I love the Bible for all the obvious reasons. Through it God taught me. God’s word is my salvation. It is strength and encouragement. It yields the comfort I receive in times of trouble. All these reasons are obvious to everyone who reads and loves the Bible.
There are the beautiful accounts of Jacob the deceiver who wrestled with God, and Ruth the gentile counted in the lineage of Jesus, Esther the queen who was born for a terrible time and did what the Lord needed accomplished. We can’t forget about Abraham who believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and David who was an adulterer, an inconsistent father who overlooked the terrible things his children did to his own hurt, yet God called him a man after His own heart. These stories are encouragement to all who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
But I love especially the obscure events recorded in the Bible. They remind me of the depth of who God is to include tiny details that make me wonder about Him and who He is. So for the next couple of posts, I think I will talk about a few of those places in the Bible that have always made me wonder. Here is the first.
There are lots of places where the Bible talks about bones. The first mention is Adam speaking of God’s creation of his wife: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Joseph asked that his bones be carried back to the Promised Land from Egypt. In Psalm 22 it was prophetically said of Jesus that all His bones were out of joint and that He could count all His bones. In Proverbs 3 it says: “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
In Ezekiel 37 there is the valley of dry bones where all the bones of the house of Israel are strewn in a valley and they begin to rattle and come together. Sinews appear and then flesh. Finally breath is breathed into them. It is a prophetic passage about the raising up of Israel in the last days. It’s the chapter from which the song “Dem Bones” was originated. Go ahead, look it up on YouTube.
That’s a pretty strange passage. But the strangest little account in the Bible about bones is a story about the bones of Elisha. Elisha was Elijah’s protégé so to speak. During his lifetime, Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and Elijah said he would receive it if Elisha saw Elijah being taken. Elisha indeed saw and received that double portion.
Elisha’s life was full of miracles. The Jordan River was divided. The spring of water was healed – cleaned of pollutants. A bear from the woods destroyed mockers. Water was provided. There was the miracle of the oil that kept pouring from the jar. A Shunammite woman’s son was restored to her from death. Elisha purified poisonous stew during a famine, and then there was the multiplication of loaves for food. Naaman was healed and Gehazi was smitten with leprosy. An iron axe head floated in a river. Spiritual sight was given to the one who was afraid; Elisha praying to allow him to see that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” In this same battle he struck men blind and later restored their sight.
But his final miracle happened after he died. The account is in the book of 2 Kings 13. It is obscure and it is only two verses long. The prophet Elisha is buried after his death. It was a bad time for Israel. The kings were idol worshippers and idolatry among the people was rampant. Here is the entire account:
“So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.”
That’s it! The whole account is in these two verses.
Bones restored life to a dead man.
They say that the bones of the human body function to support, protect, and give us movement. But bones also manufacture blood cells and store minerals. Bones hold our body together and without bones there couldn’t be life. Everything about God, the Author of Life, can be found in the bones of the Old Testament. And in this account God showed how bones submitted to Him gave life to a dead man.