20 June 2013

God really WILL work WITH us.

Scripture: 2 Kings 4:26-37

[Elisha speaks to his servant] Run out to meet her and ask her, ‘Is everything all right with you, your husband, and your child?’” “Yes,” the woman told Gehazi, “everything is fine.” But when she came to the man of God at the mountain, she fell to the ground before him and caught hold of his feet. Gehazi began to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone. She is deeply troubled, but the L ord  has not told me what it is.” Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, ‘Don’t deceive me and get my hopes up’?” Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get ready to travel ; take my staff and go! Don’t talk to anyone along the way. Go quickly and lay the staff on the child’s face.” But the boy’s mother said, “As surely as the L ord  lives and you yourself live, I won’t go home unless you go with me.” So Elisha returned with her. Gehazi hurried on ahead and laid the staff on the child’s face, but nothing happened. There was no sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and told him, “The child is still dead.” When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed.  He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the L ord .  Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again!  Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! Then Elisha summoned Gehazi. “Call the child’s mother!” he said. And when she came in, Elisha said, “Here, take your son!”  She fell at his feet and bowed before him, overwhelmed with gratitude. Then she took her son in her arms and carried him downstairs.

Observation:

As I read this story, I kept waiting for the judgement of God to fall on the mother of the child and deny her the miracle she sought.  To me, God has always seemed so mercurial and moody in the Old Testament.  But it didn't . . . which was a beautiful lesson for me.

Application:

This story showed me, so powerfully, that while there are instances where God metes out judgment that seems harsh, He will also come and meet us where we are (I know--getting repetitious here, right?), and work with us, and forgive us the mistakes we make sometimes.  This mother must have been frantic; so desperate.  And He forgave her for that.  My impression is shifting from what it has been to one of trust and greater faith . . . that if God does something that seems harsh, it's always wholly deserved, and the thing that person really and truly needs to give them a decent shot and coming unto God again.

The mother also had powerful faith.  There were plenty of points in the story where things didn't go perfectly & smoothly, as some miracles did. And at any one of them, she could have thrown up her hands and given up, turning away from her Lord to mourn her son.  And yet, she didn't . . . even when Elisha's first attempt to heal her son failed.  Would I do that? Would I hang that tightly to my faith in Him?  Would my faith be that strong?

Prayer:

Lord, help me see more of your mercy and lovingkindness in the lives of others.  And increase my faith--make it strong and unbreakable, so no matter what happens in life, no matter how illogical or foolish my faith might make me look, I will always lean on You, and trust in Your care for me and mine.  And these puny words don't even begin to express the depth and strength of this desire.  Please . . . fill it! In Jesus' name, so be it.  Amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!