Samaria is under siege by Syria. Starvation is rampant and some have resorted to cannibalism. Food prices will drop by morning though and be available to all.
God is getting Israel’s attention. It often takes bringing us to the very END of ourselves before we are ready to listen. Samaria’s king is there. He has just heard of two women contracting to eat their own children in order to live. He calls for Elisha’s head. “This trouble is from the Lord” (2 Kings 6:33b). This was said by a messenger but it was the king’s words that were delivered. The king plans to take matters into his own hands. Let’s rejoin the story where we left off.
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Elisha has just finished telling the elders who have come to seek his advice that there is a murderous plot against him. He is speaking of the king’s reaction. God has warned Elisha of the king’s heart.
“Shut the door and hold the door fast against him” (2 Kings 6:32b) Elisha tells the elders. He knows exactly what is about to take place.
A shout rings out from the approaching messenger while Elisha is still giving instructions. “This trouble is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?” (2 Kings 33b).
Two of the elders leap from their stools and shut the door. They hold it fast as the messenger begins to beat upon it.
Elisha steps near the door. In a loud and clear voice he calls out from within the house.
“Hear the word of the Lord” thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria” (verse 1).
The messenger had ceased his pounding at Elisha’s first words and he listens. He is not alone. Ahab’s closest captain had come with him to ensure Elisha came when called. He knows of Elisha’s reputation but surely THIS could never happen! He calls out to Elisha through the door with derision in his voice.
“If the Lord Himself should make windows in Heaven, could this thing be?” (verse 2b).
Elisha motioned with his hand for the elders to move away from the door. Once they were out of the way he reached out and opened it then stepped to the threshold. He locked eyes with the captain.
“You shall see it with our own eyes,…” Elisha pauses to ensure the captain is paying absolute attention. “…but you shall not eat of it” (verse 2c).
The captain is shaken. “What does the prophet mean by this? Will I die? Will I be imprisoned by the king?”
Rather than take Elisha as the king ordered the captain and the messenger walk away from Elisha’s home. They return to the king with nothing to show for his orders.
“My king, the prophet has promised relief from the Lord tomorrow. We could not take him.”
The king is angry but he knows of the power of Elisha. “We will wait and see what tomorrow brings.”
(to be continued)
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This story reminds me of the song by Carmen, Sunday’s On the Way. For centuries God’s promise was held out to the people. They had been through trial after trial. But in the darkest hour for the followers of Jesus, God’s promise was about to be fulfilled. “Hold on just a little longer. Help is on the way!”
Father God, You ALWAYS keep Your word. Heaven and Earth rest on Your word. You hold the universe together with Your word. I KNOW Your promises are true. I would love to be a fly on the wall as these men wait out the night!