28: "There Is a Prophet in Israel" (2 Kings 2–7)
This week's lesson contains six unnamed women in the Old Testament. Six! That's as many as we'll be covering in detail during this year's special Unnamed Women of the Old Testament series. But in this episode about 2 Kings 2–7, we learn about the adversity some of these women faced and how they performed heroic acts through their faith. Others show us the dire consequences of shutting Christ out of our lives. But all show us the importance of staying on the covenant path and helping others do the same. So grab your scriptures and let’s dig into these powerful stories.
Link: Unnamed Women of the Old Testament series
2 Kings 2:1–8 (Elijah performs a miracle at the River Jordan)
2 Kings 2:9 (Elisha asks for a double portion)
2 Kings 2:11 (Elijah is translated)
CR Doctrine and Covenants 110 (Elijah appears at the Kirtland Temple dedication)
2 Kings 4:1–7 (A widow petitions Elijah for help to keep her children from being taken by a creditor)
Borrow = Keep
2 Nephi 2:11 (Opposition in all things)
2 Kings 5:1–3 (The little maid tells Naaman’s wife about the prophet Elisha)
2 Kings 5:5–8 (The king of Syria asks the king of Israel for Elisha to heal Naaman)
Naaman = Pleasant, delightful, or lovely
Little = Age or size
2 King 5:9–10 (Naaman is instructed to wash in Jordan seven times)
2 Kings 5:11–12 (Naaman is wroth because of the Elisha’s instructions)
2 Kings 5:13 (Naaman’s servant convinces him to wash in the Jordan)
2 Kings 5:14–15 (Naaman is healed and converted)
Seven = A combination of three and four. Three is symbolic of the Godhead. Four is symbolic of man. Together, the number seven represents completion, perfection, or covenant.
Picture: Tammy’s friend filling up her car with gasoline
2 Kings 6:8 (Syria is at war with Israel)
2 Kings 6:13–24 (A famine caused people to be desperate for food)
2 Kings 6:15–18 (They that be with us are more than they that be with them)
2 Kings 6:25–30 (The of Israel hears a woman crying because she ate her son)
2 Kings 9 (Jezebel dies)
2 Kings 13:13–14 (Elisha is dying and is visited by king Joash)
2 Kings 13:15–17 (Elisha instructs Joash to shoot an arrow out the window)
2 Kings 13:18–19 (Elisha asks Joash to hit the arrows on the ground and is upset Joash only hits the ground three times)
One of the things that the Sunday on Monday team has tried to do this year is to tell the stories of women in Scripture, specifically the Unnamed Women. Why? Well, because these women need to be seen and their stories need to be heard. Today's episode is so awesome because 2 Kings chapters 2-7 contains stories of six Unnamed Women. That's right, you heard me correctly, 6. And I wonder which one you might more closely identify with. And as a result, you might praise God's influence in your own story.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into our scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. K, if you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast, so follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friends, Jodell Rupp and Jane Ward who, by the way, drove two hours to join us for the live taping of The Unnamed Women of the Old Testament series. And it was so fun to meet them. Hi, ladies.
Now another awesome thing - it's my favorite - is that each week we are joined by two of my friends. And so it's always a little bit different. And wow, it could not be more different this week. I have two brand new friends; you're going to love them. I have been so excited about this union. Oh my gosh, it's just blessed and beautiful. We have Miyamoto Loretta Jensen and Michelle Franzoni Thorley. Hi. Hi, Yay. Ladies, ladies, ladies. Okay. Tell everybody how you two know each other.
Yeah, okay. I can start off. Her and I met via Marco Polo through a friend group. And we hit it off so well and so fast. And I feel like I've just been like a little sister following her everywhere she goes and joins her hip. And it's brought us to this journey where we are today. We've both been joined and our love and our excitement for family history, especially family history that is multiracial and multifaceted, right? And so her and I are so excited to be here today. And I cannot brag about Michelle enough, either. She is an amazing artists, a wonderful wife and mother, and a dear friend and sister. So I'm so honored to be here with her as well. So thank you so much.
Oh, that was so sweet, Miya. What about you, Michelle?
Miya, ahhhh, I love you so much. Miya's the best. Not only is she the Polynesian genealogist, she is also a pro surfer. She's a classically trained pianist. She can wrestle. She is just like the most amazing multifaceted person. And the more I get to know her, the more I'm just amazed by her. But I think the thing that I love about Miya the most is well, she gives the best hugs. But we really are like cosmic sisters, she has this most beautiful loving energy that just fills me up on the days when I'm feeling pretty low. And I'm just so grateful for her friendship and anything we get to do together, we have so much fun. So thank you so much, Tammy for inviting us. We're really excited to be here with you.
Well, this is gonna be a blast. And here's how I know these two: we have met through the the Deseret Bookshelf Plus LDS Living podcasting family. And we are so excited to announce that Michelle and Miya have an upcoming podcast, you are not going to want to miss out on this podcast. You guys, quickly tell us about your podcast. Ladies, what are you talking about?
We are taking a multifaceted approach to family history. So much of what we stereotype and think of family history is from one perspective, one point of view, one way that we've learned to do it, or what we think is the only correct way to do it. And Miya and I are just gonna blow every stereotype and myth up and we're really gonna get into not only why people want to do family history and how awesome it is in a multifaceted perspective, but also why people do NOT want to do family history and really addressing the problems that many people have in engaging in family history work. Did I get all of it, Miya? What else?
Yeah, you nailed it. I think too. We want this show and what our messages are, every single episode to be heart- turning experiences for all people, not just a few people or a target demographic. It's for all people, all of God's children. And I am always reminded that we are connected in more ways than we realize, and it's because of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is there in the middle with all of us to help bring about the healing that all of us are seeking for, right? I just hope that people can come to the show and come with open hearts and open minds. I promise that you are going to leave changed.
Wow. If you're not on fire about listening to this podcast, holy moly! Okay, this is gonna be so awesome. So if you want to know more information about my guests and find out about their podcast, you can read all of this at our show notes, which is found at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday. So go there, check it out. Okay, I'm gonna play a song for you. And some of you will probably remember this from last week, because we did a bit of a melodrama. But remember this person who the song goes with? (Plays a minor key funeral dirge)
Such scary music, isn't it? Okay, we had that applying to Ahab and his wife Jezebel. So we're still talking about those two, and the prophet Elijah; he's still trying to run away from them. Now let's turn to Second Kings, chapter 2. And let's just find out what these two are up to. So here's the cliff note version of events in 2 Kings chapter 2. And just FYI, it's a little bit of a tongue twister because we have Elijah and Elisha.
Oh my gosh, it makes me think of those moms that name their kids all the same first letter, or like the Kardashians. There's Kim, Karen. (laughter)
There's not a Karen,
A Karen Kardashian. (laughs)
I cannot keep them apart. So I feel the same thing happening with me here today with Elijah and Elisha.
