Highlights In Today's Reading:
Can you imagine being so in tune with God that you hear and heed all His warnings! It's daybreak (6:15); you're surrounded by the army of the enemy. Enemies, named or unnamed, surround all of us. But remember, God's army of angels protects us and the Holy Spirit guides us. Ever felt hunger? God uses the most "unlikely" to bring satisfaction (6:24 — 7:20).
Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, could not deny that God had miraculously healed Naaman, the captain of his armies (5:1-15). Nor could he have "forgotten" that when they attempted to capture the prophet Elisha, the Syrian soliders were miraculously blinded and were then led by Elisha inside the walls of the capital city of Samaria (6:18-20). The soldiers were trapped and at the mercy of the king of Israel. However, at Elisha's command, the king prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away (6:23). Yet, a few years later, Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria (6:24-25).
The citizens of the once-proud, luxurious, fortress-city of Samaria that had forsaken the Lord were faced with all the horrors of famine. To surrender to Syria meant death for King Jehoram and slavery for his people. But remaining within the walls reduced the people to starvation and they were forced to eat the most repulsive and defiling food to remain alive. These pitiful conditions were the prophesied results of Israel's disobedience (Lev. 26:29; Deut. 28:53,57) and would be repeated again at the fall of Jerusalem (Jer. 19:9; Lam. 2:20; 4:10). As the king of Israel was passing by . . . there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. This ungodly king was finally forced to admit: If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? (II Kin. 6:26-27).
When it appeared there was no hope, the Lord brought Jehoram face to face with Elisha, who proclaimed: Hear ye the Word of the Lord . . . To morrow . . . shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria (7:1). The prophecy was miraculously fulfilled the next day when God sent fear into the hearts of the Syrian army and they quickly abandoned their camp and all their supplies so that food was in abundance for all. God, in His great mercy and long-suffering, once again miraculously spared His sinful people.
Christians need not fear tomorrow. Instead, we can rejoice in the promises of God: My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
Thought for Today:
Sin brings us to spiritual starvation, but obedience to the Word of God brings us to His bountiful supply of spiritual satisfaction.
By Elisha, who wept when he realized what Hazael would do to Israel and its people (II Kin. 8:11-12). We are reminded of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together . . . and ye would not! (Matt. 23:37-38).
6:1 strait =b> small, too confined; 6:30 within =b> next to, underneath; 7:5 uttermost part =b> borders; 8:11 settled his countenance =b> stared intensely; 8:26 daughter =b> granddaughter.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Irwin & Joyce Koopman • Government Officials: Rep. Ralph Hall (TX), Gov. C.L. Butch Otter (ID), Sen. David Vitter (LA), Sen. Jim Risch (ID), and Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) • Country: Latvia (2.48 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Latvian and Russian • Religious freedom • 20% Protestant (mainly Lutheran); 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Orthodox; .9% Jewish; .4% Muslim; 43.7% Atheist/Agnostics/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Put on God's whole armor so that you may be able to successfully stand up against Satan's evil attacks (Eph. 6:11).
Optional Reading: Romans 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:15