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July 3, Day 185 – Gehazi DID Get Something!

In 2 Kings 4:38-6:23, we see Elisha’s ministry among the company of prophets. “There was a famine” (verse 38). In Scripture, a famine always represents a picture of God’s judgment and of spiritual deficiency. Here, we read that one of the prophets “went out into the fields to gather herbs ... found a wild vine and gathered some gourds” that he cut up and put into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were … and there was death in the pot” (verses 39-40). As the prophet Elisha foreshadows Christ’s future ministry, this scene typifies the evil world’s influence on believers today. The “wild vine” is a creeping vine that portrays the manner by which sin creeps into and affects our lives; the fruits of this vine – gourds that were unfamiliar – equate to the deceptive products of sin; they may be attractive, but they are deadly. Elisha said, “get some flour, and put it into the pot” (verse 41). This is Elisha’s ninth miracle, and the flour is a picture of the grain offering that represents the Bread of Life – Jesus Christ – Who alone is the Antidote to all the world’s evils that lead to death. In verses 42-44, we see Elisha’s tenth miracle – the feeding of a hundred men – with bread left over. In chapters 5:1-6:23, we see Elisha’s eleventh miracle – the healing of Naaman the leper – who pictures all of us in our sins and in dire need of cleansing from them. Naaman wants to be cleansed in the “Abana and Pharpar Rivers of Damascus” (verse 12). These rivers represent the world’s religious systems which cannot possibly cleanse us. Only obedience to the strange call of God (i.e., dipping “seven times in the muddy Jordan River”) can “restore our flesh and make it clean” (verse 14). Interestingly, Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, suddenly decides to become deceptively greedy. He says, “I will run after him [Naaman] and get something from him” (verse 20). Miraculously (miracle number twelve), Elisha knew about Gehazi’s deception (verse 26), and miracle number thirteen, he cursed “Gehazi and his descendants with leprosy” (verse 27). Indeed, Gehazi DID "get something from Naaman!”

Psalm 79:8 says, “may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” This verse wholly characterizes our condition before the Lord - regardless of our stage of faith. We are ever desperately dependent upon God and His mercy, not only for our salvation, but also for our very breath - every moment of every day. The next verse reveals the only solution to our desperate dilemma - “Help us, God our Savior!” (verse 9). Apart from God’s direct, helpful intervention in and His provision for our lives, we would simply be “consumed” (cf., Lamentations 3:22). May we always be reminded to be grateful to our Lord for His moment-by-moment care and provisions for us.

Once again, in Acts 21:27-22:21, we see gatherings degenerate to violence as the Jerusalem crowd riots and attacks Paul, who verbally defends his own calling. Today we are witnessing a resurgence of persecution against Christians - particularly by secularists, large groups of gangs, liberal antagonists, and people who follow other religious systems. In Paul’s day, soldiers tried to control a mob, but in our day, the civil authorities are no longer reliable for or capable of protecting us against large groups of violent, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish people. Often, we see gangs of people turn on the police or the police become fearfully ineffective. Already decadent, our whole culture perpetually deteriorates.

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