2 Kings 6:1-7:20; Acts 15:36-16:15
Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 17:24-25
From abundance springs satiety.
2 Kings 6:1-7:20
There are a string of miracles that Elisha perform. We start with a miracle that shadows the miracles that Jesus would perform, which show his authority over the physical universe. We all know that iron does not float. Today, Elisha throws a stick into the water and an axe head that had fallen off of an ax floats to the top of the water and is retrieved by one of Elisha's assistant prophets. While this was a nice thing for Elisha to do, the story has a deeper spiritual lesson. You and I are like that axe head. We are iron that has slipped off of the handle. We are fallen and depraved and have sunk down into the depths of death because of our sins. The stick is the cross in this story. Jesus went into the murky waters of death on the cross for us. His death caused us to float up to new life through his resurrection. You and I have been lifted from death to new life through the work of Jesus on the cross. Hallelujah!
Elisha prays that the Aramean army will be blinded. They are, and Elisha pretends to be someone else and leads this army to the king of Israel in Samaria. The Israelite king consults Elisha to see if he should kill the Arameans. Elisha is merciful and says to treat them as prisoners of war. They are eventually released.
This comes back to haunt Israel when the King of Aram lays siege to Samaria. The siege is so intense that people are eating their children from starvation. The king in Israel is furious at Elisha for having recommended that the Syrians be left alive. He vows to execute Elisha. Elisha prophesies that the siege will be ended by tomorrow. The king's assisting officer does not have faith in Elisha's prophesy. Elisha says that it will come true, but this man will not live to see it. The Lord uses lepers to discover his miracle of deceiving the Syrian army into running away. Eventually, the Israelites are able to go to the abandoned camp and retrieve the food and booty from the Arameans. As the Israelites storm out of the city gates to get the booty, the assistant officer of the king is trampled by the crowd. So it happened just as Elisha, the man of God, predicted.
Do you realize that God surrounds you with chariots of fire? Do you live in fear or do you have eyes to see God's protection of you and your family?
One would think that if the Holy Spirit is working among the leaders of a church, there would never be disagreements among them. This assumption would be wrong. We learn from today's passage that the Holy Spirit sometimes uses disagreements as a way to promote God's agenda on earth.
Paul and Barnabas have agreed that they need to visit the churches established on their first missionary journey. Barnabas wants to take John Mark with them. Paul is strongly opposed to this because John Mark abandoned them on their first journey. The disagreement is so strong that Paul and Barnabas stop their combined ministry and go their own ways. This might seem like a tragedy. How could these two men of God do this? We learn that God is able to use our disagreements for His good purposes.
Lydia immediately manifests good works in that she provides hospitality to Paul and Timothy, who stay in her home while establishing a church in the area.
Did your conversion to Christ mirror Lydia's? Who told you the Good News of the gospel? How long was it before God drew you to Himself?
Vs. 2-3 says, "I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. For I am overwhelmed, and you alone know the way I should turn." Do you do that with God? Can you see why God called David a man after his own heart. This is an honest and faith infused relationship.
Keep your eyes glued on wisdom, not on your computer screen or the television. This proverbs states that a foolish child brings grief to the father and bitterness to the mother. This can be very true.
What did you see as you read today? Please share.