurrected and stood up. I imagine he wanted out of the grave rather urgently. We are not told anything more about it here but can you imagine the scene? Grieving family and friends attempting to save their lives from this band of marauding radiers hurredly buries their deceased loved on only to have him stand up and climb out of the grave.

What a testimony to the power of God. Even though dead, Elisha’s bones still conveyed the power of God. We have to remember that it is not the person, the minister, the counselor, the preacher, or the Christian who has power in and of him or herself. That power comes from God. Here Elisha’s bones prove that not even death can stop the power of God.

One illustration that we can use from this text is to remember that it is not by power, or by might, but “by My Spirit says the Lord.” Often we rely on the tactics and programs of man to do the work of God. We think we have to add to the Bible, or make it interesting, or liven it up and make it attractive, but the truth is that the power of God is at His disposal as He desires, and He is able even to use a boring preacher or a pitiful presentation to save souls! Why? The power is not in the preacher or the person – it is in the Word by the Spirit.

This is why Jonathan Edwards could preach a sermon in a monotone voice with no emotion or intonantion and those who heard were grabbing the pillars and pews for fear that the floor was opening up and they were about to fall into the flames of hell. That is exactly what happened when he preached “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

It is not new or exciting methodology that we need in the church today. It is power – the power of God flowing through usable vessels. Think about it, if God is able to raise a man from the dead through a dead man’s bones, what can He do through a living Church?

Join us this coming Sunday, March 27, for worship at 10:30AM as we study Hebrews 11:35 in the next message from our series through Hebrews 11. This message is titled “Faith in the Face of Death” and in it we will look at the accounts from Scripture of those who were raised from the dead and what role faith played in these supernatural events.


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