#Biblical Reflection

FROM THIS TIME TOMORROW

Jun 9, 2021, 2:32 PM

A sudden and unexpected breakthrough turned a particular situation around for four lepers who in view of their dilemma decided to take a bold step of faith by venturing into the unknown. And it worked for them.

Their inaction would not have yielded any dividends. So after their situation changed for the better, their consciences were pricked and they resolved to send word to the king. It must reach the king’s ears. There was an element of fear in their decision though. They said to themselves: “If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” (2 Kings 7:9b)

Emboldened by their resolve to break the news to the authorities that there was no longer any need for tight security or for the gates to remain closed, they headed for the city gates. They disclosed their story to the gatekeepers. “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there—not a sound of any one—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” (2 Kings 7:10)

The ripple effect of the breaking news was that the gatekeepers shouted it out until it was brought to the ears of the authorities in the palace. The news did not fall on deaf ears. However, the king became suspicious. Was this not a ploy of their enemies to deceive them to become easy prey? Wasn’t there a hidden agenda? The king broke the silence with this analysis: “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving: so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking; ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’ ” (verse 12)

A proposal was then made by one of the king’s officers for a reconnaissance mission to investigate and report back. “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.’ ” (Verse 13)

Two chariots were dispatched with their horses to verify the truth of the report. They were to go and find out what had happened. They went as far as the Jordan and all they saw were “whole roads strewn with clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight.” Upon hearing this news the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So that a bushel of flour sold for a shekel, and two bushels of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.” (Verse 16) Thus the predictions of the man of God, Prophet Elisha, had been fulfilled.

The prophecy was in two parts: that wheat and barley would be sold cheap; and when the king’s officer doubted, the prophet added:  “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” (verse 2b) Prophet Elisha was saying to the officer, you will not live to witness the event – because you doubted. “Now the king had put the officer in whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to the house. It happened as the man of God had said to the King.” (Verse 18)

Is there any doubt that you still harbour about what the Bible says regarding its author or about you and your future? Hear the Word of God on this matter. “What I have said I will bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” (Isaiah 46:11b) “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

The Bible is replete with the words of God declaring His good intentions for all those who believe in His word and who act upon it. He told patriarch Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing....and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3) To confirm how this would come about when Abraham had doubts because he was advanced in age, God said to him. “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5)

It does not take a lot of faith to believe the word of God -- not at face value but for what it is worth. God calls it ‘little faith’. Jesus compared it to the size and volume of a mustard seed which though small, grows up to become an oak tree – a gigantic tree where even birds can perch. “The Words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6) The word of God has proven its veracity and resilience just as gold or silver.

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Abraham and Sarah had received three unknown, yet special guests whom they had entertained well. As they were about to take leave of them, they asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?’  ‘There in the tent,’ he answered. “Then the Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ ” Sarah and Abraham were old and besides Sarah had passed the child-bearing age. Sarah could hear the conversation from her vantage position in the tent and she laughed, saying: “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)

The Lord then said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a child.” (Verse 14)

Taking a cue from the king’s official and Sarah who both doubted, let us begin to train our minds to believe the undiluted word of God that has proven itself beyond any shadow of doubt.

Our God is the God of the impossible. At age 90, Sarah bore Abraham a son as the Lord had prophesied. They named him Isaac – meaning ‘Laughter.’ Only believe!