Luckily, it's only 2 Kings chapter 2. So we'll get this story out and I will try to really pronounce Elijah and Elisha. And then we'll get past that. So Elijah is being told by the Lord to go to different cities: go to Bethel, go to Jericho, go to Jordan. And every time he goes, he says to Elishha, You stay here. And Elisha's response is, No way, I'm going with you. And so he does. He follows Elijah to every one of these places. Then they come to a crossroads where they need to cross a river, and it's the Jordan River. And that's in verse 8. And it's interesting, because Elijah will perform a miracle. It says he takes his mantle. Now his mantle would be like a cloak. And he wraps it up and he smites the waters and they're divided, so that they can cross over on dry land, which I think is just kind of a cool miracle.
But then we have verse 9: And Elijah turns to Elisha, and he says to him, Okay, listen, let's just cut to the chase here. What do you want? If I could give you anything in the world, what would I give you? Now, Miya, will you please read verse 9. And as Miya reads this, grab something to mark your scriptures with. I want you to underline what it is that Elisha asks Elijah for.
2:9 "And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."
Thank you. What did you guys mark?
I marked the word 'double,' as inclining us to think about more. But as I looked into it more, and I realized that double portion is referring to Elisha's desire for a special inheritance from the Lord. I think about my own son, when he's asking for good things. Of course I want to give him good things, but to know that it's something that I have always been desirous to give him and he's wanting more of it, why wouldn't I want to give more as a parent, right?
Great. I thought that was awesome, Miya. And I wrote 'double portion of inheritance'. That's super important for us to look at in light of that verse. So thank you for bringing that up. And a 'double portion of inheritance' doesn't mean you get more, it means more responsibility to take care of people. And with that is a covenant relationship. We talked about this clear back at the very beginning with the kinsman and the head kinsman, and what his job is, and having this inheritance. And so I appreciate, Miya so much that you talked about how it's a double portion of inheritance.
Here's something really interesting about that, since you brought that up. It blows my mind that up to this point, then, Elijah will have performed 7 miracles in scripture, Elisha will perform 14 - double the miracles of Elijah, with his double portion. And so today we get to talk about those miracles, which I think is gonna be so much fun. That's the whole point of all of this goodness is so we're going to cover the miracles of Elisha. And the reason why we're going to be talking about Elisha's 14 miracles is because of the event that happens in verse 11. Michelle, will you please read 2 Kings 2:11 for us,
2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
To the outside of verse 11, put "translated," and he is, we believe, the last person to hold all the keys of the priesthood. That's why this Elijah is who will appear on the Mount of Transfiguration. This Elijah will appear in Doctrine and Covenants section 110 at the Kirtland Temple to restore the keys of the priesthood. So this is a major turning point in Scripture. And Elijah is translated, but Elisha becomes the new leader, he becomes the new prophet. And up in verse 15, it says, "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha." Elisha will put Elijah's mantle on him, and he will now become the new leader and the new prophet of the people. So that is our cliff note version. That is 2 Kings chapter 2. And that is what you need to know, because in the next segment then, we get to dive into the miracles of Elisha, and the unnamed women of the Old Testament.
Segment 2 10:33
Ladies, I want to know, because I started out the very beginning talking about unnamed women of the Old Testament, which is my passion, Unnamed Women of the Bible, if we're being honest, or any woman, actually. But I want to know, did that connect with either one of you? Do you feel a connection with the unnamed women?
As someone who is very interested in history, especially my own family history, there are a lot of unnamed women throughout history, and specifically my own family history. And a lot of what helped me to become the artist I am today is that I was seeking and searching for a way to feel connected to these unnamed women in my family and want to know them more. And while I might never know their name, I can learn a little bit about their story through history. And that's what I love in the scriptures that we don't know a lot. But one thing that you do so well, to me is like taking the history that's surrounding these scriptures and helping us to see a clearer picture. And so I'm so excited to do that with these six women today.
What about you, Mia?
When I first read your question in our outline here, I mean, we think, Well, I don't want to be unnamed, I don't want to be left out or forgotten. But it also made me think, do these women try to be forgotten? No, I don't think so. I don't think they are intentionally thinking , Yeah, keep me unknown or unwritten or hidden. And I think that a lot about like Michelle was saying about the women in her family history, I think about that. And the women in my family history that even though I may not know all the particular details of the stories, I know that they had to fight to live, to exist, to breathe. And that's how I live and breathe exists today. It's because of a lot of these unknown women in my family history.
But like Michelle was saying too, just because their names aren't known, it doesn't mean that they are not known, right, that their stories, their power, their impact is not unfelt. It's, I mean, these scriptures are, you know, how many years old? And yet we live in modern day times, and we're still feeling with these women, we're still impacted of the things that they said or that they did. And it reminds me too, that God doesn't forget, even if these important details that we'd like to know, like their names are not remembered, He has helped us to preserve and to cherish what they've left behind. And so I just hope that my life is like that, too. You know, I don't need to be praised for what I do right now. But I just hope that who I am is impactful enough to help my future family and generations to keep carrying on like I've been trying to carry on. Life has just has not been easy, but their strength, their fortitude, their resilience, I reminded that even just a drop of that is enough to help me keep going. So, you know,
I hope everyone listening felt what I just felt from Miya and Michelle's words. I mean, there was so much power in what you just said, because it was truth. I am so excited to jump into 2 Kings, chapter 4. Because everything you said perfectly sums up the story of this unnamed woman, and I am hoping that we can be influenced, and see how her story testifies of Christ, like both of you just said. So, thank you for perfectly setting that up. I had no idea that's what you guys were gonna say. You couldn't have been written any better, that was awesome. So let's go into 2 Kings chapter 4. We're going to read the story about this unnamed woman in verses 1-7. We'll start with you, Michelle, will you read for us verse 1.
4:1 "Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen."
What do you feel for this woman in that verse, given the words we just read?
Well, throughout history when a husband dies, a woman is usually left in a very vulnerable situation. And the thought of having her sons taken away after her husband just has died, there would be a lot of fear and almost desperation and who in the community can she reach out, reach out to for help? Who would be powerful enough to help her defend from this creditor because he's seeking justice, he probably wants money that he's owed. But she, as this woman doesn't have it, her most valuable thing are her children. What can she do to appease the creditor, but also keep her family together?
Excellent, Michelle. You're absolutely right. Miya, what did you think about this verse?
