The King of Israel Throws a Feast for the Captured Syrians

In the story of Elisha and the Syrians there is a great lesson for us to learn. It is that when God’s people are serving him, especially when they are training others in his ways and in the truth of his word, Satan will do everything he can to stop them or to thwart their efforts. This was certainly true of Elisha who had a growing and successful school of theology, he was demonstrating the power and reality of his God to all who would listen. This naturally frightened the devil who was trying to stop his teaching.

Seeing this, the king of Israel decided to do something about it. He wanted to put an end to this marauding of the people of Syria. He called a general assembly of the people to decide what to do about this.

36 Then the assembly voted that the Jews should be enrolled in the king’s forces, and that they should be paid their maintenance. 37They should be given ranks equal to those of the king’s officers, and they should serve with the king in the land, and not under any other rulers, and they should be subject to no other rules except those of the king. 38 They should also be granted sabbaths, new moons, and appointed days, as well as three days before and after each festival, for they were his servants. 39 And they were not to be deprived of any of their food, but they should have the same as the other soldiers of the army.

The king agreed to all of this, but the people were still not satisfied. They wanted to see vengeance done to these godless men who were causing such trouble for the people of God.

41So Judas gathered together all the Israelites in Gilead, and they marched to Ephron, a strong town on the way. There was a high wall in the town, and it was shut up with bars. 42Judas sent messengers to the inhabitants of the town who told them that they could not escape because the walls were strong.

43So the men in the town locked themselves in their towers. 45Judas then went to battle against the godless, and he wiped them out. 46 He also destroyed the wall of the city and burned the houses with fire.

47 Then the king returned to Jerusalem, and the king and his servants took Beth-zur with a garrison. They evacuated the town because they did not have enough provisions to withstand a siege. 48 The king encamped in Judea and at Mount Zion. He made siege towers around the sanctuary, and he made machines of war to throw stones and fire on them.

48 He also encamped against Beth-zur, and he fought against it for many days.

But the defenders held their ground, and the king was not able to enter the city because the defenses were so strong. Judas kept rallying the laggards and encouraging them.

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