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Daily Dose of Truth July 15, 2016

Good morning! It’s Wednesday! It was a crazy busy morning yesterday, but my boys did great at their first swim meet, both of them garnering 2 first place wins and 1 second place win; not bad for their first ever meet! They even wanted to go to practice last night, so, once again, we started and ended our day at the pool. And now it is Wednesday, and they are outside playing, and I’ve got coffee…and life continues on.

So, without further ado, today’s DDT:

2 Kings 8:1-6

Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3 And at the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she went to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 And while he was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.”

Okay, now, first of all, this snippet, we’re not 100% sure who the king of Israel is at this time. If this is all falling in line chronologically, it could be Jehoram, but the fact that he asked Gehazi to tell him about the things Elisha had done makes that a problem. Jehoram knew the things Elisha had done. He’d witnessed it. So, either this is told out of order (which is possible and this was early on in Jehoram’s reign) or the king here is Jehu, not Jehoram. So, just keep that in mind ‘cuz when we get to that point in the passage, it makes much more sense if the king isn’t Jehoram.

Anyway, so, Elisha had told the Shunammite woman (who had prepared a place for him in her home for when he was travelling) to take care of her family and hit the road for a while because a famine was being sent from the Lord. The woman heeded the warning of Elisha and she and her household went off to the land of the Philistines while Israel was dealing with the famine. This way, the woman and her household were fed and cared for while the famine was happening.

Well, after 7 years, she returns to Israel, and she goes to the king. See, while she was absent, someone has taken her land. However, in Israel, the end of the 7th year was a time for restoration and cancellation of debt, so, it has been 7 years and it is now the appropriate time for this land to be restored to the Shunammite woman.

We then switch views and we see the king of Israel (again, likely Jehu) talking with Gehazi, Elisha’s servant. He asks Gehazi to tell him about Elisha and Gehazi does so. However, I admit I have a little problem with our buddy Gehazi here. Gehazi doesn’t give the glory to God; he gives it to his master. He points to Elisha as the one who restored the dead to life, not God. Elisha didn’t do those things. Elisha was used by God to do those things, true, but the one who raised the dead to life was God. If Elisha tried to do that on the command of a king, it would fail; the power wasn’t in Elisha, but in the One he serves. (It kinda makes me wonder if Gehazi really learned his lesson from his interaction with Naaman; Gehazi just can’t seem to stop seeking glory for Elisha and therefore for himself.)

Anyway, as the king and Gehazi are standing there talking, that is the exact moment when the Shunammite woman comes to speak to the king about her property. Gehazi recognizes her and introduces her to the king. Of course, this is not a coincidence; this is the providence of God. That the king would be talking with Gehazi about this woman and the miracle performed through Elisha for her son at this exact moment is God ordaining all the details. And oh,  how well He provides for this woman!

The king appoints an official for the woman, instructing him to “restore all that was hers together with all the produce of the fields from the day she left until now”. So, not only is this official told, publicly, to return her lands to her, but she gets the bounty from her land while she was away. Someone had moved into her home and taken over her lands while she was in the land of the Philistines, but even so, they won’t profit from that. The king’s instructions take care of that. (Of course, the amount of wealth gained from her fields during this time probably wasn’t impressive because, um, she left because there was a famine, so the crops were probably pretty lousy.)

Isn’t it amazing to see how God provides for this woman? This woman was special; she was a woman who sought God’s will and whose desire was to serve Him. We saw that when she first started feeding Elisha on his way through her area. We saw it more evidently as she then consulted with her husband and built the room for Elisha, so not only would have have food when he came through, but he would have a place to rest in his travels. We saw, again, that she honored and feared God when her son died and she ran to Elisha, wondering if she had done something that had displeased God and was being punished because of it. This was a woman who loved God. And God rewarded her faithfulness. He sent Elisha to warn her when the famine was coming; and He provided far beyond her expectation when she returns and seeks the king’s help in restoring her property.

I love seeing how God works behind the scenes. We don’t always see it clearly today, but He is always working everything out for His glory and for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. The way things line up to be in the “right place at the right time”? We have no idea the work that goes in to lining everything up, all the little details, from who knows how far back, so those things are ready to happen at just the right time. He is sovereign. He is in charge. He hasn’t blinked and missed something. That doesn’t happen with God. He notices every hoppy little sparrow; He knows what we need and He knows what to send and when.

Now, don’t start looking for signs, okay? Seriously. That doesn’t mean you should imagine things that aren’t there. So, if your church talks to a missionary from Mozambique that really gets you thinking about missions, and then the next day you hear about a flood or something in Mozambique that makes me think more; and then your boss comes and shows you his travel plans for the next week are cancelled…to Mozambique and then you get home and your husband says “Honey, Mo quit today and we don’t know how to replace him” that does not mean you should drop everything and move to Mozambique as a missionary. It doesn’t. Before doing something like being a missionary, you need to go to God’s word and see what the qualifications are for those who are missionaries. You need to see what your priorities need to be. Talk to people in missions and see what is really required and if that is even feasible for the responsibilities God has already given to you. Do not just jump up and say “Oh, God is sending us to Mozambique! I know it ‘cuz Mozambique kept popping up for 2 days!” That’s looking for signs and wonders and it is thinking like a pagan. We take our thoughts captive, we hold them up to the light of Scripture, and we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, not by the events going on around us. (Seriously, if we are transformed by events, we’re gonna be a mess.)

So, today, consider all the things that went into lining up the first meeting between you and your spouse. (And remember al those other people who are NOT your spouse who you have met, too, and consider how God has provided the wisdom to discern who was spouse material and who wasn’t.) Consider the things that went into bringing you the true message of the Gospel so that you cried out to God for salvation. Thank God for His might, for working out all things for your good and for His glory. Trust Him, even when it gets hard and you can’t see how this could possibly be good. Let’s be honest; the Shunammite woman was probably worried that the king wouldn’t help her when she returned. She got word that there was someone else in her property, and she was anticipating a fight to get it back. That probably didn’t seem like a “good thing” to her at the time. Yet, God knew what He was doing.

Trust Him. He is faithful and He is trustworthy.

Have a great day everyone!

Blessings-

Beth

 

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