What I noticed the most in that first line there it says that she was a 'certain woman.' And there was a talk given in General Conference April 2017, by Linda K Burton, who was the Relief Society General President. Her whole talk is about 'certain women', and how these women did particular things that denoted miracles and faith and power in our Savior, Jesus Christ. So automatically when I read that I was like, this is going to be a good and impactful story, because she's already noted as a certain woman. Yes, it says that she cried. But 'certain women' have felt and done all things and done so many important things to make and keep sacred covenants to protect the ones that they love to fiercely defend their faith and their beliefs. I mean, they, women, such a woman have done it all, right? And I just, I'm so thrilled that we're talking about this particular 'certain woman', because I love what she's done. And it's reminded me too, that I descend from 'certain women' in my own family, and in their cries and desperation, they remain so strong and faithful. Anyone else that didn't, they still survived. And so I honor all the women, but particularly this one.
Thank you, Miya. In fact, in my scriptures, while you were talking, I wrote a line off to the side and I just wrote, am I a 'certain woman'? I want to be one. That's already my takeaway. We're only in segment 2 and I already know what I like about it. Like, could there be a better name than 'certain woman'? Wow, it's not even dismissive. There is power in that. So thank you for sharing that. Okay. So look at this verse, then, for those of you that are wondering what the 'sons of the prophets means', here's what it is: Throughout this story, in 2 Kings, the prophet will often be referred to as the father or their father, meaning their leader. So the sons of the prophets are those who follow the Prophet. Okay. And this is so cool, because according to some Jewish scholars, they believe that this woman was married to Obadiah. And that's Obadiah, from 1 Kings 18 when he saves hundreds of prophets, and he meets Elijah. And so this woman kind of feels like she has a right, and so that's why she felt compelled to ask for help. And Elisha says in verse 2 - oh, this is so good - okay, Miya, will you read verse 2 for us?
4:2 "And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil."
Don't you love how Elisha says, "What shall I do for thee? The same wording that Elijah asked him? Like, hey, what shall I do for thee? And Elisha's like 'a double portion of thy spirit'. And here he's using the same wording to this woman: Okay, well, what do you want me to do for you? And I just think it's awesome in here, "the handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil." All I've got is some oil. And then we have verse 3. Then he said, "Go borrow." So highlight the word 'borrow'. In Hebrew, that means actually "to ask for, and you're going to keep it", so that it's not going to be temporary. "Go, borrow their vessels abroad, of all thy neighbour's, even empty vessels; borrow, not a few." K, let's keep going in the story. Michelle, read verse 4 for us, please. And then Miya, will you read verse 5.
4:4 "And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
4:5 "So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out."
And I'll read verse 6, "And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed."
And then Michelle, read verse 7 for us.
4:7 "Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."
I mean, this miracle is so phenomenal. What does the Lord do for her?
It just makes me think of this abundance, double portion. Elisha says, Go get many vessels, because I am, I'm going to give you an abundance. It's not just what you need, it's even more than that. And as a child who grew up under the poverty level, I know there's a difference between like, people who would give things, you know, from the dollar store, which was nice, and we were grateful for it. But there were things that people would give that they would give their own children, you know, nice, really nice things, high quality things. And those things just meant so much, because I don't know, it felt it felt like, you don't see me as someone as that, that's beneath you. You see me as someone that is just as you are. There's just something so beautiful about when you give that you give an abundance, you give not only one portion, but you give a double portion. And it just shows that this nature, this part of God's personality, and how loving and kind He is, and how loving and kind He wants us to be with others.
Oh, that's beautiful, Michelle, that was great. Wow, extra portion, and enough to not just pay the debt, but to then to just live off of.
To live. Our life is to have joy. If you're in poverty, if you're in desperation all the time, it's really, you can access that joy. I'm not saying you can't, I'm just saying it's really hard. And to have this just a little bit more than what you need, and to be able to just live your life and have joy. What a blessing! What a blessing.
I wonder, do either one of you have an experience where the Lord blessed you with a double portion, where you asked for something specific and you got more than you asked for?
My husband, Shawn and I, we, when we were dating, or no, we were engaged. And we were at the temple, getting ready, preparing ourselves to be married in a month or so. And in the Endowment session, I was like, Heavenly Father, how can I consecrate my life? I just felt inspired to ask that question. And the answer was like, immediately have a child. And I had just started birth control and Shawn and I were like after you graduate. That's when we'll have kids. But no, God had a different plan. And it was wild to hear that and then wild to obey that. Because like I said, that wasn't part of the original plan. Yet - I know some of y'all may laugh at this - but literally 9 months after we got married, our son was born.
And like Michelle said, like, he has fulfilled and filled my cup as a mother and as a wife, and as a caretaker in my home. Yet, my husband and I found out recently that we most likely won't be able to have any more children. I have this strong innate desire to still have more children yet that is not what has been part of my double portion. Yet He has helped me to expand myself even more with what I have been given with my little boy. And I know the Lord provides; He sometimes has us do things like going around asking your neighbors, Hey, can I have more vessels? And they may be like, You already have some and then she's like, but I need more you know. But I feel though, even in what may feel strange, like me being asked to have a child right away, the Lord is setting up the whole stage for us to be blessed to have this abundance in our lives.
And it makes me think about like, plans, how we make these big plans for our lives, which I think is natural and good to do. Like when things, you know, don't go according to plan. And you're like, What do I do now? And Miya is such a good example, that she may have one biological child, but every child she meets, even me - my inner child - Miya is mothering and makes sure I have enough to eat and makes sure I'm loved and cared for. And so you just don't know the ways that the Lord will use your talents and your desires to bless others.
Amen. Well, I'm just, I'm struck with this theme, because it seems like it's going to cover this whole episode today, which is 'you just don't know what the Lord will ask of you. But when you do it, it will turn to your good.' And there are several experiences in here where the people just weren't sure. And I'm sure this woman, when she went to Elisha was like, Can't you just pay my debt? I mean, that was, that's what I'd be thinking. And I think it's interesting that Elisha is like, Alright, well, I'm going to ask you to do this. And she was probably like, get vessels, oil? What are we talking about? But she did it. This certain woman was like, Great. We will gather the vessels. I don't know how this is gonna work out, I'm trusting that it will. And like you taught at the very beginning, Miya and Michelle, this, this' certain woman' of faith.
And so think about that, as we go through each one of these stories because what is the Lord asking you to do? Or what has He asked you to do that you're like, What? That seems ridiculous. And we are going to continue on that story as we go and talk about more of the people in 2 Kings. Now the next woman is in 2 Kings, but spoiler alert, we are actually not going to cover her story in 2 Kings 4, because we're going to do that in the Fall with - I'm so excited: Emily Belle Freeman, my good friend is going to join me - and we're going to talk about that unnamed woman. So we're not going to cover her today, So just skip the rest of 2 Kings chapter 4 and we are going to move on and cover two more very important unnamed women from the Old Testament. And their story begins in the next segment.
