The Curse of Sin - 2 Kings 2:19
March 20, 2024, 8:22 AM

“The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive."

After the people acknowledged Elisha as the prophet God chose, they brought before him the problem with the water in Jericho. When Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, not only did the walls fall down after people walked around the town six times and seven times on the seventh day, but there was a curse placed on it. Joshua 6:26 reads, "At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: 'cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city. At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates." The word of the Lord was spoken and Jericho was cursed. In 1 Kings 16: 33 we see part of the curse fulfilled. Hiel tried to rebuild the city at the cost of his first son.

Part of that curse apparently carried over to the bitter water. A school of the prophets were residing there now. They saw the miraculous power that Elisha demonstrated as he used Elijah's mantle and touched the Jordan river. They saw him cross on dry ground. The sons of the prophets, realizing the Lord's power was with Elisha. asked him to take away the curse of Jericho which would heal the water and allow the land to produce again.

The curse of God was first mentioned as judgment against Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They were driven from the presence of God and from the relationships they enjoyed in Paradise. There was a curse that came upon man, woman, the serpent, and later for the murder of Able. Cain was cursed and made to wander.

We all know the great theological treatise. "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the Kings horses and all the king’s men couldn't put Humpty together again."

The sinful fall of man is the story of Humpty Dumpty. None of the Kings creatures can do anything about the fall, nor can any part of creation put man together as he was created. Adam and Eve are no longer perched on the lofty plane of paradise but broken as a result of the fall. Because of sin, our lives are out of control. Changes come faster than our ability to cope. Broken eggs are an appropriate symbol.

Jericho now looked nice, but the problem lay in one of the most fundamental parts of any town or village. It had bad water, not just bitter, but also caused death and prevented the crops and the land from producing crops. Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks upon the heart.

Application:   Does Jericho become a symbol of so many people that we see well-adjusted, happy, but underneath hurting, crying, and destroyed people because of sin and the effects of the curse for sin? Not having fellowship with God has hindered the most joyful relationship they could possibly have. That is at the heart of the matter.

Someone said, “Unless the heart is pure and clean, the whole stream is poisoned, and the life is barren.”

Prayer:  Lord, Jesus, only You can make my heart pure.