Today’s readings are 2 Kings 4-5
SO MUCH GOING ON TODAY!
Diving right in….
Leaders lead by example, as we see with the demeanor of Elisha.
I love the quiet assurance in Elisha’s words. He doesn’t raise his voice, he doesn’t get in a tizzy, he just says it like it is and folks can believe or not, it makes no difference to the truth.
The more I study YHWH’s word, the more I find myself becoming like this. The assurance that the Father is orchestrating all, planting seeds, and laying out our paths and we need only stay in the word, focus on Him, and follow in order to take up our role in His Divine plan.
No yelling, no condemning, no trying to convert. He is the one who must turn a heart – we of our own accord are powerless to do so.
Important: But we do have to walk the walk, live our faith, and use Messiah as our example of how to live rather than just a name we call upon from time to time. What did He (Messiah) do? The Word of YHWH tells us, so we must read it, know it, and do it. By the way, we’ve been reading about our Messiah since Genesis. Check out John 1:1-4 and John 1:14. He is in every commandment, every instruction, every syllable of Wisdom.
1 Kings 4:1 The oil and the vessels
A beautiful quote I found about the oil and the vessels from evangelist F. B. Meyer:
“When our need is urgent, and we spread it before God, the question is never about the amount of oil, but of the empty vessels. We fear that there will not be enough oil; God is concerned lest we fail to bring sufficient vessels to hold all He wants to give. The oil was multiplied in the pouring, as the meal of the other widow was increased in the spending. God’s oil will never be exhausted so long as we can receive and impart.”
2 Kings 4:23-26 A son dies, a mother remains calm : I want to focus on this passage in our reading today with my notes but let’s start with a little observation:
And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” 2Ki 4:23
This lets us know that Elisha had established a ministry and was teaching on the appointed days since this lady had a custom of visiting Him on the new moon and Shabbat. Note: The new moon is the beginning of a new month on the Hebrew calendar and YHWH had given specific instructions as to how to observe it back in Numbers. We have read extensively on Shabbat already, the Father is really clear (and repetitive) on that one and we will continue to read about Believers observing it all the way through Revelations.
In addition to the quiet assurance of Elisha, the Shunammite woman seemed to reflect that same assurance in him when her son had passed. We do not see her get in a tizzy or run around yelling and wailing. Instead, she gets right to business, saddling a donkey and heading straight to YHWH’s representative.
Now in 2 Kings 4:26 we encounter a verse that will likely stand out to you.
Elisha sees her coming and sends his servant (a much younger and therefore more spry fellow than himself) ahead to see if she is okay.
He instructs him to ask the woman three questions
-Is all well with you?
-Is all well with your husband?
-Is all well with your child?
She answers “all is well.” and keeps on going towards Elijah.
Did your record skip a bit when you read that? No doubt, that reply has had many people scratching their heads over the ages, which is why I immediately went to Biblehub.com and looked up the verse so I could read the interlinear version to see what words were used in the original text.
When something doesn’t seem right, it’s always a good idea to dig a little bit and see if we’ve lost some important information in the process of translation.
In this case, most definitely so.
Let’s check it out:
1. click here: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/2_kings/4-26.htm
2. Keep in mind that Hebrew is read right to left so in order for these sentences to make sense you need to read them backwards.
3. Now, Do you see the numbers up over the words? Those are the reference numbers for those words in Strong’s concordance. Notice that one number is repeated four different times in this single verse. Look below that number and you’ll see that the words are all variations of one word.
4. Click on that number and you’ll see that the word used, four different times in this passage -once in each question Elisha sent and once in the woman’s reply to him is: Shalom.
You know how you sometimes seek a little light to be shed on a subject that seems a bit elusive or vague – well this just turned on the floodlight.
We’ve talked about Shalom before in here. It is a very special word. Sometimes, it is used as a greeting, sometimes as a goodbye, but the underlying meaning is still there and it is a very special greeting because of that underlying meaning.
Many will say that Shalom means peace and I would say that is accurate, but it goes beyond that.
Shalom is a very *special* kind of peace that can only come from the Father. It is a peace, an assurance of spirit, and a calm that often defies the world’s logic and certainly can’t be found within the world.
Shalom – a peace and assurance that can only come from relationship with YHWH.
When we use Shalom as a greeting, we are actually blessing the person we are greeting, wishing them this wonderful peace that passes all understanding.
What a precious way to greet and be greeted!
So now her response to Elisha makes absolute sense.
Recall that confidence with which she laid her son on his bed and went to saddle her donkey to go find him. She knew exactly what she was doing and who to call upon for healing and she knew, with faith and assurance, complete shalom, that the God of Elisha would heal her son.
And only then, with that level of faith, can someone ask us in the middle of a raging storm if we have shalom and we can answer “I do.”
So she answered the servant and kept on going to her objective.
And just like the woman with the issue of the blood who touched the tzitzit on the hem of our Messiah’s garment, her faith made her whole.
2 Kings 5:1 Naaman actually had tzara’at
Recall that we discussed back in the Exodus that leprosy is not the best translation here. The affliction is entirely different from that as it can appear and disappear in a moment – it is an affliction from YHWH and you can read more about it in my notes by clicking here.
Note, though, that this is a very special case because tzara’at usually only happens to Hebrews who had been unfaithful to or disobeyed YHWH (often with what is known as “evil speech”) but Naaman was a gentile.
In this case, we can see that one of the reasons the Father used this affliction with Naaman is that it resulted in Naaman coming to know the Father.❤️
It’s a trap: The whole King of Syria sending the letter and treasure to the King of Israel was a total setup.
The King of Syria did not worship nor believe in YHWH but in sending this man with all these riches and a personal letter asking the King of Israel to heal him, he appears on the outside to be showing faith and deference to the King of Israel but even the King of Israel saw straight through it – if he doesn’t heal Naaman after all this spectacle of gifts and hubbub, he then dishonors the king of Syria, thereby giving him an excuse to attack.
Of course, the King of Israel knew he could not heal him and saw right through this but rather than call upon Elisha, he just proceeded straight to the gnashing of teeth part.
How many times have we done the same thing instead of calling on YHWH?
I hope you are enjoying our readings!
Last year around this time, I heard something insightful in a podcast I was listening to.
A man was talking about how sometimes YHWH is silent when we ask him how to solve a particular issue or what to do in a specific situation – and it’s in these situations that often His silence gives us an opportunity to realize that the answer to our question has already been given in His Word.
And that is why I call it the Ultimate Guidebook to Life!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!