Yesterday I wrote about Elisha. One of the miracles I briefly mentioned was him purifying water. Today I just want to say, “WOW!”
Before writing this morning, I reacquainted myself with the 2 Kings chapter 2. After reading every verse I just sat back, remembering some of my childhood memories of being read to and taught these stories, and, how much I have forgotten at times.
In chapter 2 Elijah ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire, with horses of fire! But not before asking Elisha what can I do for you before I leave this planet?
Elisha simply asked for a double portion of the spirit that had been given to Elijah, and it was granted.
Read the chapter for yourself. There is a lot there, but I want to look at the miracle Elisha performed with a bowl of salt.
The story begins with Elisha in Jericho.
The word Jericho means 'place of fragrance' and it was beautiful city. Even the men of the town were quick to point this out to Elisha, “…Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” 2 Kings 2:19 NKJV
Everything appeared good on the outside. Things looked nice and pleasant, but the water was bad, and the land was unproductive. The very springs of water that were meant to nourish and bring life to the town, were polluted and brought just the opposite. Not a good situation.
“To be more exact, the word that is translated 'unproductive' above is often translated 'unfruitful' in other translations and in the Hebrew, it contains the thought of 'causes to miscarry'. In other words, it would look like there was going to be fruit. It would look like the land was going to produce a crop... but it would miscarry, turn bad, and once again the hopes of the town would be dashed.
“Elisha doesn't hesitate. He knows exactly what has to be done. 'Bring me a new bowl' he yells, 'and put salt in it.' A strange solution you may say but one that has some pretty impressive results for we read that 'he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, 'This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.' And the water has remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.'
This city represents all of humanity. Outwardly, things look great. Inwardly, not so much.
In the late 1980’s, my “little” family of six moved one-mile up Board Shanty Road.
The setting was gorgeous! Woods and trails for the kids to explore. Lots of wildlife and privacy. It was the perfect place to live.
Caring for 4 children and two adults, means lots of meals and dishes and laundry and showers, but the first thing I noticed was the taste.
Our water began to taste funny. It smelled unpleasant as I showered as well. Then one day, I had no water.
I called the landlord. He soon arrived, and taking my oldest son with him to assist, they took off, climbing the mountain to get to the cistern.
This was a large, cement-block cistern that held approximately 2,500 gallons of water. They discovered not even 2 inches of water in the bottom. We had run it dry.
The weird taste? The bad smell? Oh, that…that was one dead possum, several dead snakes and numerous dead lizards. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
My grandparents came over shortly after that. They wanted to investigate. With my boys in tow, they climbed back up that hill to the natural spring that fed the cistern. Grandpa had taken a 1-gallon jug with him; it took over 5 minutes to fill. Suffice it to say, that piece of property was never going to work for a family of 6 with just 12 gallons of water per hour. We lived there for one month.
The water in Jericho was so polluted even crops an orchards were failing. They needed a miracle. So do we.
“All is not well with our planet. Instead of the presence of God within the life of His creation, we have been born with a nature that is proud, self-dependent, jealous, coveting, lustful and greedy. It is self-consumed, barren and unfruitful. And all of humanities attempts at producing something worthwhile, fruitful, and lasting end in the same situation that the city of Jericho did in the story presented before us - it miscarries, and the results are bad.
So, what did Elisha do? He knew the answer and he needed three things.
1 - He needed salt: Elisha knew that he needed salt for this problem. Salt, in the Bible, is often a picture of the indwelling life of God. Salt, as you may be aware, was used as a preservative in those days as refrigerators hadn't been invented yet! They would place their meat and other food in layers of salt to prevent it from corruption. As such, the Bible often uses salt as a type of God's life within man. It is God's presence that preserves us and keeps us from corruption! It was salt that this city needed. It is salt (God's life) that we need.
2 - He needed a new vessel: As mentioned above, Salt was what was needed, but it could only be contained within a new vessel! So, it is with humanities problems. It needs the salt of God's indwelling presence once again - that which it forfeited oh so long ago in the garden. But the life of God can only be contained in a new vessel. One that is clean. The Bible doesn't tell people to try to clean up their old lives. It tells them to be born again and become a new creation, a new vessel indwelt by the presence of God's Holy Spirit. Only He can truly change a person and make them 'productive' again.
3 - He needed to go to the source of the problem: He didn't look to the outward manifestation of the problem, nor did He try to simply get each tree to be more fruitful. He didn't try to give the trees more fertilizer and care or double the town folk's effort in trying to replant new trees in an effort to get more fruit. No way. Total waste of time! He went straight to the spring of water that was the source of the problem. (Source: jesusplusnothing.com)
The moral of the story? Well, the problem is not what we do. The problem is what we are. We can spend our entire lives fighting the sin in our lives, but if you do not see and acknowledge what the source of the problem is, then we will never truly find the right solution.
And really, more important than the source of the problem is the source of the problem-fixer. Do we know Him? He invites you.
“Come to Me…and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Follow Me…” Matthew 4:19
“Stay with Me…” John 15:4
by Jeanette Stark – Friday, March 10, 2023