ELISHA (PT.4)

“When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets” (2 Kings 4:38 NASB).

One of the ways that the LORD God distinguishes Himself in a world of false gods is by way of compassion. Although there are thousands of false gods, worshipped out of fear of ill consequences, none of them can compare to the God Who loves us and cares for us in the midst our plight or problems. When Jesus looks upon us He sees us like sheep having no shepherd, scattered and harassed by life’s circumstances. He is full of compassion and does not distance Himself from our pain or need. He reassures us of His love and care for us. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, He declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3 NASB).   We see a demonstration of God’s loving kindness through the ministry of Elisha during the time of famine (Read 2 Kings 4:38-41).

 POISONOUS STEW

Elisha is making his circuit to Gilgal and finds the company of the prophets without food due to the famine in the land. He instructs his servant to put on a large pot and make some stew to feed them. One of the young men (apparently) in his eagerness to help with the meal gathered some herbs from a wild vine. He also gathered some wild gourds (“filling the fold of his cloak”), cutting them up in the stew (“no one knew what they were”). When they starting eating, they cried out to Elisha, “there is death in the pot!”  The prophet Elisha had them put some flour (meal) in the pot. And there was no harm.

This story has lessons for us today. (1) Know those who labor among you. Just because this servant was with “the company of the prophets” did not mean he was called to that ministry. He had no DISCERNMENT to distinguish what was a good plant and a poisonous gourd! Today, much passes in the Body of Christ for true MINISTRY when it is NOT. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to distinguish (And avoid!) the “WILD GOURD” ministries that are in the land. They have put “death in the pot”. And without recognizing this, many just swallow what is fed to them as “Gospel”.

(2) God gave Elijah the solution. Have them put ‘flour’ in the pot. Flour is ground grain or “meal”. Meal is a type of God’s Word. We need the WRITTEN Word of God as well as the LIVING WORD of God. Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40 NASB).

YOUR PART

Elisha had the solution but they had to participate by putting the meal in the pot of stew. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”(2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB).

 Timothy was to be faithful to proclaim the truth of God’s Word to save and deliver his hearers. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NASB).

Give people the Word and you give them hope and Life. Give them NO Word and you give them NO hope nor Life!   Amos warned, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11 NASB).

 HOPE FOR OUR HUNGER

The story of Elisha gives us hope. He reminds us that God will care for His own, even in midst of famine conditions. “The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, and in the days of famine they will have abundance”(Psalms 37:18-19 NASB).

Ultimately, Jesus is the only answer for a “culture of death”. He is the true Bread sent of the Father and we look to Him for Life. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” (Matthew 4:4 NASB)

Finally, the apostle Paul exhorts, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority”(Colossians 2:8-10 NASB).

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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