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Death in the Pot
Reflections on Elisha's Miracle: 2 Kings 4:38-41
Death in the Pot
i. There was a famine in the land. Elisha came to Gilgal. The 'sons of
the prophets' (young men trained in the schools of the prophets at
Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho; but not spiritually mature) were hungry,
starved of food. Elisha told his servant, 'Put on the great pot, and
seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.' 2 Kings 4:38
ii. Our young people in the churches must be fed with true spiritual food, food that is given by God. It has to be manna from heaven. Observe how Elisha, without having any sign of food in the premises, told his servant to put on the cauldron and boil soup, stew or pottage for the sons of the prophets. What faith he had in God. Reminds us of the faith of George Muller of Bristol. No food for the orphans in Bristol, and yet he bade them sit down for breakfast. The milk-van broke down at the orphanage gate, and milk was supplied in ten full milk cans to all the orphans. Then the baker personally brought three huge batches of fresh bread, because God told him to get up and bake bread for the orphans that morning.
iii. One young man wanted to contribute to the pot, so he went out into the fields and found a wild vine, and gathered a lapful of wild gourds, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage which was boiling over the fire. Some young men are like that. They are attracted by sight, shape and colour - by external form and appearance; they do not know the stuff & substance within. The same with teachings and doctrines: they look very attractive, they appeal to the senses, but they are perilous to soul and spirit. The young man did not know that he was shredding death into the great pot.
iv. We have these days attractive 'wild gourds' all over the fields of America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia - there is not a continent where heresies have not spread. For example, charismatic heresies are wild vines that spread quickly, like Jonah's leafy gourd that sprang up overnight. No wonder you have evil spirits flocking to Toronto, Pensecola, Africa (Reinhard Bonnke), Korea (Paul Yonggi Cho); it's an occult invasion.
v. In our own church in Asia, we have people holding responsible positions in the assemblies, who will send their wives and children to hear Benny Hinn perform in some big city in another state. Lack of spiritual discernment is the bane of the church today. People are fed doctrine, even the right doctrine, but they still have a craving for 'wild gourds'.
vi. So when the stew was cooked, it was served. And then some disciples who were more discerning (more mature) knew that there was poison in the pot, and they cried out: 'O thou man of God, there is death in the pot!' Thank God for the discerning, for the mature, for those who have knowledge by experience and not by mere book-teaching. But alas, the young and immature will not listen to their elders; they must 'try it out' for themselves; and then when they are scorched, the proverb 'a burnt child dreads the fire' comes true in their lives.
vii. We are so easily carried away by sight and sound. We do not have our spiritual faculties developed to discern between good and evil, Heb 5:14. Even the smell of the pottage must have been alluring. But those who were mature had their faculty of taste uncorrupted, and they knew for certain there was evil in the pot.
viii. When we are born again, we are given spiritual faculties. Just as there are five physical senses, so there are spiritual senses. We hear the voice of the Lord; we see new light in the Word of God; we 'sense' when someone is praying in the flesh, and another is worshipping solely out of self. The faculty of taste is something deeper; it is 'inside'. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. A truly born-again person can testify to Psalm 34:8. Thank God for these spiritual senses. Our Lord Himself said, My sheep know My voice. John 10. The truly mature know when a sermon is bringing life, and when it is bringing death.
ix. What was Elisha's solution to the crisis? He said, Bring meal. And he cast it into the pot. And the poison was neutralized. The meal, of course, speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our meal offering. But how is He 'the meal' in this crisis? We need to understand one great truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the embodiment of all grace. The gospel is the gospel of all grace. And this grace came to us through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. We are justified by His grace, we live by His grace; it is the gospel of grace all the way through. If we have a firm grip on this truth, we are safe. Grace does not mean licence to do what we like. But grace, which is ministered to us by His Spirit, flows from the working of the cross in our lives. 2 Cor 12:9. There is no place for boasting, no place for self; it is all of Christ, all of His saving grace, sustaining grace, enduring grace, victorious grace, in our lives.
x. We live in a world where the very air is polluted by false doctrines. How do we survive in this poisonous climate? We are conscious of Christ within (through the indwelling Spirit, Rom 8:9b), conscious of the working of His cross in our daily experience, aware that it is 'Not I, but Christ' who carries me through. Of course, one great blessing for people all over the world, despite the great spiritual famine prevailing, is that the Bible is available everywhere. You have your Bible with you; read it. Read it again and again. Your strength in the Word of God will enable you to withstand every harmful attack from 'wild gourds'.
xi. The meal speaks of Christ Himself. And when we are truly born again, born of the Spirit, and conscious that we have been 'apprehended' by Christ to be a witness, a messenger, a servant of the Lord - we can rest assured that no evil, no danger, no harm, will come to a child of God. For the Lord, who is our Good Shepherd, is watching over us. And He Himself is within us. And with this double-fold protection, we are safe.
- The Miracle of Elisha's Bones
Poem based on the incident in 2 Kings 13:20, 21. "Elisha died, and they buried him in a grave./ In those days the Moabites would invade the land/ Every year in spring./ And the Israelites were burying a man/When they saw a marauding band/Of Moabites
- The Widow's Miraculous Jar of Oil
Thoughts on 2 Kings 4:1-7. Here are some reflections on this simple story, having, of course, a deeper spiritual meaning as many stories in the Bible...There was enough oil not only to repay the debt, but there was oil enough to spare.
- Satanic Deceptions
Satan uses the world in three ways to deceive a child of God. The first way that Satan adopts through the world is Imitation. Hence, in these last days, we find any increasing number of antichrists and false prophets. The second method is Compromise