But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence. (2 Kings 13:23)
None of us deserve the blessings of God. We have failed Him repeatedly, yet His love is unfailing. We wander from His will, but not beyond His reach. That is truly amazing grace! There are several examples of this grace in 2 Kings 13.
God is gracious in answering prayer (v.1-9). “So Jehoahaz pleaded with the LORD, and the LORD listened to him….” (v.4a) We have often heard that God does not hear the prayers of sinners. Generally, that is true—and there is a Scriptural basis. It would be better stated that God has no obligation to hear those prayers. Yet, sometimes God chooses to do so, as we see with Jehoahaz. Whether it be the cry for forgiveness from a penitent sinner or the call for help from a prodigal son, it is amazing grace that God responds at all. There are times we struggle to comprehend why God doesn’t answer some of our prayers. We ought rather to be surprised that He answers any, considering how often we disobey Him. That’s grace! God disciplines the disobedient and we see that in this text, but He does not disown His children, delivering them when they call.
God is gracious in supplying power (v.10-21). “So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.” (v.21) Grace is God’s power for the demands of life. God’s power can give us insight into future decisions. Elisha was a man who had tapped into God’s resources and so was able to offer counsel to the king. This was not a natural gift, but supernatural grace. Unfortunately, the king failed to fully avail himself of the gracious power of God to achieve an enduring victory. Such was the power of the prophet that even after Elisha died, a corpse contacting his bones brought a resurrection! Grace is such that those who have received it, transmit it—even beyond their lifetime. For example, the grace that rested in Paul flows on into our lives today. The grace that resided with Spurgeon is still impacting pastors today. It may be that your parents are in the grave, but the godly prayers they offered are still bringing grace!
God is gracious in giving provision (v.22-25). “And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz recaptured from the hand of Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war….” (v.25a) God is good—even when we are not. Grace is the provision of our need. We are in poverty, but God has plenty. Someone has described grace with this acrostic: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Here we see Israel reclaiming what they has lost. Thought they were undeserving, God was gracious in granting them victory.
Justice is when we get what we deserve. Mercy means we do not get what we deserve. Grace means we get what we do not deserve. If we receive justice, we will be in hell. Mercy means we do not have to go there. Grace means that heaven is opened to us instead. How precious is this grace!