Read 2 Kings 4

Highlights:

The widow's oil multiplied; Elisha and the Shunammite woman; Naaman cured of leprosy; Gehazi's leprosy.

And it came to pass, when the king of Israel (Jehoram) had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me (II Kin. 5:7).

When King Jehoram read the letter that the king of Syria wrote concerning the leper Naaman, he jumped to the wrong conclusion and accused Naaman, the powerful captain of the Assyrian army, of seeking to declare war. King Jehoram concluded from the letter that he was being asked to cure Naaman's leprosy. This could only be done by God. He presumed war would be declared when he could not cure him. Even after Naaman was miraculously healed, King Jehoram refused to worship God, as did his brother, Ahaziah, and his father Ahab, before him.

Like Jehoram, far too many Christians fail to realize that it's not men but the providential arrangements of God that have placed us exactly where we are at this very moment. Therefore, we should examine the message of God rather than blame the messenger He uses. Whenever we don't like where God is directing us, it can be easy to find fault and place the blame on someone else. Remember, it is God sending this message to you (I Cor. 7:17). He is the One who formed me (us) from the womb to be His servant (Is. 49:5); and called us . . . according to His own purpose and grace (II Tim. 1:9). Look to heaven and not earth in finding your answers.

We may not be responsible for the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but we are responsible for the way these events affect us. Let us always remember that God is seeking to use our circumstances to transform us into the image of His Son. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6). It is not necessary in all instances for us to understand the reason for our circumstances, but we should submissively yield to God and seek His will (James 4:7).

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:7).

Thought for Today:

God often uses ordinary circumstances to reveal His ways.

Christ Revealed:

By the meal that took the poison out of the pot (II Kin. 4:40-41). Meal, made of crushed grain, speaks of Christ, who was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (Is. 53:5), thereby removing the poison of sin from us.

Word Studies:

4:3 borrow not a few, get as many as you can; 4:6 stayed, ceased flowing; 4:10 candlestick, oil lamp; 4:27 vexed, deeply distressed; 4:29 Gird up thy loins, Fasten your loose, flowing garments with a belt.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Helen A. Porter • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Rep. Peter Welch (VT) • Country: Central African Republic (3 million) in the center of the African continent • Major languages: French and Sangho • Religious freedom • 47% Protestant; 34% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 3% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray each day for the Lord to protect you from evil (I Pet. 5:8).

Optional Reading: Romans 5

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35