Archive for April 5th, 2017
The work of Elijah and Elisha is extremely practical in the book of Kings. They are speaking out at a time when God’s people (albeit divided by the split that comes after the death of Solomon) are still in the Land. God has not yet finished with the House of David, God’s patience is being sorely tested as we read of yet another King who goes his own way, or goes a bit God’s way and also hedges his bets with an Asherah pole here and there.
What I read in these passages is a God who is involved – both with the healing and raising from the dead, in the miraculous increases in times of need and the defeating of armies, He is there and His word, alive and active, brings LIFE – victory, increase, salvation!
The passage for today is all about miracles in the practical – reminding me of the IKEA slogan ‘The Wonderful Everyday’. Demonstrating God’s care in the most mundane of moments, protecting in the Big and the Little – the King of moving mountains.
It seems as if in this part of Israel and Judah’s history, prophets were very much part of the furniture, so that with Elisha and Elijah and earlier in the books of Samuel and Kings (written by the same person) were part of a group known as the Nabi (think about ‘Saul amongst the prophets’ in 1 Samuel) who would all get together and sometimes live together. There’s still an expectancy at this time that God wants to speak – in contrast to the end of Judges and the start of Samuel where the writer points out that the word of God was rare in those times and everyone did what they liked. Now in this part of Kings we have God speaking directly into life and into the kingdom’s life, if only they will listen.
A simple mistake or oversight, this young man without the botanical knowledge to know good from poisonous. It reminds me of Eutychus in Acts 20 falling out of the window when Paul is preaching. God gives Elisha life-saving knowledge in the practical and I know we can think and testify that this is our God too. The God who cares for the daily and is involved with it. A God in control – not stopping this incident to wrap his people in cotton wool, but speaking through it, testing through it, growing us and our faith through it. Can He make us bullet-proof? Yes but will that always glorify His name? He’s making things glorious through how He sustains us in the myriad little things that go wrong daily, showing the world a better way.
Lord God help us to grow in your Spirit in all things