Sunday, November 6
There are so many interesting stories and characters and lessons in today’s two short chapters, but here’s a few nuggets that strike me as extremely valuable.
First, there is the wisdom of the widow who faced debt collectors who were going to sell her two sons (her only assets) as slaves. What a devastating predicament! She did indeed feel like she had NOTHING. But she went to a source of Godly wisdom and strength (Elisha), opened her eyes to what she did have (oil), and carefully followed Elisha’s directions – even when it was unclear how this was going to solve her problem. As it turns out, the size of the miracle God blessed her with was in direct proportion to how much she prepared for a miracle. If she had left Elisha mumbling about how this didn’t seem like useful advice at all, such a waste of time, grumbling about feeling foolish going door-to-door asking for jars, and decided to ultimately just get 2 or 3 jars to give it a try – just enough to be a little obedient – her sons may well have been sold. Skimping by, just doing the minimal and hoping for the best doesn’t lead to results that glorify God. Even in a crisis situation – seek Godly wisdom, open your eyes to what you DO have, and throw yourself “all in”as you follow God’s direction – and be prepared to watch for God’s miracles.
The story of Naaman delivers more nuggets. There was the foreign army commander who humbles himself, follows directions from a Godly prophet even when those directions didn’t appear to make sense. He receives healing as well as the revelation that “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (2 Kings 5:15). There was also the greedy scheming and lies that turned Elisha’s right-hand man, Gehazi, into a leprous outcast who brought this curse on all of his descendants. His greed didn’t get him the spoils he was thinking it would. AND, perhaps my personal favorite – the young Israelite slave girl who remembered God and continued to believe in God’s almighty power and work through His prophets – even though her life had personally seen many heartaches at a young age (stolen from her homeland and made a slave in a foreign land). Rather than trashing God and becoming sullen and bitter towards God and her foreign master – she shows compassion for her master and courage in speaking up and becomes a witness that leads Naaman to a miracle of healing and the worship of the One True God. It appears her trials had put her right in the place God wanted to use her. May we handle our adversities as well – remaining faithful to the faithful God. Be a witness of His power and love which just might lead someone else to healing and a new-found belief in Yahweh.
By Marcia Railton