Segment 3 25:24
I have a very heavy question to start this out with both of you. And the reason why I'm asking it is because Camille Fronk Olson asks this in her book that relates specifically to the story we're going to talk about, and here it is. How can opposition in all things - you know that scripture in II Nephi 2:11 - how can opposition in all things help us find God's perfect love for ourselves?
Well, I am a visual artist. That is what I do professionally. And I actually have a painting entitled "Opposition In All Things". And it is a painting of Eve; her face is kind of split down the middle on one side, she's surrounded by beautiful tropical plants. And on the other side, she's surrounded by cacti and spiny, difficult things. And in painting that I was actually living in Tucson, and in Tucson is the Sonoran Desert. And most people are like, Ooo, deserts, you know, they're so ugly, or there's not a lot of life there. If you think that, you have never been to the Sonoran Desert, which is incredibly beautiful, lush, and full of life. And I realized that even in harsh environments, there can be beauty. Even in harsh environments blossoms can still bloom. And you can find joy in harsh environments.
And I think that's one of the things that we really learn from Eve is that sitting in perfect harmony, just feeing in the Garden of Eden she wasn't able to grow, she wasn't able to learn. And she knew that she had to have challenges, opposition. And that's a principle in art as well. Like, if you want something that to look really white or bright, you put it right next to something very dark. To be able to maximize the light, you have to have the darkness there. Otherwise, the white just looks boring and stale, until you have opposition, creating dynamic and interest. And you know, for us as human beings, creating gross.
Oh, my gosh, Michelle, that is a really awesome answer. I love everything you said. And this picture we're looking at right now, and we'll put a link in our show notes so that you can go there and see this beautiful piece of artwork. But you're right, there's no growth and there wouldn't have been for Eve. And so how incredible it is for us to recognize the perfect love that God has for us through the difficult times.
I will say it's not that I always like it. No one likes it
It's not my favorite thing; I don't like going through it. I definitely don't like watching the people I love go through opposition. I have learned through my own personal life and then like we were talking about the modeling of other women, that it creates great growth and strength.
To my certain women out there who are listening right now, never, ever, not for one second, do not let Satan make you think for one moment that what you're going through isn't of value or purpose. Do not underestimate the growth of yourself and people in your life because of that opposition. And I think that that is what is the message here in this story that we have in 2 Kings chapter 5. Let's look and see how this opposition applies to 2 women we're going to talk about now. So go with me to 2 Kings chapter 5. We're going to read 1-3, and that's it. That's all we're going to cover right here in this little beginning. So Miya, will you read for us verses 1-3 please?
5:1 "Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance to Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper.
2 "And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
3 "And she said unto her mistress, Would god my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."
Okay, let's underline the three people we're introduced to here. Verse 1 is Naaman, and Naaman is interesting. In Hebrew, his name means 'pleasant, delightful or lovely'. We're gonna see how that plays out later. But we also, we like to focus so much on Naaman and that he was this honorable man and mighty man of valor. Really great. And at the end, it tells us "and he's a leper." So, keep that in your mind, you're gonna want to know that. But we cannot tell the story without talking about two other women. And in verse 2, who are the women we're going to talk about, Michelle?
We're talking about the little maid, and then we're talking about Naaman's wife.
Very good. Now, this is significant because as we just talked about opposition and all things, what is the little maid experiencing that is clearly opposition?
So it's so interesting because we're talking about how Naaman's this really good, great guy, right? But obviously, he is enslaving this little girl that he took away. I mean, we don't know if she was orphaned or whatever. But he took her away from her homeland, from her culture, and has her as an enslaved person in his household. So with family history, when we come up against this kind of stuff history, we call it 'holding two truths', that there are two truths that can coexist at the same time. So while Naaman still might be this great guy and his wife might be faithful, or at least brave enough, and humble enough to listen to this little girl, the fact is that they are enslavers, and that's not great. So it is an interesting story for me. And for a little child to be in that position and to be brave enough, like have enough faith, like she truly believes what she's saying, to speak up to the mistress of her household and share this this view. I mean, that just takes guts.
Right? So much guts. In fact, Michelle, read again what she said to her mistress, so the mistress mistress' is Naaman's wife, and the little maid will serve her. And I think it's interesting because the word "little" here, scholars believe it's age or size, it could be both. And so she's just this cute little child, as you said, Michelle, and again, in verse 3, here's what the little maid said to Naaman's wife, who is the little maid's mistress.
3 "And she said unto her, mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."
So it's obvious that she has seen things, that she has seen what a prophet can do, and that he has power to heal, and that she's so confident in what she's seen and experienced that she would voice this to her enslaver. Like that, that takes a lot of bravery.
Oh, especially in the way you just put it "to her enslaver," to be able to speak up like that. Wow. You're absolutely right. And so her words then get spread, they get told to Naaman and Naaman then tells the king of Syria this. He's like, Listen, there's somebody who can heal me. If we go into verse 5, the king of Syria says, Go. I'm gonna send a letter to the king of Israel. And then he takes 10 talents, and silver, pieces of gold, and 10 changes raiment Like it's this beautiful, bounteous gift that he's going to send to the king of Israel with a letter. They get to the king of Israel, and the king of Israel reads it.
And I like how in verse 7, Camille Fronk Olson says that the king had basically - she calls it a panic attack - the king reads the letter and has a full-blown panic attack, in verse 7. And here's what he says,
7 ".....it came to pass, when the king of Israel read the letter from the king of Syria, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me."
So summing that up, he's basically saying, Who is the king of Syria think I am? not God! I can't heal this man of his leprosy. And now because I can't heal him, he's probably seeking as a way to fight me. And we're gonna have a war and I don't want to go to war. Like he is renting his clothes because he is just in grief, like, total panic attacks. Let's read verse 8, then, because this is the major transition in the story. And Miya, will you read verse 8.
5:8 "And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."
We're gonna find out what happens in the next segment.
Segment 4 33:59
So we're gonna jump right back into 2 Kings, chapter 5, and we are going to look at verses 8-15. And we're going to finish the story. So here's what happens. Naaman then finds out that he is going to go to this prophet. So he came with his horses in verse 9, and his chariot. He stands at the door at the house of Elisha and Elisha doesn't come out to him, he sends a messenger and the messenger gives him the most interesting bit of instructions to do. Michelle, what does he tell him to do, in verse 10?
This is so great, I love this.
10 "And Elisha went sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."
Now, why do you laugh so much?
Well that's it, you know, we were just talking about like, like him telling the certain woman to just go out to her neighbors and ask for a bunch of vessels and she probably was like, This is weird, but okay. And we know from this story, he's like, This grand guy, he's expecting the red carpet to be rolled out and very dramatic big thing to happen. And yet he doesn't, you know, the prophet doesn't even come out of his house. He sends a messenger, Go wash in this river. And I have read that this river isn't like the best, fanciest, funnest, cleanest river, right? Is that right?
