The LORD Is My Helper

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of II Kings, there is the story of Ben-hadad, the King of Syria, who wanted to get rid of the Prophet and man of God, Elisha, because he spoke against the king. Elisha even went so far as pointing out what the king spoke in the privacy of his bedchamber (II Kings 6:8-12).

The king sent spies throughout the land to locate the man of God so Ben-hadad could have him executed. When the spies returned, Ben-hadad found out that Elisha was residing in Dothan, which is approximately forty-five miles north of Jerusalem, near the Mount of Gilban. Ben-hadad sent his army out to go and fetch Elisha in the middle of the night, prefiguring Jesus’ arrest also at night (John 18:3 ff).

Let us follow the story along and see how the LORD, Jehovah helped Elisha out of this current danger:

II Kings 6:14-18:
-14: Therefore sent he {Ben-hadad} thither horses, and chariots, and a great host {a very large army}: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
-15: And when the servant of the man of God {Elisha’s servant or understudy} was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
-16: And he {Elisha} answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
-17: And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD {Jehovah}, I pray thee {kill all my   enemies! No he did not; perhaps there is a lesson here; See Romans 12:14-21}, open his eyes {Elisha’s servant}, that he may see. And the LORD {Jehovah} opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
-18: And when they {the great host of the enemy} came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD {Jehovah}, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

Wow, this is quite a wonderful story! Yet it is only one of hundreds, which are written to inspire our hearts to also look unto our heavenly Father and His strength, for He is always with us. So, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6). It should be noted that the blindness and disorientation of the enemy army was short-lived, and they even received a free meal out of the deal (II Kings 6:21-23).

The story continues:

II Kings 6:19-20:
-19: And Elisha said unto them {the enemy army that came to get him}, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria {right into their enemy’s camp}.
-20: And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD {Jehovah}, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD {Jehovah} opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

Imagine the puzzled looks on the faces of the Syrian army as they found themselves in the predicament of being in Samaria, and seeing that they were surrounded not by horses and chariots of fire, but by their sworn enemies.

As this story is in the Bible, we must also look for him who is the subject of Scripture, Jesus Christ. Elisha was a Prophet and foreshadowed Christ, just as each and every Prophet in the Old Testament had done. At every point in the Scriptures we can find revealed features of Christ, and as well, every event in the Bible reflects Jesus’ ministry.

Elisha became the Prophet of the LORD, after the Prophet Elijah. (Elijah in the New Testament is spelled Elias ― Elias is the Greek form of the Hebrew word for Elijah.) Similar to the relationship between Elijah and Elisha, Jesus superseded John the Baptist, as we in grace have been baptized into Christ, and in the holy spirit (Acts 1:5).

I always remember which of the two Prophets came first by the spelling of their names. The first prophet’s name starts with the letters Elij, while the second name begins with the letters Elis, and “j” in Elijah comes before the “s” in Elisha. This may help you keep them separated when reading for understanding and enjoyment.

Elisha was anointed with a double portion of the same spirit of God that Elijah had upon him (II Kings 2:9), in the Old Testament the prophets received certain measures (or amounts) of the spirit, and Elisha with a double measure performed double the miracles of Elijah being twice as powerful (See below). Elisha was a precursor to Jesus who received the spirit without measure (John 3:34) at the time of his baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). Correspondingly, in the Gospels, John the Baptist said, “He {Jesus} must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), and he did, and Jesus did, as Elisha doubly increased after Elijah. Whether we are studying Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, or any of the other prophets in the Bible, they always add something uniquely special that focuses on the life of Jesus, giving us more insight about his life.

The LORD Jehovah answered Elisha’s prayers, as witnessed in the story above, and when Jesus prayed to Jehovah, he said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always” (John 11:41-42).

As Elijah and Elisha were prophets of God and foreshadowed Jesus, John the Baptist was also a prophet (Mark 11:32), and foreshadowed Jesus the Prophet (Matthew 21:11). Elijah was a living forerunner to Elisha; John was a living forerunner to Jesus, and (ta-da!) Jesus is a living “forerunner” (to God) for us ― us who become the endeared children of God. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil {to God’s heavenly home}; Whither {where} the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever” (Hebrews 6:19-20).

Matthew 17:12-13:
-12: But I say unto you, That Elias {Elijah} is come already {See Malachi 3:4, 4:5-6}, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed {pleased}. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
-13: Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Jesus uses Elias (Elijah) as an example to explain John the Baptist as his forerunner, in the same manner as we have shown you the relationship of Elijah to Elisha or John to Jesus. John was an Old Testament Prophet (not a New Testament Prophet), as Jesus said, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until {or to include} John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias {Elijah}, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:13-14), for John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and witnessed to Israel about the Messiah, and this he did. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him {the Son of God} might believe” (John 1:6-7). As John fulfilled his ministry, we receive “it” i.e., we received the understanding that John foreshadowed Jesus’ ministry as Elijah had done.

Today in Christ, we were, “Buried with him {Jesus} in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12, also See Romans 6:4, I Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:5).

The eight miracles of Elijah and the sixteen miracles of Elisha are briefly noted below. The student of the Word is welcomed to look at them in much more detail at leisure, all prefiguring the miraculous life Jesus would display for humanity in the Gospel age.

Elijah’s miracles:

  1. The closing off of Heaven’s rain – I kings 17:1
  2. Food and oil multiplied – I kings 17:14
  3. The widow’s son raised – I kings 17:22-23
  4. Fire from Heaven – I Kings 18:38
  5. Rain from Heaven – I Kings 18:45
  6. The fire of Heaven on fifty-one – II Kings 1:10
  7. The fire of Heaven on fifty-one (more) – II Kings 1:12
  8. Parted the Jordan river – II Kings 1:12

Elisha’s miracles:

  1.  Parted the Jordan river – II Kings 2:14
  2.  The healing of the water – II Kings 2:21
  3.  Bears out of wood – II Kings 2:24
  4.  Provided water for kings – II Kings 3:20
  5.  Provided oil for the widow – II Kings 4:1-6
  6.  The gift of a son – II Kings 4:16-17
  7.  Raised a child from the dead – II Kings 4:35
  8.  Healing of pottage – II Kings 4:39-41
  9.  Multiplying of bread – II Kings 4:43-44
  10. King Naaman’s leprosy healed – II Kings 5:10-14
  11. The betrayer Gehazi smitten – II Kings 5:27
  12. Caused an iron ax-head to float on the water – II Kings 6:6
  13. From spiritual blindness to spiritual sight – II Kings 6:17
  14. Causing blindness – II Kings 6:18
  15. Restoring sight – II Kings 6:20
  16. Elisha raises the dead after Elisha himself died – II Kings 13:21

Number 16 reminds me of Samson, “So the dead which he {Samson} slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life,”― Judges 16:30, and those in Christ, all shall live.

Elisha gave physical life to one person after his death (See number 16 above). Jesus died to give life to the entire world and so that we could have eternal life because “by the grace of God {Jesus} should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

Both Elijah and Elisha had parted the Jordan River for they had the LORD God, Who was their helper, and the purpose for parting the river is actually quite a simple one, they did this to get the other side ― end of story. Jesus had done some similar things in his life, such as stilling a hurricane upon the sea, and walking on water, and passing through the heavens (Ephesians 4:10, Hebrews 4:14), as he parted the spiritual way for all believers to follow. He also left us examples to follow his believing so we could live in miraculous ways.

Flying High

“Christ’s faith gives the Christian believer the feeling of flying high because God has, raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus– Ephesians 2:6, and ye are risen with him {Christ} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead– Colossians 2:12.” ~LMJ~