Pastor Jeremy preached on 2 Kings 4:38 last Sunday. The story was of Elisha and the sons of the prophets. They were in the land of Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Elisha told his servant to go and cook a stew for them.
Well, the servant went out and found some pretty vines growing. He picked them and put them in the stew. The vines were gourd vines, and they poisoned the stew that the sons of the prophets were eating. The guys hollered at Elisha, and he added something to the stew that removed the poison. They then ate it.
We can learn some things from this passage. First, be careful what you delegate or what you put others in charge of. Don’t just let anyone or anything into your life. There are certain ingredients that you cannot let others put in your life. We cannot delegate quality time with our kids or words of affirmation for our spouse. We cannot delegate acts of service or physical love for our spouse. We cannot let others discipline our kids or set the spiritual atmosphere of our home. We need to be the example for our family.
Also, good intentions do not guarantee harmless actions. We cannot do something just because it seemed like a good idea at the time. We cannot put ourselves in negative relational circles, like with boyfriends, drinking, or doing drugs.
No matter how excited or zealous someone is, it cannot be a substitute for the responsibility of what is being poured into our children.
In addition, God works in miracles in the midst of our dumb mistakes. God will work in our lives even we are not perfect. We can learn from others’ mistakes, in addition to our own. Mistakes are learning opportunities. The experience from bad decisions help us make right decisions.
Think of it this way, there is no need for a miracle if there is not a mistake.
Just focus on the miracle maker. God regains the glory, if we only humble ourselves.
As with the Bible passage, it is not about the ingredient that Elisha put into the pot to remove the poison. It is about the purification through the miraculous work of God. It is about Jesus showing up.
Pastor Jeremy says that we are the ingredient mixed into this poisonous world. God does not need us to micromanage Him, but He wants to work through us.
Think of this way. The miracle didn’t happen until the moment that it was truly needed.
You and I both know that God doesn’t always spare us from the bitterness of this world. However, we must, simply must, remember that there is nothing more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Did you realize that in this passage in the Bible the poison was not removed, so the sons of the prophets had to trust in the miracle ingredient?
You and I have to trust like that and take a step of faith. We need to add the right components to our lives. The more we add Jesus to our lives, the more we offset the culture poison. You and I have to trust God for the supernatural.
We need to know that the poison of the world cannot survive against the love of God in our lives.
That bears repeating. The poison of the world cannot survive against the love of God in our lives.
It is all about the love.
Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.