Oh, it's so dirty. Yeah, it's the dirtiest river you could possibly wash in. In fact, I love Michelle, you said like, look at verse 11. It says, Naaman was wroth. Like highlight that. He is so wroth, and at the end of verse 12, it says he turns away and goes in a fit of rage because he actually says in verse 12, aren't there better rivers I could have dipped in? Like, come on, I'm Naaman. You're totally right, Michelle, he is
Where's the deluxe spa. I want the spa treatment.
Or, where's just a blessing on my head? Can't you just come out and like make me drink something? I mean, come on. Like, yeah, he's so mad. He thinks it's the most ridiculous thing. And you're right, Michelle, with him thinking he should have had something great. That's exactly what his servant says to him in verse 13. Miya, read 13 for us.
5:13 "And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My Father, if the prophet had been thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he sayeth to thee, Wash, and be clean?"
It reminds me of my mom and my grandma. In my youth I, and even now, you know, I feel like I've been stubborn. I am like, I know what I need, or I know what I want. I know how to get it done. And then when the results don't happen the way I want them to I'm like, Huh, you know, and I'm in a rage, right? I'm upset, I'm mad that this didn't work out. But you know, the whole time even before things happen, before I start it, my mom and my grandma have this, this gift of intuition to be like, Hey, you know, why don't you try this way? Why don't you do it that way? Like this was, you know, and instead of saying, I told you, so like these servants, they are gentle, and yet they were clear. And so I'm smiling because like I said, this reminds me of the matriarchs in my family. And it reminds me also how gentle the Lord is with me too, that I go about a rage a lot in different ways and in different things. Yet, even in my, in my rage, He still comes to me and reminds me and says, You know, there's some other ways you can do this, too. And it's okay, why don't you try this; you can try again, just try it this way and see what happens. Right? To me, it's always an open invitation to, like I said, see what's going to happen. And then we learn what does happen. It's what we were always hoping for from the beginning.
And I love this idea too. For just like, our church culture, I feel like we have to have the fanciest table setting for Relief Society. We have to have these, you know, everything has to be big and fancy and grand, which is great and fun. Like, obviously, I love color and I love having fun. But it doesn't always need to be big and grand. Sometimes the most beautiful, healing experiences are simple things that are matter unorganized, a river that is dirty, and God can still make us clean and happy and peaceful in that life as well. And I think it also is important to have people in your life. like I'm so grateful Miya's in my life and many of our other friends, that when things don't go according to plan in our life, that our life plan that we have stuck our head, that there are these gentle people around us to be like, Hey, I know this wasn't your plan, but let's go down this path and see where it goes, and I will come with you
And to have the servant say, I know it's not the plan you imagined. Let's just do this together. I let how empathetic the servant is when he calls him 'my father'. Like there's just something so kin about that. Like my father. If the Prophet asked you to do something amazing, you'd probably do it. So just try something simple. Who knows? Couldn't hurt, might help. I don't know. So let's find out if it helps. We're going to read verses 14 and 15. Me Miya, will you take 14 and Michelle, verse 15, please.
sure, 14 "Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
14 "And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant."
Thank you. I mean, he just bears testimony of this beautiful miracle that took place in his life. Now, here's something I love about the number 7 right here, it's an equation. We all know I'm not good at math, but I can do basic addition. So I want to share this with you because it's so cool. You look at this, you're like7 times, he dipped 7 times. Okay, get this: So, the number 7 in Hebrew is a cool combination of the number 3 and the number 4. And we've talked about the numeric meaning of numbers in Hebrew. And here's what this is. The number 3 in Hebrew is symbolic of the 'Godhead'. The number 4 in Hebrew is symbolic of 'mankind'. When you add 'God' plus 'mankind', you get 7. And 7 in Hebrew is 'completion, wholeness, perfection, and the Covenant'.
Now, I think this is so cool, because going back to our discussion about the little maid, and going back to even our own examples, she was little. But her size had nothing to do with how powerful her number 4 was. She incorporated number 3 - God, number 4 - her - and we get this 'completion, perfection, covenant' and a miracle that happens. So I want to know right now, because how can the little maid's influence - the story we just heard - how can her story engender confidence in those who feel little, in those who think their number 4 is too small to make a difference?
I just think of "by small means great things come to pass." And that is a theme with God throughout all the scriptures, even up until present day, that very small things or the people or the people in our communities that we take for granted or looked down on are often the most powerful, most in tune and connected with God. And that when we listen to them, you know the least of these, my brotheren and you've done it unto me. That when we listen to them, we are listening to the voice of God.
And just thinking about this little girl, her effect ripples through, we saw several people to get to the top. And not just to the top of the king of a certain land, but to the top - to God. It makes me think about family history of this term we know, - me and Michelle talk about all the time - of genealogical consciousness, right? Knowing that how you live, how you move, how you breathe has a ripple effect through the past, all the way through the future to the present as well. If we feel little in our lives, if we feel small, that even the tiniest movement, the tiniest wave affects generations, through all time and space. The clear example that is this little maid right here, her example has rippled through time and space to where we are right now. And it's moved me. It's like, if she can do it, and she can stand up and say important things, bear her testimony, share the experiences she's had or the knowledge she has heard of this prophet of God, I mean, what? I can do things like this too.
And I wonder if this little maid saw the end result. Did she lived to see her enslaver be healed this way? I have hope that she did, so that she could see almost like a completion of her being that catalyst for the miracle to happen. Yet, I don't have to see the end of the end-all of how I'm living is affecting all generations of time. But just knowing that what I can do can have that good effect. Like it compounds in me, it makes me want to do even more and be even better. And so just the tiniest things. Like Michelle and I talk about how to combat some issues that we have in our family histories, maybe generationally, we've been passed down: poor body image, or we have struggled with mental health in our family history.
All it takes is one person, just one person to make a transition in their family history to change the course of their lives forever. That's all it takes. And the greatest person who went below and beneath all things, even the tiniest things is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has made it possible for us to witness and understand what it's like to petition and be heard by God and have that blessing come all the way back down to us too, just like that little girl did for her enslaver. So our effect and our impact in our lives today - it does matter, and that the Lord is mindful of those things. Even the tiniest, the tiniest of acts builds up over time, and it can be this well and abundance of goodness.
Excellent. Oh, meow, meow. Michelle, I loved your comments. Thank you so much for sharing those, that was powerful. So in your journals or on a piece of paper somewhere or maybe even on a sticky note and put it in your bathroom or on your fridge, the equation 3 + 4 = 7 and just kind of remember, how are you a living testament of this equation, even the tiniest little things make a difference. Because if you're a 4 God will come in and make up the difference for something to become complete or whole. And he dipped seven times and he became complete, he became whole, he then became one who testified of Jesus Christ. And that's the equation. All of us will become those who testify of Jesus Christ. And so thank you for what you shared. That was such a great discussion. Okay, so now we get to learn about two more women and their story, which may have turned out differently if they had had a little maid. And we'll get into that in the next segment.
