Friday, May 30, 2008

Death in the pot and other short stories

Sometimes I wish I were like the Prophet Elisha while at other times I don't. How can one man sustain so much excitement in his life without suffering a cardiac arrest? What did he have to do and how much time did he have to spend in prayer to command God's favor with such seeming ease? Yes, incase you missed it I'm back in 2 Kings chapter 4. Here are two more seemingly innocuous stories, related to us in just a few paragraphs. I imagine that the faith required to walk in such authority took more than a few 'paragraphs' of his life to acquire.

The first story tells us that Elisha was back home in Gilgal and there was a famine in the region. (ever get the idea that famines seemed to follow this man around?) He was hosting a 'prophetic conference' at the time, and decided to feed all the prophets in attendance, with a large pot of stew. One of his servants went out into the fields to gather herbs to spice up the stew and picked up a seemingly innocuous (like the story) looking vine which they added to the stew. It turned out to be poisonous and the prophets all began to exclaim in alarm as they feasted on "death in the pot." We'll pick up the story directly in 2 Kings 4: 41: Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it into the pot and said, "Serve it to the people to eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot. What??? Since when did flour become a poison neutralizer? My point exactly. It isn't!

Elisha's confidence in God's ability to heal is so high, that all it takes is a little gesture of some sort on his part. I'm convinced it could have been honey, wheat, rice or anything else they had in the pantry and he could have used it the same way he used the flour. As if that isn't enough, the story is immediately followed by the visit of a man bringing him 20 loaves of barley bread as a gift. Elisha orders that it be given to the people to eat, but his servants question his sanity in light of the fact that there are 100 men and merely 20 loaves (incase you suck at math, that's 1 loaf between 5 hungry men). Elisha insists saying, "For this is what the Lord says: 'They will eat and have some left over.' " How do you determine that the instruction, as unpalatable and apparently ridiculous as it sounds, is indeed from God? If you have the answer e-mail it to me quickly. As for me, I'm still learning to hear, discern and obey His voice. Have a great weekend!


Hope said...

I always ask if my soul or spirit is inspired. (If it's my soul, it ain't God). I always check the Word to make sure it lines up. If I'm not worried about it, I have a peace, I know it's Him. Sometimes, I'll check it out with my pastor if I'm still unsettled. :)

Gapper said...

Yes, to have enough confidence in God to trust so many lives to it! I have trouble enough discerning whether or not I'm walking in God's will for my OWN life, much less being so sure, that I'm willing to risk others.You have to KNOW your in God's will to even get to such a place that He can give you a seemingly ridiculous instruction, and you follow it without question. The best way I've found is to start in the scriptures and petitioning prayer-the few times I HAVE been sure of what He's telling me always come with an all consuming Peace. Would that I could be there always!

.:fairlyn:. said...

I just google "fluor for poison neutralizer" after reading about Elisha in my quiet time, and stumble to this site..:)

Joseph said...

Fairlyn, thanks for joining the conversation. We've found out that flour isn't a poison neutralizer. :)