OYB June 23
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Jun 23
4:42-44 One day a man from Baal-shalishah brought the man of God a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread made from the first grain of his harvest. Elisha said, "Give it to the people so they can eat."
"What?" his servant exclaimed. "Feed a hundred people with only this?"
But Elisha repeated, "Give it to the people so they can eat, for this is what the Lord says: Everyone will eat, and there will even be some left over!" And when they gave it to the people, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the Lord had promised. God's miracles require faith and obedience. Many of the people both Elijah and Elisha encountered demonstrated unusual faith to follow the instructions given to them, which is why they went down in History! Contrast some of the women who obeyed these two men blindly with Naaman (5:10-11). There's a principle to follow-in matters of miracles, God has a part and we have a part. But He will give us instructions as to our part—it's not a guessing game.
Another beautiful observation from this passage, just like whenever Jesus fed the multitudes bread (symbolic for the Bread of Life), there is always enough for everyone and some left over. Eating bread, especially barley, was always symbolic for salvation. Remember that Jesus is the first-fruits, or the "barley" (from earlier studies).
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:51
5:14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. Naaman obeyed reluctantly, and he still was healed. This is good news for me! Sometimes I am so reluctant.
15:5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, "The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses." Pharisees were rule followers and rules police. While it is good to obey God, the most important thing to ask is "WHY?" Why am I obeying or following a rule? If it is out of love for God and people, it is the right thing to do. If it is to be a good person, or to look good to others, or to be acceptable to God, or for any other reason, it is wrong. We must also ask ourselves what our motives are for getting others to comply with the rules as well (see vs. 8).
15:16-18 "After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name," says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago. These words of God from Isaiah were both prophetic of Jesus coming to dwell (tabernacle) with men as well as when He returns for His 1,000-year reign.
control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don't let me drift
toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in
the delicacies of those who do wrong. Let the godly strike me! It will
be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don't let
me refuse it. Great personal prayer! We should long for loving rebuke from wise people as it will save us from destruction!