Archive for April 17th, 2017
Think of the literal meaning of the word “extraordinary”. Extra-ordinary: outside of the ordinary. This is certainly what we see of God in this passage. The Samarian siege had gone on for a very long time and the situation was getting very desperate. To those in Samaria it must have felt a hopeless situation, with no obvious end in sight. Then Elisha suddenly prophesies that food prices will drop rapidly within 24 hours – the siege would be over. This would have been such sudden, unexpected news and it is perhaps not surprising that the king’s officer didn’t believe it.
It is easy for any of us to fall into a state of unbelief, but it is usually based on trying to box God into our own narrow, logical and worldly thought patterns. Unbelief thrives when something appears to us to be new, different, sudden, impossible and impractical or just doesn’t make sense to us. The officer doubted that sufficient food would be available to make the prices drop so suddenly (verse 2) and following Elisha’s prophecy he paid for this with his own life.
Another extra-ordinary event is the way in which the siege was ended. Four lepers, who felt that they had nothing to lose, wandered over to the Arameans’ camp to surrender and found it deserted. They obviously wouldn’t have known that the Arameans had fled, in the belief that they were being attacked. The lepers returned to Samaria to tell the king, who found it hard to believe himself. God used four lepers, who would have been outcasts, and had no idea what they were entering into, to return the good news of the end of the siege.
God uses all sorts of people from different walks of life to fulfil his purposes and promises. Likewise with all kinds of situations in which we find ourselves. Let’s not try to confine him to our own narrow, linear and worldly ways of thinking. God is extra-ordinary!
Think about times when you have seen God’s work in what might appear to be the most unusual or unexpected circumstances. Pray that you will keep open and see Him at work, and to not let pure worldly thought drag you into unbelief.