Segment 5 45:42
My friend, Lisa Zollinger - my 'sis' I call her - she sent me this picture from California. And it was her trying to put gas in her car. And she had to stop when she reached the limit of $100. And it's barely anything. So there is the gas pump. She's like, I can't get over how much gas is. And so I'm wanting to know, do you guys feel the same way? How's the price for food and gas affected you and your family?
First of all, it makes me cringe more than I already do. I already cringe at a lot of things that I'm seeing on the news, but seeing the gas price, I don't need that. I didn't need that. No. I didn't ask for it. And food, honestly like too, it's made me think a lot about those who may not be able to afford these basic things. It's, I mean, poverty is already prevalent, and with rising gas prices and gas and food, it just made things even more, like the disparity even greater in our communities and in our nation, at least here in America that I've seen. And I'll say that I'm very privileged right now to be making good money. I had a raise recently and all these you know, all these benefits have happened in my life, and blessings. But, oh my heart just aches for so many of those people who don't have what I have right now.
Yeah, what Miya was saying it was making me think you were talking about you know, living in abundance and the idea of abundance and like, abundance versus scarcity is, a lot of it comes down to just the community being willing to share resources, and that there is enough for everyone. The Lord will provide, but it takes US seeing each other's needs and being willing to share what we have.
Oh, absolutely. Well, thank you for what both of you shared because it perfectly sets up the conditions of 2 Kings, chapter 6. I want us to be thinking about scarcity. I want us to be thinking about how difficult times are when you don't have money for gas or for food. And for anyone that's ever experienced that or been in that space, this story is frightening. So I want to give you a little bit of background that leads up to this. In 2 Kings 6:8 it says, "Then the king of Syria warred against Israel". So we've got this war going on. And then in 2 Kings 6:13-24, we also have a famine. And so food is very scarce and very expensive. An ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver for food. In Old Testament time, you would never eat the head of a donkey. And if you did, it was the lowest of the low food, and it was so cheap. And now it's being sold for four score pieces of silver, which is very exorbitant.
And it even talks about how a fourth part of a cab of a dove's dung. And if it sounds gross, it's because it is. And it wouldn't have been sold during Old Testament time and now it's being sold for five pieces of silver. It's like a pulse, something chewed and just yucky. Like you wouldn't eat it. So during this war, in 2 Kings, 6:13-24 the king of Syria sent spies to find out where Elisha was because he was told that Elisha was helping the king of Israel to find the camp of the Assyrians. So they find Elisha in a place called Dothan. And the king sent a host of men and chariots to surround the city because they're going to capture Elisha and all of his people. Well, early in the morning, one morning, one of the servants of Elisha wakes up and he gets out of his tent and he looks around him. And in verse 15, let's see what he sees. So Miya, will you please read verse 15, in 2 Kings chapter six.
6:15 "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do?
You can just sense the fear, right? What are we going to do? This is terrible. And we love Elisha's answer in verse 16. Michelle, we read that for us,
6:16 "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
And just so we're clear, that wasn't true. Elisha did not have more people with him. So what does that verse do for us in our heart when he says, "Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them"? What does that teaching us about the Lord?
Miya, let's say it on the count of 3.....1-2-3. FAMILY HISTORY!
(laughs) Why did you say that?
We want to talk about more that are with you that are invisible, that you cannot see. You will never find a better place than your own family history because we know President Nelson has talked about both sides of the veil. They're busy doing stuff, we're busy doing stuff; whether you can see them or not, they are there. And we know also, from many things that prophets and apostles have said that our ancestors are there to help us and watch over us and be the angels in our lives. So with Elisha, I'm sure he's talking about, you know, hosts of heaven and angels and stuff. But specifically for me, I know of times when I was in danger, or I was afraid, or I needed help that I felt specifically my ancestors just rallying around me. And so I knew more was with me at that moment.
Can I share an experience, too?
So I was called to serve a full-time mission in the Japan Tokyo Mission in 2013. And just as a little bit more context, o as Tammy shared at the beginning, my first name is Miyamoto. It's my great, great, great grandmother's last name on my Japanese side of my family. So I remember when I was on my mission, about six and a half, seven months, I struggled so much with homesickness and depression and anxiety. I realized now more than ever, that my experience is very relatable to a lot of other missionaries who have served missions and been there in the field and have had mental breakdowns and struggles with their mental health. And so I remember when I was contemplating whether or not I should return home from my mission, I remember kneeling down on the tatami mat in our apartment, and just pleading with the Lord asking him, Please help me to know what I should do. And the answer came to me, You need to go home. And I didn't like the answer. But I accepted it.
And once I was like, Okay, Heavenly Father, I will go home, I felt like there was, you know how in football games, you see, when someone you know, wins, they start piling on top of each other. And, you know, I felt that; I felt, and not a heavyweight, but I felt in my ancestors coming to me and almost like laying themselves on top of me and made me feel lighter and stronger to do what I had to do. It was so scary getting on that plane, coming back home, going through therapy, facing my community. Even though I knew people love me, it was still daunting and frightening. Yet I knew because I had, like the scripture say, I had more with me than those who were judging me or against me.
I have these powers of heaven that were with me that just saved my life. And honestly, that's what helped to bring me into family history was learning about who those people were that were with me in that pile who helped to carry me as they were laying with me in this the deepest and some of the darkest times I've ever had in my life. And so this cry and this plea, as well as command from Elisha to not fear, and to remember who was with you. Like Michelle said, All just resonates so much with family history, and was the powers of heaven. I mean, it's, that stuff is real. And I just wanted to testify of that.
I will Amen that. Thank you, Miya for sharing that. That was a beautiful experience. And just like your story, Miya, which was so good, those that were with Elisha helped him and we read that in verse 18. But sadly, that didn't happen in the next story.
So the king of Syria, he gathers this host, and he besieges this place called Samaria. Now Samaria was the capital and the center of the religious world. And it still maintained the appearance of upholding the worship of the Lord, but he completely corrupted it. None of them believed that there was someone stronger with them. They believed in their own selves, they believed in their own false gods, they were completely just replete of the Spirit and their hearts were not even capable of holding a place for Elisha's truth: "Fear not, they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And so we go into this story in 2 Kings 6:25-30, which is shocking. And so the king of Israel is walking upon the wall. And as he's walking, he hears a woman cry out, Help, O Lord, O King. Like she's begging him for help. Let's read in verses 27-29 what she needed help with and we're each going to take a verse. We'll start with Miya, and then Michelle, and then myself.
