2 Kings 4:38-44 (Part 2) – Having the Faith of the Biblical Greats!

Posted: April 22, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 4:38-44 (Part 2 of 2)

Miracles During a Famine

The parallel is unmistakable when you read the second half of this passage, vv. 42-44. When you read about Elisha feeding the 100 people with only 20 loaves of barley bread and some grain. It bears striking similarity to Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Christ’s miracle of feeding the five thousand is unique in that it is the only one that all four gospel writers mention (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). So this miracle through Elisha is worth noting since Elisha is a man of God but not God in the flesh as is Jesus. What are we to make of this similarity and what are the differences and what is the lesson we learn from this passage?

The similarity is obvious. Both are miracles of providing for the physical needs of people that Elisha and Jesus encounter as they are going about their ministries. It demonstrates that God is faithful to those who love him and that He will provide even in the darkest of times (as we will learn in 2 Kings that this miracle occurred during a time of famine in the land). Despite the widespread disobedience, there were those who remained faithful to God. God will not forsake them. GOD REMEMBERS HIS OWN, even in the midst of the famine. The believing remnant is not exempted from the hardships of life but God is with them. God helps His own overcome the hardships in life because they trust in Him. Therefore, facing hardships in life does not mean God doesn’t care about you.

On the contrary, we see God showing His presence and power in the midst of hardships. In fact, hardships tell MORE about us than God. HARDSHIPS REVEAL WHO WE TRUST, in whom are we really trusting. They either draw those who love God closer to Him (we cling on to Him), or it widens the gap for those who don’t love Him (and turn our hearts against Him). Hardships reveals where our true love and true faith is. This incident showed there was a shortage of food but the Lord provided through one man’s offering. And the Lord specifically told Elisha to take this offering and serve the 100 men present. We’ve seen how God uses what we offer Him, the flour and oil of the widow, the 20 loaves, or the 5 loaves 2 fishes, to do His will. When offered into His hands, we see how He uses them to accomplish greater things – things that we would otherwise not be able to see if they were left in our own hands. Don’t belittle our offerings to God. We give with gratitude and gladness, and leave the rest to God. God accomplishes His purposes through our offerings. Both accounts tell us GOD IS CONCERNED WITH LITTLE THINGS in our lives. God is concerned with our daily bread. For the Jewish people, bread is a staple in their diet. We can trust God to provide what we need, because our daily bread matters to Him.

The difference between the two is one miracle is performed by a man of God while the other is performed by God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. What are we to make of this? A mere man being used by God to perform a miracle. We have heard stories of men of faith being used by God to perform miracles. Is it true that we can be used by God to perform miracles? Even the impetuous disciple and apostle Peter was used by God to perform miracles after Pentecost. We have no issue with Jesus performing miracles because, well, He is God … and it comes with the territory. However, how do we explain mere mortals being used by God to perform miracles and what is unique about these men who have been used by God to do so? I think it boils down to faith, and I am not talking your average everyday faith that you and I, as Christ followers, typically have. There is deep faith that the God of the universe can and will do miraculous things. Not just some wish or desire of an intense nature but a belief in God’s glory to be shown through miraculous acts. Most of us have doubts about such things as miraculous healings. We just can’t get beyond the doubt. We can’t get beyond our culturally induced disbelief and our bias toward the fact that God is no longer in the miracle business. We buy off on the miracles of the Bible but we have serious doubts about miracles in the present day. Because of legions of those who have abused the privilege of the miraculous through false claims, we err toward not believing in God’s miracle business today. We make our modern day God less powerful than the God of the Bible. Our doubt of the miraculous prevents us from believing in the miraculous. The thing that is apparent from the miracle here is that when we have the faith of Elisha and the great men of the Bible that we have access to the miraculous power of God. It is simply a matter of the depth of our faith and our willingness to suspend disbelief and our belief in God’s will in a specific situation.

Thus the lesson of this passage is how much do you trust God. Let’s read the passage now, with that in mind:

38 Elisha now returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. One day as the group of prophets was seated before him, he said to his servant, “Put a large pot on the fire, and make some stew for the rest of the group.”

39 One of the young men went out into the field to gather herbs and came back with a pocketful of wild gourds. He shredded them and put them into the pot without realizing they were poisonous. 40 Some of the stew was served to the men. But after they had eaten a bite or two they cried out, “Man of God, there’s poison in this stew!” So they would not eat it.

41 Elisha said, “Bring me some flour.” Then he threw it into the pot and said, “Now it’s all right; go ahead and eat.” And then it did not harm them.

42 One day a man from Baal-shalishah brought the man of God a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread made from the first grain of his harvest. Elisha said, “Give it to the people so they can eat.”

43 “What?” his servant exclaimed. “Feed a hundred people with only this?”

But Elisha repeated, “Give it to the people so they can eat, for this is what the Lord says: Everyone will eat, and there will even be some left over!” 44 And when they gave it to the people, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the Lord had promised.

In this passage, we see that when we trust in God in hard times or God and I mean really trust Him, He will never forsake us. He will never leave us without provision. He will provide. When we really trust Him, He will make a way for us. When we seek His will and obey His Word, we will not be left out in the cold even in the hard times. He will provide us a way through our hard times. When we trust Him deeply and earnestly as a child trusts its parent, He will provide us miracles. We may rationalize them away as coincidence or whatever but those who trust in God deeply know that His provision is sometimes miraculous and cannot be explained in any other way. How much do you trust Him? How much doubt do you have about God’s provision? How much doubt do you have about God being there for you in the hard times? How big is your God?

Let us not limit God any longer in our lives. Unleash your complete belief and trust in the Creator and watch your faith and your walk with Jesus grow stronger and deeper.

Amen and Amen.

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