The Meaning of 2 Kings 3:27 -- By: George M. Harton

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 11:3 (Fall 1970)
Article: The Meaning of 2 Kings 3:27
Author: George M. Harton

The Meaning of 2 Kings 3:27

George M. Harton

[George M. Harton holds the A.B. degree from Princeton University, and the Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. After serving as assistant pastor of the Northgate Bible Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., he is presently associated with Operation Mobilization.]

Jehoshaphat had a difficult time grasping the lessons that God wanted to teach him in the area of political allegiances with unbelieving nations, especially with “sister-nation” Israel to the north. But in spite of his failure to grasp this principle of God’s, Jehoshaphat was honored by God for the righteous desires of his heart.

Thus we find him in the third chapter of the book of 2 Kings in league once again with ungodly Jehoram, and also with the King of Edom. Although He almost allowed these allied forces to perish in the desert, God still could not refrain from honoring the faith and life of Jehoshaphat:

And Elisha said (to Jehoram), As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee (2 Kings 3:14).

Elisha then went on to prophesy of the great defeat that would soon be visited by God upon the rebellious Moabites at their very hands.

We are not surprised when reading on through the chapter to see Jehovah begin to fulfill His word through His prophet Elisha. He caused the Moabites to mistake the abundant water provided for the Allies for blood flowing freely in the sunshine of early dawn, and to rush forth hastily in search of easy spoil. These eager warriors had their hopes spoiled in a devastating ambush that virtually annihilated their forces. Some were able to retreat and regroup in a nearby city, but even here it seemed only a matter of time before these bastions would also fall before the vicious allies who were felling all the trees in the land, stopping up the wells of water, and beating down all of the cities. Thus Mesha, King of Moab, mustered the strength he had left, seven hundred men, and thrust them forth on a mission of penetrating and breaking the enemy lines where the King of

    Edom had his forces deployed

When this “Battle of the Bulge” tactic failed, we expect to read of the total massacre of the remaining brash Moabites. But instead we find Moab with still one last desperation tactic, as we read:

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel and they departed f...

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