“And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” 2 Kings 13:21
As an example of priorities in service to God, Jesus once said, “Let the dead bury their dead.” But on this occasion in 2 Kings, the dead raised the dead! Elisha had died and his body put in a sepulcher. When this miracle took place, we can assume he had been dead for quite a while, because his body was reduced to bare bones. It seems, a new group of mourners were attempting to bury another man when they saw approaching marauders, and pressed to make a fast get away, simply threw their deceased into the sepulcher of Elisha. That’s when it happened. The minute the man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, he came alive. Matthew Henry points out that this proves there is life after this one. As he puts it, “When Elisha died, there was not an end of him, for then he could not have done this. From operation we may infer existence.” But his final words on this story may be the most important, as far as I’m concerned: “It is good being near the saints and having our lot with them both in life and death” (emphasis supplied).
We all know being around other believers, especially those whose presence both instructs and inspires us, is one of the most basic, as well as vital, resources for the child of God who truly aspires to know Him. But it’s easy in this age of always looking for something—and someone—new, to neglect men and women of the faith that were buried long ago. Oh, I can tell you from experience, touching those old dead bones can bring new inspiration, exhilaration, and respiration to a waning Christian life! I find their boldness and fearlessness to be refreshing; their vocabulary to be vivid, pungent, and piercing; and their understanding of the glorious grandeur of God and the majestic graciousness of Jesus Christ, His Son to be indispensible in my walk with the Lord. And above all, add to this the pre-eminence and beauty of the Word of God, as found in the old A.V. 1611 King James Bible, and I consider myself rich indeed. For instance:
“Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter.” – C.H. Spurgeon
“We lack moral stamina. We are incapable of noble hatred and holy scorn. We are invertebrate, and on the evil day, we are unable to stand.” – J. H. Jowett
“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.” – M. Luther
“A man will never regulate his passions who has never learned to regulate his thoughts.” - G.H. Morrison
“Murmuring is no better than mutiny in the heart; it is a rising up against God…Murmuring is nothing else but the scum which boils off from a discontented heart.” - T. Watson
“Bodily appetites are insistent for attention. They give the devil a good vantage point if they are not kept under control.” - Arthur Matthews
“Promoting self under the guise of promoting God is currently so common as to excite little notice.” – A.W. Tozer
“From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of self as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the center is opened to it.” – C.S. Lewis
“All that was ever ours is ours forever.” - Amy Carmichael
All of these are now “dead bones.” I challenge you to touch them and others like them…often. Just see if they will not raise and revive you. I dare you!