There are many lessons to be learned from stories of Elisha. This is
the 24th in a series focusing on the life of this great prophet of God.
“So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, ‘We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there-not a sound of anyone-only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.’ . . . So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, ‘Go and find out what has happened.’ They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king.” (2 Kings 7:10-15)
God had already orchestrated a way of escape for the famine-stricken city. He had caused the army that had been stationed around the city for weeks to “hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses — the noise of a great army” (vs. 6), and the entire army had risen and fled, leaving their camp intact. But from the city wall, everything still looked the same. The tents, the horses, the weapons—everything looked as if the camp were still occupied. So when a band of lepers suddenly come knocking on the city gate saying that the enemy was gone, it isn’t surprising that they find the news a little hard to believe! So they decide to test the report: 2 Kings 7:13: “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city . . . So let us send them to find out what happened."
Many of us can relate to how the king and his fellow Israelites must
have felt when those lepers came knocking on the city gate. Many of us
have been in the midst of seemingly hopeless trials when someone—maybe a
“nobody” in the church or a “baby” Christian—comes bearing a “message
from the Lord”. I am not fault-finding when I say that in this
situation, many are tempted to doubt the authenticity of the message!
First of all, the “message” doesn’t match the visible circumstances.
Secondly, why would God use THIS person to speak to you? Why wouldn’t He
speak directly to you? Or at least use your pastor or home group leader?
Friend, whenever we receive a message from the Lord, whether directly, through someone we respect, or through a “nobody”, it is necessary, just as Israel did, to verify the report. We have to take it back to the Lord for verification. However, let’s not fall into the trap of discounting a message from the Lord simply because of the messenger! Remember, God has used pagan kings as recipients of His messages (see Dan. 2, Gen. 41)! Why not a newcomer in the church? A baby Christian? A stranger on the street? God will use whomever He pleases. It is our job to be open to the Word, regardless of the source.
Oh. And about those continuing circumstances. Remember those are NOTHING in the hands of an Almighty God! Just as He was able to make Israel’s enemies flee, if He made you a promise, it WILL happen!
Please see next Saturday’s edition of The Nugget, for Elisha, Part 25.
Love in Christ,