6:27 "And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barn floor, or out of the wine press?
28 "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.
29 "So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son." Tell me what you're feeling Michelle.
I guess my first reaction is to be kind of angry with the mother, like, as a mother myself, like I would rather die than hurt my children. But one thing I know, you know, there's a difference between poverty and abject poverty. Poverty I lived in, and as a child, many of my ancestors lived in abject poverty, is what we're talking about right now, where there is no food, there is no access to medical care, education, clothing. You are at the lowest most desperate point of your life, which I do have ancestors, especially my indigenous ancestors, that reading more about the history experienced this level of abject poverty. And in those cases, instead of my anger being put on the mothers, my anger is the, to the community, to the community, and to the leaders that put these women in a situation where this, this is the best they could do, this is what they came up with.
And you would have to know that they were in a sense of complete starvation, that maybe you're not thinking logically, you know? Maybe they had other children that they had to care for. I think we are quick to judge other cultures and other time periods. And even now, in modern days, we judge other people that are in situations that we've never been in situations, that are so full of sorrow, desperation, sadness, scarcity, that we will never have to make those decisions. And I really just, I don't feel for myself personally I have a right to judge someone that in that abject poverty,
I tell you, I've been struck with this, because like you said, when you first read it, you're mad at the moms. And then I loved your perspective, because then you're mad at the culture. And I have been thinking about this for the past three weeks. And I've been watching the news. And I've been seeing all of the things that are going on. And it struck me: Am I that way? Have I become unresponsive and apathetic to the news? We hear all of this stuff going on and we're like, Oh, there it is, again, when I wonder if maybe I should be a little, like, I see these women and I want to say, Oh, I would have stepped in and given them my food. But where were the people, were they so unresponsive to what was going around because they just already had seen it before. Like, I wonder how many other women had boiled their children. We just have it recorded here in scripture one time.
We talked a lot in this episode about modeling and having an example to follow. And when you said that about the women, had they seen their mothers do that? Have they seen their neighbors do that? And maybe that was what you did to survive. And it just is a reflection again on the culture that these women, this community would have to make this choice over and over and over again. And then you look at the sickness and you're like, we have to do something, to change this pattern that is happening over and over again, we have to give these people a different choice. And I think that's so beautiful in the scriptures whenever we do see the community hurting, and people feel like they only have one choice, Christ comes. And He can go, He can descend to any low place, He can go anywhere and open a space for us and give us another choice. It may be another hard choice, but it's feeling like you're not alone and that you have support ,and that you can have the strength you need to make the hard choice.
Yes, because right here, 3 plus 4equals 7 was not even a possibility in this community. And I wonder how closely our world is getting to that? Are we getting close to '3 + 4 = 7' not existing? It frightens me. And it made me think about that all week.
And I think, you know, like you said with the math, the 3 can't just be hanging out there and fix all the problems. You need to add the people's love, faith, and work to the 3 to make it 7. And while the 3 is always going to be there as God's love, where's that community 4 coming? I that's, that's in my mind. Wow. I'm very moved by that thought.
Definitely. Thank you.
And just adding to that too, real quick. I feel like a lot of times in our community or when we see horrific things happen, you know, a lot of times we ask, Where's God in this? Where is He? How did, how could He have abandoned us? And I've learned over time, I'm like, God has always been with us. It's us that's abandoned Him. And this community, this is a community tragedy. This was a communicative effort to not succor those who are in need of succor, who, those who need us to mourn with them, and to help and to love and to serve them. And just going back to your question, Tammy, like, is that something that we are becoming as a society? I mean, that's a powerful question to reflect upon, right? And I think what it comes down to a lot of times as well, is that, we feel, like even in our own family histories, we feel so separated from people that we may have never met, never will meet, or never seen, ever heard of. Yet, It's divinely true, that we're all connected. Everything that we do affects everybody around us. And like we talked about, it has a ripple effect throughout time and space, too.
But even though I see things happening on the news, and my defense may go up and say, I don't want to feel because of how painful it is. But we have to feel, to move, and to change and to make important things happen. And then going back to the Savior, I don't think He could have done what He had to do if He didn't allow himself to feel, to descend below all things, to truly understand how it's safe to love and to help and to offer that compassion, empathy. So to me this lesson again, I'm not angry at these women. I have great compassion to them. Yet, I also have this burning in me, like how can the community have done this? And so it's more of a rally cry to me to think of how else can I be a better community member for my community? Because I know I can do better.
I want, and that's one thing I think that we can ask God, Where are these people that need my abundance? Where are these people that need me to share privilege with them? Because I know that that's where you are in that space. You're waiting for the 4 to come to the 3 to make 7.
Wow, your comments and thoughts on this difficult story and life situation were amazing. So thank you, I really appreciate what you shared. So in chapter 9 Jezebel is slain, and she's eaten by wild dogs - craziest story. But during this time of war, Elisha performs one last miracle. And we are going to learn about that in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:02:49
I want to know, have either one of you ever shot a bow and arrow?
Tell me about it. Okay, so people who've never done this, how do you successfully do it? Describe it for someone who's never shot a bow and arrow.
You did not say successfully; you just asked if we've done it.
What's it like? Describe it.
You need a lot of upper body strength. And I don't know the secrets of shooting straight with an arrow because I could never figure it out. Miya, did you have any better luck?
No. I really didn't. And you know, just thinking about what you're saying too, about upper body strength, you also have to know how to hold your instruments properly to be successful. And also you need to know your environment. You need to know how the wind is blowing, how many miles per hour, how strong it is, and then what direction. You need to understand what your target is. You have clear vision of it, too. I mean, there's so many factors to it to being successful. To hold a bow and arrow and shoot it straight that it almost feels like I don't know, for me at least it feels almost impossible. Shooting a bull's eye.
I really wanted it to be Merida the brave, like riding through the wind, shooting arrows. Like, in my mind, that's what was going on. And then that did not happen. I don't think I even hit the target. But
Oh my gosh, okay. I'm sorry. I'm writing all of these things down so fast that you guys used to describe. you have to, and I love how you explain you have to understand the conditions: the air, you need a lot of strength, it's almost impossible. But I thought that was so good, because we're going to apply that to the story found in 2 Kings 13:14. Let's go there. Elisha got really sick, and his sickness is so bad that he's going to die from the sickness that he has. But before he dies, in verse 14, Joash the king of Israel, he comes down unto him and he wept over his face and said to Elisha, "O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." There's some double play there because it's the same thing that happened when Elijah died. We have this chariot comment "Take him away." So some people think that maybe Joash is prophesying that Elisha's about to die. Verse
15, ".....Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows."
We have this weird thing that happens in verse 16 and 17, kind of like Naaman and Elisha, like, what are you asking me to do? So Miya, will you read verse 16 and 17, please.
