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]
A few days ago, I made a horrible mistake with my laundry. It was laundry day and my last load of laundry was the bath towels. When I put the towels into the dryer, I continued onward. We had dinner. We took the dog for a walk. I did the dishes. There was a moment when I considered checking on the towels, but I figured that it wasn’t a high priority. I’ve left the towels sit before and everything was fine.
Two days went by and I remembered that I had bath towels in the dryer. I opened the dryer and it hit me—I never turned the dryer on after I shut the door. The smell was horrible. The nice, clean towels that simply needed dried now needed to be rewashed. Everything that was done before now needed done again.
We are like those bath towels. After we accept Jesus, we are washed clean; however, we cannot just sit there after we are washed. We still have an issue with sin and a need for repentance. We still need to continue on our walk with Christ. If we don’t read and actively study the Bible—if we don’t participate in prayer daily—if we don’t continue to repent for our sins—if we don’t follow God’s will for our lives—if we don’t belong to a church community and serve—we are then wet towels sitting in the dryer. Today, continue on your walk with Christ—read, study, pray, repent, follow, belong, serve. Life isn’t lived standing still.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7 [NIV]