DEVOTION:God Listens To Them!
This chapter is filled with miraculous events that marked the end of Elijah’s ministry here on earth and the beginning of Elisha’s ministry. Read this chapter several times. Before God took up Elijah, Elisha asked to be given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. So here we see Elisha operating with a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.
Elisha’s first miracle was the parting of the waters of the Jordan River. The second was the healing of bitter water in the land. The third miracle was the cursing of the forty boys. This third miracle is told in a very short story, but it is one with important lessons for all of us.
Here it is:
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 2 Kings 2:23 NIV
Here is another translation:
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 2 Kings 2:23 NASB
This did not go over well with Elisha, and here is how he responded:
He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 2 Kings 2:24 NIV
This is very scary! But do you remember what Elijah did in the previous chapter where we got yesterday’s lesson? Twice Elijah called fire from God to consume two groups of fifty soldiers with their commanders.
Whether it was calling for a blessing or a curse, these servants of the Lord had the power to do either one of them – for God listened to them.
Sometimes the servants of the Lord do not have to speak on their own behalf. A classic example of this is found in Numbers 12:1-15. In this story, Miriam, Moses’ sister, and Aaron, his brother, looked down on Moses for marrying a foreign wife. These are their exact words:
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:1-3
God was not amused with this kind of talk against his servant Moses. Pay attention to what God did:
At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face-to-face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous_ it became as white as snow. Numbers 12:4-10a
When Aaron saw Miriam’s condition, he cried out to Moses:
Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” Numbers 12:10b-12
Moses pleaded with God on her behalf:
So Moses cried out to the LORD, “Please, God, heal her!” Numbers 12:13
However, God had the final say:
The LORD replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.Numbers 12:14-15
1) It is risky and very dangerous to mock or disrespect any true servant of the Lord. You never know what they will ask of the Lord on your behalf. If they can ask God to bless you, then the opposite is also true.
2) There are three important lessons in these two stories concerning the servants of the Lord:
a) God has empowered them to speak blessings or curses. Elijah and Elisha did both.
b) God listens to the requests of His servants.
c) God fights for His own servants.
i) In the story of Miriam, Aaron and Moses, we are not told of anything Moses said to God in response to what Miriam and Aaron said against him.
ii) Instead, God responded immediately to what was said against Moses. He then struck Miriam with Leprosy.
iii) Servants of God may not say anything to God about anyone who mocks or disrespects them, but God will come to the rescue of His servants. Watch What You Say Concerning Any Servant of The Lord.
3) David understood that you never touch the anointed one of the Lord. It does not matter what you think about what they have done; they remain the anointed ones of the Lord. According to David, leave them to the hands of God so that He alone can to deal with them.
Treat any true Servant of the Lord with Respect and Honor.
Watch what comes out of your mouth concerning any of them.
You never know what they can say to the Lord
On your behalf or against you,
GOD LISTENS TO THEM!
Read: 2 Kings 2:1-25
Marked: 2 Kings 2:24
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto