Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Going Home

Elisha was a prophet of God who came to be known as one who performed extraordinary deeds and wonders. He spoke in a way that his words became a powerful testimony  of God's intervention into the lives of his people, and especially his commitment to Israel. 

In a story in 2 Kings, Elisha had become a friend of woman and her husband because of their hospitality toward him when he was in their vicinity. The woman had opened her home to the prophet and provided him a comfortable place to stay. Her generosity was rewarded when Elisha promised her that she would have a child. She had a son, and when the boy was older, he got sick and died.  Elisha came to where the boy was, and raised him back to life. 

The woman had been told by Elisha that she should take her family and move to another place because the Lord had called for a famine on Israel that would last seven years. While they followed Elisha's  instructions, it was during their absence from their home and land, the king's government confiscated everything they left behind. 

When the famine was over, she sought possession of the property and belongings that had previously been hers which caught the attention of the king. It was then the king was told about her history, about her son dying and being raised, and about Elisha's dealings  with her family.  The king realized that this was convincing evidence of Elisha's work being blessed by God. Then the king had a dilemma. Since the property of this woman and her family had been abandoned, it rightly belonged to the king's government.  So would the king keep everything for himself or restore ownership to the woman's family?  How is a king supposed to respond to the evidence of a  miracle?

Knowing some of biblical history and that some kings were good kings and some were bad kings, we must see how this dilemma was resolved.  According to the text in 2 Kings 8, this king was not only a good king, but a smart king. The ownership of the land, house, possessions, and even the value of the crops in the field were restored to the woman's family.  

Here is where we find some direction for our own lives. This good king was wrestling with himself on how to respond to the evidence of God's workings in this family. When the proof was presented, it prompted the king to do the right thing. In essence, the king wanted to be a part of the continuing work of God in the lives of these people. If God was going to bless them with the miracle of raising a son from death, then the king wanted to continue God's work for them and in them by complete restoration. 

The story is an example to us when we see the workings of God in the lives of people today. Are we going to allow human nature to lead us into jealousy?  Are we resentful toward those who seem to have been blessed more than us?  This story  shows us whenever we see the workings of God in the lives of people, in churches, in neighborhoods, that's the place where God wants us, as his ambassadors on earth, to join in and help keep the blessing going. That attitude helped the woman return home. It's closely related to us finding our eternal home, too.


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