Saturday, May 11, 2024

May 11, 2024

Elisha had warned the king of Israel more than once about the plans of the king of Syria, enabling him to save himself. The Syrian king didn’t understand how Israel’s king always knew his plans, and one of his advisers mentioned that Elisha counseled the king. So he sent spies to find out where Elisha was and then sent his army to surround him at night. Elisha’s helper was up early, saw the encampment, and ran to Elisha, gripped with fear. However, Elisha could see God’s angel army surrounding them, but to calm the concerns of the helper, he prayed that God would open his eyes to see the horses and chariots of fire stationed in the mountains. 

On the other hand, he prayed that the eyes of the enemy soldiers would be blinded, confusing them. Elisha could then lead them to Samaria, right into the hands of the king of Israel. The king wanted to slaughter them, but Elisha reminded him that they were more like prisoners of war and that he should feed them and send them back to Syria. 

This story is one of my favorites because it is encouraging when facing trouble. God so dearly loves us that he will surround our enemy to keep us safe. There are forces of good and evil all around us, even though we cannot see them. Remember, only one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven with the devil to earth, leaving two-thirds to protect us. When someone is weak and fearing their trouble, remind them of the troops of angels protecting us from the enemy. Also, ensure you heed any warnings of impending danger when God makes you aware; otherwise, the consequences are on you. 

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17

Friday, May 10, 2024

May 10, 2024

Many prophets were drawn to Elisha, and the more that came to seek his counsel, prayer, and education, the less room they had. So, they decided to go to Jordan to get wood and build a new place there, and Elisha was encouraged to come with them. While cutting the timbers, one of the prophets lost the head of his axe in the river and was distraught because he had borrowed it. These men were God's vessels but were not afraid to work, though most probably didn't have a shed full of tools. So Elisha asked him where it fell, placed a stick in the water near it, and it floated to the surface. Incredible! 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, but can I make an axe head float? Do we need those kinds of miracles today? It would be exciting to see, but we have the account of our resurrected Savior, Jesus, and all his miracles to read about. The miracle that we must be content with is salvation and our slate wiped clean of all our sins, affording the ability to live peacefully with Jesus forever. I wouldn't mind seeing something miraculous happen today, but I'm not placing all my hope in such things. My hope lies with Jesus and him alone.

And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 2 Kings 6:6

Thursday, May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man, but he had leprosy. His wife had a young servant girl who was captured out of Israel on one of their raids. She mentioned to Naaman’s wife that a prophet of God in Samaria could heal his leprosy. So Naaman sent a letter to the king of Israel, along with silver, gold, and clothing, asking him to allow the prophet to heal him. The king was frightened that Naaman might want to start a war if Elisha couldn’t heal him and tore his clothes. However, Elisha heard about Naaman and told the king to send him so he would know there was a prophet in Israel. Naaman came to the door of Elisha’s house, and Elisha sent him a message to go to the Jordan and wash seven times. It irritated Naaman that Elisha didn’t come to the door and pronounce his healing, only to tell him to go and wash. He left there aggravated, but one of his servants reminded him that he would have done it if he had told him to do something more grand. So Naaman gave in, went to the Jordan River, dipped in it seven times, and came up clean and healed. He then went to Elisha, trying to pay him, but Elisha refused. However, after Naaman left, Gehazi, Elisha’s helper, decided to go after him and tell him Elisha changed his mind and asked him for silver and clothing. Elisha, being a prophet, knew what he had done and pronounced that he and his children would take on Naaman’s leprosy. Gehazi walked away white with the disease. 

What a lesson! Should we get paid for what God has done? Elisha gave Naaman God’s instructions; he was a vessel that God used to prove His might. God collects the payment and takes all the credit for His mercy. Be cautious when trying to profit off God—shame on those who derive fame and fortune from God’s goodness and mercy. 

