Today you should read: 2 Kings 4:38-44
Without doing any type of research, you may read this story and understood it as a tale of young men who tasted some of your mother-in-law or wife’s soup and Elisha improved it’s flavor with a little bit of flour. Some have understood the soup to be bitter but most believe it was poisonous because of the gourd in it. If you believe that it was poisonous (which makes more sense to me with the surrounding context) then you would see that this was another miracle done by God through Elisha. This may not have been the raising of a dead son but it is still proof of a God that brings life out of death as Elisha miraculously saved these young men from the poison with some flour. Yes, flour.
However there’s also another potential parallel in this short story that a lot of people can miss but one I personally love because of my views on God’s covenant throughout scripture. This was written by an anonymous pastor on a hermeneutics (interpreting scripture) website and I thought that I’d share it with all of you today.
“The story follows the Covenant pattern: a delegation of authority, a firstfruits, a testing, a result, an accountability and a future.”
The point here is Israel as firstfruits. When Israel seized kingly authority without priestly deference to God first (as Cain, who made his offering before Abel), the Land would cease to be blessed. Time and again, when Israel shed innocent blood, God sent a famine. The blood cried from the ground and the Land itself would be out to kill them. (We also see this in the famine in Bethlehem at the beginning of Ruth, following the shocking bloodshed at the end of Judges.)
What saves the day is priestly flour, a true firstfruits, the facebread. We can also tie this to Samson, who served grinding in the mill and was then able to judge as a sacrificial king.
It is interesting that the “liturgical ingredient” Elisha used to heal the bitter spring in Jericho was salt. It speaks of barrenness. The children of idolatrous Israel were cut off (like Sodom) and the children of Gentile believers (in Jericho!) were saved.”
• What else stuck out for you in this story?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor
4 thoughts on “March 28, 2018”
Verses 42-44 tell the story of a miraculous feeding – a precursor to the two feedings Jesus performed. What’s unique about this one is: a) it occurred during a famine, and b) the faithfulness of one man and his tithe allowed at least 100 people to eat who perhaps may have otherwise gone hungry.
Great insight on point B. I didn’t really think about that. Thanks John.
This is such a good passage. I appreciate the historical/hermeneutical feedback, EK.
I’ve been praying this morning that God would allow us to see him work miracles in our lives and at CPC. Could be through the salvation of many new believers, repentance of sin, healing from a terminal illness, etc.
This passage is a reminder that God can work beyond our comprehension.