Along life’s road
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.–2 Kings7:1&2
There is no dispute that the last year of the first decade of the new millennium has been more speedy than ever and we stand on the threshold of the beginning of another decade. But through all the changing scenes of life, God has been our refuge and strength and a very present help in the time of trouble. He has rained on the just and the unjust and at times those of the household of faith have wondered why others prosper, living so wicked year after year. But the God we serve is plenteous in mercy and patiently waits for sinners to receive Him into their hearts!
No, I don’t want to hear another”New Year’s Resolution’because as fast as it said, it is broken and we go right back to our old ways, habits, broken promises and contrary ways to the Kingdom of God. But in spite of the doom and gloom and the ever presence of the”poverty goose,”this new year of The second decade is going to be one where prosperity will reign supreme. Why?Because this year the blessings of God will pour bountifully upon His children.
The cries of those who have been calling on His name for years is about to be answered, and so we have here in our text today, one of the most beautiful stories of what God can do to those, who although down and out and have been written off, He uses such to be the bearers of His blessings.
With Elisha’s wish being granted for Elijah’s mantle to fall upon him, as he took flight from this earth, immediately Elisha began his unique and forceful ministry. As Elijah was taken into heaven he took the mantle and went to the bank of Jordan, smote the waters and passed over on dry land while the waters parted on either side. Once on the other side he again smote the waters and it returned to its normal flow.
This second Book of Kings is filled with the most fascinating stories of Elisha and his ministry. The famine was so severe in Samaria that a donkey’s head was sold for a high price beyond the reach of the ordinary man. The bargaining table held the life of one son being boiled one day and the next day for the other son of another woman. The king was furious when he heard of the incident and blamed the Prophet Elisha.
But Elisha sat in his house and the elders sat with him, and the king sent a man from before him. The messenger came to him, he said to the elders,”See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head?Look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”
And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him and he said, Behold this evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer?
Then Elisha said,”Hear ye the word of the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measure of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.”
God uses lepers to bring to pass the words of the Prophet Elisha. They were banished from society and living on the outskirts of the city. So severe was the famine that they concluded among themselves that they had nothing to loose, to stay where they were, they would die and to go into the city, was a crime worthy of death. But nothing can hold back a made up mind and to the city they started their journey.
But this mighty God that we serve, had other plans. He took a visit to the camp of the Syrians that was bounteous in food supplies and other tangible goods. It was during supper time and he caused a great noise to be heard of chariots and horses. They were sure it was the approaching enemy and every man fled for his life leaving behind a well supplied camp and war weapons.
Can you see these lepers as they sneak up to the camp, perhaps throwing a little stone so as to alert attention. Then calling out a hello softly that soon becomes a loud crescendo and getting no answer. What a surprise when they finally decided that perhaps no one was in or playing a trick, but no trick it was as the camp was empty.
‘We would be wicked if we did not share this good news with the township.”They said no one looked at them as lepers, and I do believe that their healing was in the discovery. What joy for a people that were near death’s door because of the famine. God answered the words of the Prophet Elisha–“Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.”
But you know, there are always the soothsayers and unbelievers and jeer and strife makers, who never have a good word to say about anything or anybody. They are always in opposition to what is being said or done on behalf of the good of others or the community or nation for that matter. Listen to him as he throws his jeer dart:”Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be. Quick-thinking Elisha retorts and tells him that he will see it but not eat thereof. You know there are times when you have to answer the enemy and put them in their place.
So when the news got out and every body was rushing to get their share of the goodies, this smart-talking alek was in the gate and the mad rush of people, forgot protocol and trampled him to death. Why?Because he had a bad attitude and stood in the way of progress.
Know this year, that nothing and nobody will hold God’s children from getting the blessings that they deserve. Know that your days for throwing jeers and withholding from persons, that which is due to them, is over. No longer will you be giving false advice, because of jealousy. No longer will you get all you can and then can all you get. No longer will you trample on God’s servants and make them feel less than and withhold from the poor, the crumbs that fall from the table. No more, no more for the gate awaits for all those who have their say until the day God has His way.
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