I love stories from 1 & 2 Kings, particularly those that involve Elijah and Elisha! Here's an interesting one for you from 2 Kings 4:38-44...
Elisha went back down to a place called Gilgal. There was a famine there. While he was consulting with a bunch of other prophets, he told his servant, “Put a large pot on the fire and cook up some stew for these prophets.”
One of the men went out into the field to get some herbs; he came across a wild vine and picked gourds from it, filling his bumbag. He brought them back, sliced them up, and put them in the stew, even though no one knew what kind of plant it was. The stew was then served up for the men to eat. They started to eat, and then exclaimed, “There's death in the pot, O man of God! Death in the pot!” Nobody could eat it.
Elisha ordered, “Get me some flour.” Then he sprinkled it into the stew pot. “Now serve it up to the men,” he said. They ate it, and it was just fine—nothing wrong with the stew! No harm in the pot.
There's plenty we can learn from this story:
- Perhaps we learn that when we are insatiable even poison looks appetising.
The servant see's gourds that look more substantial than "herbs" and his hunger leads him to pick from the wild vine.
- Perhaps we should take the story as a warning... "When you are Doubtful don't".
Even though no one knew what the gourds were they chopped them up and chucked them in the pot. They were doubtful but they added them in anyway.
I read some amazing research about doubt, 50% of divorcees had doubts the day of their wedding (I suppose the other 50% were on the opposite side of the isle).
But neither of these learnings are the revelation that I want you to receive today!
I want us to learn about the power of flour!
Elisha adds flour to the death filled pot and the pot is healed! Flour, bread and wheat have always represented life & sustenance. So it could be suggested that Elisha adds Life to a pot of Death.
Do you have any "pots of death"? The workplace can sometimes seem like a pot of death, school can seem like a pot of death, even churches and homes can feel like death.
Or maybe our world is the pot of death, filled with wild vines and poisonous gourds.
We may even need to look inward... what if we are the pot... filled with poisonous berries, some we picked ourselves, some added without our consent.
How do we add life to these pots???? Well Jesus says "I AM THE LIFE" - John 14:6
We need to sprinkle a little Jesus into our pot. Jesus is the gift of God that heals the poison in the pot. He sweetens the sour soup. He is the answer to your workplace worries. The solution to your situation at school. The healing for your hectic Homelife. The comfort for our changing Church. The messiah for our weary world... and the saviour for our sinful souls.
It's not what we take out, it's what we put in. We can work to remove the gourds and poisonous berries; but no matter how much we work they have already infected the pot. All we need to do is add Jesus. Ephesians reminds us "It is not by your works that you are saved, it is the gift of God".
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry...