February 19, 2021
But Elisha said, “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.” – 1 Kings 7:1 ESV
In 2 Kings, we read of a difficult time of political threat and economic meltdown. The city of Samaria was besieged and there was no food—to an extent that cannibalism reigned supreme (2 Kings 6:26-29). Inflation was so high that city dwellers could not afford basics of life. There were no cattle or sheep; there were only five horses in the city (7:13). It was such a depressing time that the king could hardly afford a decent underwear (6:30). The king was so physically weak he could not stand on his own and had to lean on someone’s arm (7:2).
People sick with leprosy were banished to total isolation, with no permissible contact with a wider society. But in this story, it was the marginalized lepers who risked it all to bring the Good News to the city (7:3-11). God always provides the way for His people. An economic meltdown is never an accident in the eyes of God. He turns around the situation for a purpose. God changes this disastrous economic situation, teaching several valuable lessons:
1. God turns the situation around to strengthen our trust in Him. It happened to Elisha by keeping the Word of the Lord (7:1). It is often through finances that God can clearly and objectively show us that He is in control of everything. God will use cash to strengthen our trust if we will just accept our positions as stewards and turn it over to Him.
2. God turns the situation around to develop our trustworthiness. Like the lepers in this story, we must take risks by entering the enemy’s camp and pass on the Good News to others. They trusted God to the point of risking their lives. They discovered something good and never kept it to themselves.
3. God turns the situation around to prove His love. God was showing the king of Samaria that He is the God of love and it is His love that can change the situation completely. Many of us remain outside God’s will because we are afraid to trust Him for the impossible. We can even appeal to laws of nature that this is impossible (2 Kings 7:2).
4. God turns the situation around to demonstrate His power over this world. The statement: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria (2 Kings 7:1,16,18) implies the abundance of food with low prices. We have to remember that we serve the God who is the Creator of the universe, therefore must relate with Him as well as to His power and resources.
5. God turns the situation around to unite Christians through many shared blessings. God uses the abundance of one Christian to supply the needs of another. The lepers in the story had this right (2 Kings 7:9). They concurred with the Apostle Paul about the Macedonian churches who were so generous regardless of their economic limitations (2 Cor 8:14).
6. God turns the situation around to provide direction for our lives. God was making a case to convince Joram, the king of Samaria that he must change his direction. He provided divine intervention at the time when nobody expected solution. A Christian seeking God’s will must be certain that he has first relinquished control of his life, including his finances, and is truly seeking God’s direction. We must persevere.
7. God turns the situation around to satisfy the needs of others. The lepers give us a lesson of unselfishness. If we have never learned to give, God can never give back. God cannot be in control if we believe we are the owners.
Think for a moment about the ways God has blessed you (financial or otherwise). What are some ways you could use these blessings to make a difference in someone else’s life?