And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 2 Kings 5:26

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

May 8, 2024

During a famine, Elisha visited a school of prophets in Gilgal. He was probably doing some training. They prepared a meal for about one hundred men. However, whoever was responsible for gathering the herbs and other food for the pot had picked something poisonous. Remember, these men were mostly known for their knowledge of God but probably didn't know much about plants. Someone took one bite of the stew and immediately knew it was terrible. Elisha threw a little meal into the pot, and it became edible. Then another man brought twenty loaves of barley bread and full ears of corn, and all one hundred of them ate and were satisfied. Doesn't that sound familiar? Remember Jesus with the loaves and fish? When God provides for you, he blesses and provides enough to satisfy you. In the middle of a famine, God's children ate. I imagine the stew became delicious after Elisha miraculously corrected it. I'm sure the bread and corn were perfect because it was an offering that the Levites were allowed to eat. 

And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD. 2 Kings 4:43-44

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

May 7, 2024

When the Shunemite’s son was older, he went to his dad in the field with the reapers; he cried, telling him he had a severe headache. He had a young man take him back to his mother. She held him in her lap, and he died. She laid him in Elisha’s bed and sent for a donkey so she could go and get Elisha to come to her home. There’s no mention that she told her husband of his death. Her faith was so strong that she knew with Elisha’s help, he would live again. When the woman got near to Elisha at Mount Carmel, he saw her in the distance and sent Gehazi to find out if everything was okay with her family. What I found interesting is that she told him that all was well. However, when she got to Elisha, she broke down. Elisha was surprised that God hadn’t revealed to him the condition of her son. Elisha sent Gehazi ahead to lay his staff upon the child, but that didn’t work. So Elisha went through a similar routine as Elijah did when he raised a child from the dead, laying on him to warm him with his body. Life returned to the boy, and he sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 

This woman had impeccable strength and faith, knowing God would raise her son from the dead. Undoubtedly, she had heard the story about Elijah raising a woman’s son from the dead, which gave her confidence that He would do the same for her. We must share our testimony of the grace and mercy that God has shown us. Your story will make a difference, so share it as often as possible.

Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 2 Kings 4:35

Monday, May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024

Elisha must have passed through Shunem quite often for the Shunemite woman to notice. She asked her husband if they could make accommodations for him so he would have his own space when passing through their town. He agreed, so they made him a room upstairs with a bed, a table, and a chair. Elisha was grateful for their kindness and wanted to do something nice for them. He asked Gehazi, his servant, what he could do for them, and he reminded him that her husband was old and they didn’t have a son. So, Elisha told the woman that at the same time next year, she would have a son. God fulfilled his prophecy, and she had a son.

This woman’s hospitality to Elisha opened the door for a blessing from God. She didn’t ask for it, but being barren in those days was considered a curse. It also shows that we cannot outgive God. She offered kindness to Elisha, and God returned to her a blessing that only God could give. We can count on God to bless us beyond measure, even when we don’t ask. 

And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. 2 Kings 4:17

Sunday, May 5, 2024

May 5, 2024

The widow of a prophet came to Elisha for help; her husband had died and owed debts, and his lenders would soon come to collect her sons to be their bond servants for seven years. He was a good man and was likely one of the seven thousand who hadn't bowed down to Baal. Being a prophet living during the time of Jezebel couldn't have been easy, which is most likely why he had debt. Elisha told the woman to go and borrow containers from her neighbors, close the door behind her and her sons, and pour what little oil she had into those containers. Every vessel was filled with oil, giving her an abundance to sell and pay off her husband's debt and provide a living for her and her sons. She had likely sold everything she had to pay off the debt, giving a reason she needed to borrow the containers. Pay attention to what happened; she didn't just sit back and watch Elisha fill those jars with oil. No, she and her sons were actively involved and grew a business with what little God had given them. They worked. Not only did they fill the jars, but they also had to find a way to sell the oil, just like any business today. Don't expect God to bless you while sitting around doing nothing; he expects our participation in whatever capacity we have. 

A spiritual comparison is the filling of the Holy Spirit, often presented Biblically as oil. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were an empty vessel, and God filled us with his Spirit to overflow. He anoints our heads with oil, and our cup overflows. 

And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. 2 Kings 4:6-7