When we feel intimidated by a challenge or call, we can remember that we do not undertake it in our own strength. We should never underestimate what our Lord can do through us by means of His Spirit! But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Now fully on his own, the selfish man rarely called home or stopped by for visits, except on rare occasions: when he was short on money. Perfectly content to live most of his life on his own terms, a financial crisis would always bring him crawling back home begging for a parental bailout. As the king of Israel, Joram determined to bring the wayward Moabites back under his thumb, enlisting the help of the kings of Judah and Edom to do so.
Notice the responses to this difficult situation. When Elisha the prophet had been called, the word was given: water will come, and Moab will fall. Indeed, God declared that it was too easy simply to provide needed water; He would defeat Moab as well. It turned out that the provision of water was also the provision of victory over Moab. Understand the message here. To this wicked and rash king Joram, God delivered grace upon grace. Then offer Him your thanks today for the blessing you have in Christ. Twenty-seven million people are enslaved in the world today, including millions of children.
In places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe, South America, and even the United States, children are enslaved as child soldiers, involuntary servants, debt slaves, or in commercial sexual exploitation. Debt slaves are sold into work to pay their family's debt. They work ten to twelve hours per day to satisfy even small debts; they suffer sickness, injuries, and are deprived of education. God worked powerfully through Elisha to rescue two children from debt slavery in our story today.
Elisha was the successor of the prophet Elijah cf.
Isaiah 36 Commentary - Ironside's Notes on Selected Books
In our passage today, Elisha encountered a desperate widow whose deceased husband feared the Lord and was from the company of the prophets, which afforded her a connection with Elisha v. Commentators describe the company of the prophets as either a guild of professional prophets or an informal group of lay supporters of Elijah and Elisha. This poor widow was on the verge of selling her sons into slavery to pay off family debts v.
Elisha immediately sought to help her, taking what she had and depending on God to multiply it to pay her debts. The woman mentioned her inadequate means twice v.
Verses 3 through 6 explode with the theme of plenty. We see reflections of this story in Exodus 16, God's provision of manna and quail, and in John , which records Jesus feeding more than five thousand men, women, and children from a boy's five loaves of bread and two fish cf. In all these stories, God creates abundance out of scarcity; from insufficient resources, He supplies excess.
No human created in the image of God should be enslaved. You can learn more about human slavery around the world and how you can combat it by visiting the Not For Sale Campaign at www. There are many ways to become a modern day abolitionist of slavery like Elisha. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine … be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus.
Without slowing things down, the director risks his audience missing important aspects of the film. All of 2 Kings 4 is about the various ways God provides in difficult times. By slowing things down and spending the next three days on one chapter, we have the opportunity to observe this important theme more closely. If we take these words at face value, this family was truly facing its last days! Does it get much bleaker than this? Yet notice how the desperate woman responded. She neither sulked in a corner, nor turned to criminal ways to supply her needs, nor cursed God and waited to die.
She cried out to God through Elisha and sought His aid and comfort in difficult times.
Elisha called the woman to collect numerous empty jars from neighbors and then in the privacy of her home to begin pouring oil into the jars. As the woman kept pouring, every last jar she borrowed was filled. God took what the woman thought of as a sign of her destitution the oil , and used it to bring about not only provision, but an abundance of provision.
What a remarkable picture of our gracious God who pours out His blessing so our cup overflows Ps. Perhaps you know someone who needs to hear this today: a family member who struggles with loneliness, a neighbor who has lost employment, or a friend who wonders if God really cares. Through a phone call, a brief note, or an act of service, encourage them to turn to the God who truly cares; He may provide for your needs in surprising and abundant ways.
Moody was brought up in grinding poverty. Just a few months after his father died, his mother gave birth to twins. Now Betsy Moody had nine mouths to feed and no income. Creditors hounded the family constantly. Yet Mrs. Moody never turned a needy person away from her farmhouse door. When there was an extra person at the dinner table, Moody said his mother ""just sliced the bread a little thinner. The widow in today's story was facing the same kind of extreme need as the Moody family--with one startling addition.
She lived in a society in which family members could be taken away to satisfy the family's debts.
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Her two sons were about to be claimed by the family's creditor. Most likely, they would be made to work until the debt was fully paid. We don't know very much more about this widow's situation. She was obviously a younger woman, since her husband had been in Elisha's ""company of the prophets"" a training school for new prophets and her children were still at home. The woman reminded Elisha that her husband had been a faithful servant of the Lord.
Then she laid her desperate need before him. Very sympathetic to her plea, Elisha offered her what proved to be a miraculous solution to her debt problem. Like so many of the stories we have studied so far, this was a faith operation from beginning to end. Elisha's hint to the woman to gather as many jars as she could indicated that something special was about to happen.
Few if any of the people we are studying performed what could be called heroic feats. Most were very ordinary people--but they believed and served an extraordinary God. In his musical composition Peter and the Wolf, Serge Prokofiev employed a technique known as leitmotif in which each character in the story is represented by a particular musical instrument.
When the listener hears the oboe, for instance, one knows that the duck has entered the scene. Leitmotif can also be a literary term referring to recurring themes throughout the work, identifying for the reader central motifs of the narrative. Much like the stories of Sarah Genesis 11—21 , Rebekah Gen. A year later, the woman bore a son. But then things turned dark.
Meaning of "Manasseh" in the English dictionary
Why would God grant the happiness of a child only to take him away so quickly? With that anxiety in her heart, the woman turned to Elisha, and in doing so essentially turned to God Himself. In a living act of faith, the woman clung to God during desperate, confusing times see vv. Elisha too modeled true faith; without answers himself v. Both the woman and the prophet turned to God in times of distress.
Although suffering and death still remain even this boy would eventually die again , they do not have the final say.
Where, O death, is your sting? The Great Sichuan Earthquake in China in May left many parents childless after some 7, schoolrooms collapsed in the quake. Recalling such painful bereavement helps us to identify with the woman in today's passage. Our text begins with a wealthy married woman with no children. The unnamed woman was from Shunem, located approximately three miles from Nazareth, and when Elisha was in town, she always shared godly hospitality with him because she knew he was a prophet of God.
Elisha was blessed and grateful for the woman's kindness, and asked her how he could return the blessing. Elisha's servant noted the unlikelihood of the Shunammite woman ever bearing children, and so Elisha promised her a son, a blessing from the Lord cf. The promised son is born—but some time in his early youth, he died vv. The Shunammite woman immediately displayed trust in God's power working through His servant, Elisha. She quickly left to seek his help v. The Shunammite woman has great character. She is hospitable, resourceful, and admirable vv.
In both yesterday's and today's texts, we obtain glimpses of God's salvation amid hopeless circumstances.
Related Manasseh, the Repentant: A Brief Expository of the Forgetful King
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