This sermon, the third of our series on God, Elisha, and Israel, was preached last Jan. 30, 2011 at GGCF, Escario St., Cebu City.
When you study 2 Kings, remember the reason why the author of Kings wrote it. His purpose is to teach Israel important lessons of how to trust God in good times and bad and what will happen if they do so. The lessons are what theologians call, “Deuteronomic,” based on Deut. 11:26-28. If Israel obeys Yahweh, Yahweh will bless them. If she does not obey Yahweh, Yahweh will curse them. 2 Kings is a narrative of how the nation of Israel obeys and disobeys God; and how God blesses and curses them.
At this point of the miraculous ministry of the prophet Elisha, Samaria, a key city in the northern kingdom of Israel, is besieged by Syria (READ v. 24). Nobody can get in to bring food; and nobody can get out to get food. The result is a terrible famine in the city (READ v. 25). The famine is so bad that people are now forced to eat a donkey’s head, which they did not normally eat (Lev. 11:3) and dove’s dung.
Can you imagine eating dove’s dung? According to the law of supply and demand, low supply with high demand means high prices. So a donkey’s head now costs eighty shekels of silver. A shekel is about 11 grams. Eighty shekels is 880 grams of silver. Now that’s very expensive for just a donkey’s head. One-fourth of a kab of dove’s dung is now sold for five shekels of silver. A kab is about 1 liter; so one-fourth of a kab is one-fourth liter. One-fourth liter of dove’s dung now cost 55 grams of silver. That is very expensive indeed for dove’s dung. . . . more