When Elisha gathered around with the sons of the prophets, there was a famine. Barrenness, sickness, affliction and famine were seen as judgment from God for sin. As we read again and again, the curse of sin is judgment and death.
These people were in search for food. When they went around to gather something to eat, they gathered wild gourds. From the text, it did not seem that they knew what the food would bring. They simply wanted to fill their need for food. But when they added this unknown item into the stew, it became deadly. They cried out, “There is DEATH IN THE POT.” Elisha had to add flour to the stew for it to become safe to eat.
We often try to add things into our daily lives to fill voids. We are facing a famine – the curse of sin. Through Christ alone the curse is no longer. We grab anything we can to fill our needs; however, we do not always understand what we truly need. Elisha poured flour into the deadly stew. In the same way, we can seek to eat from the Word of God, and become blessed by the “meal” of Christ. Through prayer and God’s Word we are sanctified. In 1 Timothy 4:4-5 we read: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” (NASB). It doesn’t matter how deadly the stew of your life has become; nothing is too dead for God to raise back to life. He will repair. He will revive. He will restore. He will redeem.
“One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And they could not eat it.” – 2 Kings 4:39-40 [ESV]
Today I took a walk and the lake I walk by was frozen. What was interesting was the fact that you could see all the garbage, all the trash that had floated to the top of the lake was all standing out. The first thing you would see was the garbage; it stuck out like a sore thumb. It reminds me of how when we sin, a lot of the times that sticks out like garbage too. When we are Christians, people think we can’t do this and we can’t do that. Even so, Christians aren’t perfect and we slip up here and there. That’s what everyone sees all the time. They always see those slip ups. They always see when you do something wrong– when you let a naughty word slip out of your mouth, when at a moment of weakness you start gossiping, when you get in danger of bragging about something, or when you get jealous. There are so many different things and it’s so easy to fall into sin. I am not making an excuse for it, but we all do it and it sticks out.
The thing is with that trash, it was there before. Some of it you could see and some you could not see. Now that the lake is frozen, you cannot get it out. It’s stuck until the ice melts. It’s a long process for it to melt so we must wait. In the same way, we are a work in progress. When you accept Christ, don’t expect the next day you are not going to be sinning at all and you’re going to be the perfect little thing. Romans 3:23 states that we all fall short. We all sin. We all fall short. That’s not something that anyone can argue. We can pretend, but no one is perfect. Verse 24 states that it is by His grace alone that we are justified.
After we accept Christ and we allow Him to chip away at the things that need fixed in our lives and we allow Him to move in our lives and do wonderful things and we transform and we stick to reading the Word and doing the Word, it ends up that there are not so many things floating on top of the water. Perhaps we all have some things that are frozen on the top right now that we are working on. There is great hope in knowing that God loves us anyway and He is right here with us trying to help us to get all of that stuff fixed in our lives, to repair the brokenness.
God is working in our lives as the ice is slowly melting. He is there right with us. He doesn’t turn His back and say He is done dealing with all of our garbage. He sticks there right with us. It’s a long process. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time. There is no greater time than the present to allow God to help you with the trash in your life. He’s willing to help, it’s just a matter of will you have Him or not. There’s no way to get rid of the trash without God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24 [NASB]