The Dry Valley Filled With Water
The Dry Valley Filled With Water (2 Kings 3)
1. This event takes place during the days of the prophet Elisha.
A. Elisha's name means, “God is my salvation.”
B. As a prophet, he was indwelt by the spirit of Christ. 1PE 1:10-11.
C. Thus we can see Christ in his life, ministry and miracles. JOH 5:39.
2. This narrative begins by introducing the reign of Jehoram the son of Ahab, over Israel. vs. 1-3.
A. Although his wickedness was not to the degree of his parents, he still wrought evil in God's
B. He put away the image of Baal that his father made, but he clave to the idolatry instituted
(1) Jeroboam's idolatry was instituted to secure the kingdom of Israel from the
kingdom of Judah. 1KI 12:26-33.
(2) “Those do not truly, nor acceptably, repent or reform, who only part with the sins
that they lose by, but continue their affection to the sins that they get by.”
3. The king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. vs. 4-5.
A. This king of Israel was Jehoram's brother, Ahaziah, who reigned before him after the death of their father Ahab. 1KI 22:40; 2KI 1:1.
B. Moab had been a tributary to Israel from the days of David in fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy. NUM 24:17 c/w 2SAM 8:2.
C. This rebellion cost Israel a considerable amount of revenue in that they lost the tribute that Moab rendered.
D. This story revolves around Jehoram's attempt to recover his brother's losses by going against Moab to battle.
4. Jehoram sought the assistance of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. vs. 6-7.
A. Jehoshaphat readily consented to go up to battle with Jehoram.
B. Jehoshaphat does this after having been reproved for joining affinity with Ahab, Jehoram's
father. 2CH 18:1; 19:2.
C. Along with Jehoshaphat came the king of Edom, for Edom was a tributary to Judah since
the days of David also in fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy.
vs. 8-9 c/w NUM 24:18 c/w 2SAM 8:14.
5. Journeying for seven days, they found no water for the host or their cattle.
A. Being without this necessary provision they were in jeopardy of being defeated by Moab.
B. Adequate supplies are vital to a military campaign.
6. Jehoram was the one who had instigated this campaign of three kings and had recommended the line of approach. Yet when things did not turn out well, he blamed God. v. 10 c/w PRO 19:3.
A. “It is natural for an evil conscience to give things a dismal tinge; for it is from conscience
that every condition in this life borrows its colouring.” (F.W. Krummacher)
B. Mark the contrast between Jehoram and Jehoshaphat in this crisis: Jehoram despairs but
Jehoshaphat turns to the Lord. v. 11.
7. Elisha being at hand was the real “...chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.” c/w 2KI 13:14.
8. These three kings went to Elisha rather than calling him to come to them. v. 12.
A. It is to Jehoshaphat's credit that he did this even though he had been formerly reproved by a prophet of God.
B. Elisha who humbled himself and served Elijah formerly was now exalted with kings making suit to him. PRO 15:33; 18:12.
C. These kings sought help from the man with whom was the word of God.
D God's truth is a shield and buckler. We do well to seek it in times of distress. PSA 91:4.
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E. This scene calls to mind PRO 22:29, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
9. Elisha directed Jehoram to the idolatrous prophets of his mother and father. v. 13.
A. To be left to our own foolish choices is a judgment from God. PSA 81:11-12; EZE 14:4.
B. God may well taunt the rebel who has insisted on leaning on something other than
Himself. ISA 47:13; DEU 32:37-38.
10. Jehoram recognized this judgment to be from Jehovah and that the prophets of his parents would
avail nothing. v. 13.
A. Though an idolater, he was not altogether ignorant of the true God.
B. It is strange how people sometimes turn to the true God and His servant in a crisis although
they ignore them at other times. JER 2:26-29.
11. Elisha's words in v. 14, “As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand...” parallel the words
of Elijah in 1KI 18:15.
A. Elisha was indeed prophet in the room of Elijah. c/w 1KI 19:16.
B. Being able to stand before the LORD of hosts, Elisha could certainly stand before Jehoram
and reprove him.
12. Elisha would not have seen Jehoram had it not been for the presence of Jehoshaphat, whom Elisha
A. Elisha was living PSA 15:4.
B. If Elisha would not have looked toward Jehoram, why did Jehoshaphat do so? There was a
reproof for Jehoshaphat in this.
