Elisha & the Ditches — Digging ditches for war & the miracle of the bread.
Reading 1: 2 Kings 3
Reading 2: 2 Kings 4
Reading 3: John 6:1-14
Elisha inherited a double portion of the spirit of God that was on Elijah – Elisha performs twice as many miracles in his ministry as Elijah.
Today we read of incidents in the reigns of Jehoshaphat of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah, close to the end of Jehoshaphat’s reign. (If you are getting confused by the sequence of kings, you can check out a Timeline of all the key dates!).
Elisha serves God, not kings, and tells the evil kings that he is only cooperating out of honor for King Jehoshaphat. Then he asks for a harpist to play (illustrating the value of music in stimulating our spirits to respond to God’s Spirit). His prophecy is remarkable because it brings victory out of defeat for the three armies. And the Moabite king shows his contempt for God by sacrificing his son to avoid defeat. Power so often leads to abuse. The only power that does the opposite is God’s power.
Then we read of God’s heart to bless miraculously to save those who love Him. First, by multiplying insufficient natural resources, second by giving a son where natural means were missing, third by reversing the consequences of this broken world when they stole the gift He had just given, and fourth by undoing a deadly mistake. Finally, God feeds all the company of Elisha’s companions (100 men) with one man’s offering – the equivalent of 20 snack rolls. Jesus repeats this demonstration of God’s loving generosity on a larger scale in John 6 and uses His disciples as the astonished ministers of the miraculous.
We learn that God wants us to offer Him what we have and not to withhold it through these miracles because it is insufficient for the need. God also wants to supernaturally provide for us what we need for success, even when that seems impossible to us. And finally, we see that God can overturn the bad things that happen in this broken world, and He will use us in that process – He wants us to be partners with Him, not merely dependent on Him.
How does God want to work in your circumstances today? Let’s believe Him for miracles!
Have a great day!