13:16 "And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the King's hands.
17 "And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them."
Michelle, will you read for us verses 18 and 19.
18 "And he said, take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
19 "And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice."
Okay. Go back to verse 17, underline "the arrow of the Lord's deliverance". I think this is such a great story. Because think for a minute, here's this king, and he has a prophet, and what do you think he's expecting the prophet will do when he comes to him and says, save my people? What is he hoping the prophet will do?
I'm sure something grand. You know like our man Naaman. So he's like, I'll raise my hands up, and I'll save this kingdom. But that doesn't happen. It's a weird request,
Grab a bow and some arrows, huh? All right. So he does, and then he touches his hand and they shoot this bow. And then he says, I want you to bang these bows on the ground. Now, several scholars have interpreted verse 19 to be that the king didn't do it enough times, that the king, if he had hit it on the ground, more times, that then for sure, the Lord would have helped him win the war. But the king was like, This is the weirdest request. So he's just kind of like, I'll just do it for show 1-2-3 and done, and then he completely loses the war. There is so much power in this when we talk about 'the arrow of the Lord,' because it reminds us who's in charge, the Lord is responsible for the overall success if we trust in the man who is using the bow.
So when you think about that equation, again, number 4 is the person holding the bow. But then you put number 3, God's arrow, the arrow of the Lord, which will hit the target every single time. And I want to know from the both of you then, when we have this situation, we've talked a ton: "Fear not, there's more that be with us than more that be against us." How would you explain to someone, how do you put your trust in the arrow of the Lord when it just seems futile?
I know that that arrow hits the target every time because I have people in my family who have shot so many arrows and have seen the Lord deliver them every single time. And I'm thinking specifically about my grandma, my mom's mom, who had to live in much faith, to carry on in her life with all the difficult things she had to go through. She lost her sweetheart in his early 30s, was left with five children under the age of 12. And had to carry on her family and do all these really hard things: to provide, to protect, and to preside over her family. Even in her hardships, like she left this legacy that's burned in my brain and in my heart. Not just with me, but her entire posterity. That trusting in the Lord will always be the best thing that you ever choose to do. And that He will never lead us astray, that we can always rely upon His hand.
And you know, as much as I've heard tell me, I listened a few times, I've listened a few critical times in my life, but I realized there's been times I haven't listened. And that's when the arrow missed. Yet, when I remember to be still, to focus on the strength that God gives me, to focus on the power that has been passed down to me generation after generation from all these matriarchs in my family. That arrow hits the target every single time despite how crazy the circumstances are around me.
So I get strength from my family history, from knowing that there have been generations of matriarchs that have trusted in the same God that I am asked to trust in, the same God that Moses was asked to trust, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, down to these prophets, Elijah and Elisha, and to our prophets today. Like this is the same God yet, you know, I'm learning in new ways and in different circumstances, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But knowing that my yesterday, trusted the same God that exists today, and that will exist tomorrow. That is what's carrying me through. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm trying my best to remember that and to hold on to it.
Oh, Miya. I'm so grateful for the 'certain women' in your life. Thank you for sharing that story. That was awesome. What about you, Michelle, any thoughts?
Well, my first thought is Miya's the best. And I love her so much. And I never met her grandmother, but I definitely feel her through Miya The part of this story that is coming to my mind a lot is that I've been in scary situations where I want to know that there are more with me. But for some reason this conversation is really thinking, has me thinking a lot about my community and, and why I am in this position of privilege? And I am doing okay when a lot of people are suffering. What can I do to give and serve and aid and heal with passion and with zeal? And to hit that many times and just not stop and not give up and not worry that is this going to be enough? Or will this do anything? You know, many of my friend groups, we've been calling our senators and asking for things from our senators to keep our kids safe at school. I just see this group of wonderful moms who care so much not only about their own children, but my children, the children in our community. And we continue to pound, pound with zeal and with passion to hopefully make a difference.
Amen! Both of you, you nailed it. That was so good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And, and just going back to that verse 17, "the arrow of the Lord's deliverance!" I mean, He will do that for His people. He absolutely will. 3 + 4 is 7. That's the best thing about it. So thank you for this discussion, for your insights. I love you both so much.
Worth the wait. This was so good. Okay, so gather your thoughts. And is there any takeaway from today's discussion, anything's gonna stick with you?
I hate math, like I, I'm creative, my brain is off in some other ways. So like, math is really hard for me. But I don't think a math equation has ever resonated with me more than today on this episode, that I am going to be thinking about three plus four. And not just four as me as an individual, but four as, as me and my community and what we can accomplish when we add three.
So good, powerful, Michelle.
Along with Michelle's takeaway, I think for me, "certain women", that term, that characteristic, that phrase in the scriptures is resonating with me so much. And I would hope that the certain women that I'm seeing in the scriptures would reflect on me. I want their lives to be a mirror to my life too, and vice versa. And not just to these women in the scriptures, but to the women in my family, to those who are named and unnamed. I want to be that reflection of these good certain women.
Magnificent. I couldn't have had to better women to discuss these topics.
Tammy, we love you!
It's been a special day! I love you. I have to tell you my takeaway, and this is what it was. When Michelle, when you said "Miya, should we say it on the count of 3? 1-2-3." And you both do it! For the record, we did not practice that. That was raw and real. I cannot wait to listen to your podcast. I am so excited. Because I am not a fan of family history. I haven't done this. Just say just say I'm gonna own it. Like my whole side of the family has so much work that needs to be done. I have anxiety thinking about it. I'm in. I'm in. I can't wait to listen, and I can't wait to be converted to family history.
We are gonna validate you that it is hard and that you don't want to do it. We are not gonna shame you,
You should be doing it. And that why haven't you done it? No. Because there's real reasons. And we're going to talk about it all. So thank you so much for just saying how you feel.
I can't wait, It's gonna be awesome! We can't wait. So watch for some great social media and posts and everything so you can find out more about their podcast. And ladies, I love you both. Great. Well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or if you're not following us on Instagram, just go and do it. It is such a great place to ask questions as you study throughout the week and you can even share things you're learning, which is so much fun. Then at the end of the week, usually on a Saturday, we do a post calling for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sundayOnMonday. It's not a bad idea to go there anyway because that's where we have links to all the references and a transcript of this whole discussion, so go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our beautifully fantastic study group participants were Miyamoto Loretta Jensen and Michelle Franzoni Thorley, and you can find more information about my friends at LDSliving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me; it is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and edited by Hailey Higham, and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We will see you next week.
And please remember, you dear "certain women" and men, that you are God's favorite!
Do it in Country Western voice this time
One of the thangs the Sunday on Monday team have tried to do here. I love it, I love it. Okay, hey ya’ll, here we go.