C. Jehoshaphat's presence certainly worked to Jehoram's advantage.
D. The wicked profit from the presence of the godly. GEN 30:27; ACT 27:22-24.
13. Elisha called for a minstrel (musician) and as the minstrel played the hand of the Lord came upon him. v. 15.
A. David had ordained the usage of musical instruments in prophecy to give thanks and to praise the Lord. 1CH 25:1-3 ct/w EPH 5:19; HEB 13:15.
B. As Elisha honoured God, God honoured him with a prophetic message. 1SAM 2:30.
14. Elisha instructed them to make the valley full of ditches saying by the word of the Lord that the
valley would be filled with water without their seeing wind or rain (v. 17). Observe:
A. Without the ditches the water would not be contained.
B. This instruction would test their faith in the word of God.
C. Those that receive blessing from God must prepare for it.
D. The water would come without the usual means of wind and rain.
E. The water would be directed specifically to the valley where the ditches would be.
F. It would be obvious that this was a special blessing from God for this host in particular.
G. God is well able to turn dry land into water springs for the humble. ISA 41:17-18.
H. Though there seems to be no sensible way that salvation could come, God is not thereby
hindered. MAT 19:25-26.
15. With the promise of the miracle came the promise that God would deliver the Moabites into their
hand. v. 18.
A. This miracle was but a light thing in God's sight.
B. God was able to bring about a victory as well.
C. Signs and wonders pale in comparison to the victory of salvation. LUK 10:20.
16. In defeating the Moabites, the prophet instructed them to raze their land (v. 19). This would cripple the nation thus hindering further uprisings.
17. The water came at the time of the morning meat offering. v. 20.
A. A meat offering was offered every morning and evening with a burnt offering upon the
altar before the Lord. EXO 29:38-42.
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B. This offering pointed to the sacrifice of Christ. HEB 10:1.
C. It was at the time of the evening sacrifice that Elijah's miracle on Mt. Carmel was
performed and Daniel's prayer was heard. 1KI 18:36; DAN 9:21.
D. This teaches us that God's salvation and His answers to prayer come to us because of the
sacrifice of Christ.
18. Upon hearing that the kings had come up to fight, the Moabites gathered their forces to resist the
attack. v. 21.
19. With the sun shining on the water, the Moabites saw it as red as blood. vs. 22-23.
A. Thinking it was blood, they concluded that the kings had smitten one another and so went forth thinking to take the spoil.
B. Their thoughts inclined to what they perceived as their advantage.
C. “What we wish we readily believe. Thus those that are to be destroyed are first deceived
(Rev.20:8).” (Matthew Henry)
20. Thus the water performed a double service: (1) it RELIEVED the armies of Israel, Judah and
Edom; and (2) it DECEIVED the army of Moab.
A. The same water that nourished the Israelites and assured their victory proved a
stumblingblock to the Moabites.
B. The same Christ that is a stumblingblock to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks is the
power and wisdom of God to them which are called. 1CO 1:23-24.
21. Upon arriving at the camp of the Israelites, the Israelites rose up and smote them. v. 24.
A. The mind-set of the Moabites was not poised for battle. Thus they were caught off guard.
B. The expression “the Israelites rose up” suggests that they were lying low awaiting the
approach of the Moabites.
C. This is a good example of the advantage of surprise in combat.
22. The Israelites beat down every city with the exception of Kirharaseth, which the slingers went about and smote. v. 25.
23. Seeing that he was losing, the king of Moab made an attempt with 700 soldiers to break through to the king of Edom. v. 26.
A. He apparently thought the king of Edom, being a tributary to Judah, was the weak point of resistance.
B. This was a strategically correct move, but could avail nothing against the word of the Lord that pronounced his doom. PRO 21:30-31.
24. In desperation he took his eldest son and royal heir and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall, which Israel had left intact.
A. Such was the requirement of the cruel pagan gods, who were devils.
1KI 11:33; DEU 12:31; PSA 106:37-38; JOH 8:44.
B. By contrast, Israel's God required the offering up of beasts, not humans. The only son in Israel whom God ordained for sacrifice was His own Son.
C. Here is the difference between a Biblical society and a pagan society:
(1) In a Biblical society, human life is sacred and of greater value than animal life.
(2) In pagan society, human life is cheapened to at least the level of brute beasts.
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