Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Saturday

II Kings chapter 4

Elisha miraculously helped a widow with two sons to pay her debts using borrowed jars and a pot of oil. He also encountered the woman of Shunem and her husband.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shal receive a righteous man's reward.  Matthew 10:41
Later he would go to Gilgal where the prophets were gathered. He would miraculously make the poison soup fit to eat.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through Elisha God commanded that all the prophets gathered be fed from the relatively small firstfruit offering.

Does God make any promises?

  • The LORD promised that there would be enough food from the small portion given as a firstfruit offering to feed the large company of prophets and that there would even be food left over.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The great woman of Shunem (as she is called in verse 8) is exactly the kind of hospitable woman that Jesus had in mind when He said the words of Matthew 10:41 to His disciples as He sent them out to minister in Israel.
  • This woman of Shunem was a humble woman who was content with the life God had given her. She exhibited the humility of Christ Himself. She refused to make herself a reputation when it was offered to her but was satisfied to dwell among her own people. Jesus came unto His own and was content to dwell among them also. Because He was Emmanuel, God with us, He could be tested and tempted as we are yet remain without sin.
  • The woman of Shunem would not tell her request to anyone but the man of God. She claimed that all was well -- and it was, as the hymn "It Is Well" reminds us. She knew the man of God was the only one who could deal with the situation: the death of her son. When we are in despair it is only Jesus, the Man of God, that can deal with the situation and answer our petition. She clung to Elisha in faith just as we must cling to Jesus in faith. When her petition was granted she fell at Elisha's feet in thanksgiving.
  • Elisha took an offering of bread and firstfruits and multiplied them to feed a large crowd. This is like the miracles of loaves and fishes that Jesus did twice to feed large crowds of His followers.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Death is a horror that touches every family. The Shunnamite woman teaches us that we must cling in faith to the feet of the Man of God and take our despair to Him. At the appointed time He will raise our loved one from the dead and then we will bow at His feet again but in reverence and thanksgiving. Someday we will see with our own eyes our loved ones who have departed and will know by experience that Jesus is the conqueror of death.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)