Dusty Bones and the Power of God

by William Lehman

2 Kings 13:20-21 - Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

This scene in scripture with Elisha after he is dead and buried captivated me this week. People are visiting the same tomb to bury a family member or friend who had recently died. Raiders are spotted and the people burying this guy quickly throw the body into the same tomb so they can escape. The body somehow touches the bones of the deceased prophet and instead what happens is that he begins to live again.

Often when I am reading the Bible, I like to imagine myself in the situation and the emotions and feelings the first-hand witnesses to the event might have felt.

Sadness over losing a friend or family is suddenly overtaken by fear of invasion. Then surprise, fear and confusion as the man stands up and has been brought back to life. Then happiness and joy as they realize what has happened.

The narrative of scripture doesn't tell us any more of the story with these raiders, but I like to think the raiders found them. Instead of fleeing scared people, they found people overwhelmed with the glory of God. A God who could raise the dead and a worship service beside a grave. These raiders came to steal to kill and destroy but instead they found people excited about God, sharing the good news with them.

The word of God in our lives brings power. It may seem like dusty old bones at times to those who don't understand or even to us in those grief stricken times but as Paul says in Romains 1, "For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" As we are finishing our formal time of fasting and prayer as a church family, I encourage you to keep going. It's easy to get distracted by the things that would steal our joy, but proximity to God in the midst of whatever we are going through has the potential to bring revival instead.