Monday, December 28, 2009

Obeying When It Doesn't Make Sense (2 Kings 4)

I want everything to make sense.
I want to know what God is doing and how he is doing it.
I want to know how everything is going to turn out.

That's not how God works most of the time.
Most of the time God says move, and we have a choice . . .
Obey or disobey.

Sometimes we question whether or not we hear God's voice clearly--

In the days of Second Kings, Elisha spoke for God. I suppose on some level that might have been easier. He had a pretty good track record. The Bible doesn't record any instances where Elisha heard God's voice incorrectly. But we know this in retrospect. After all, we have the Bible, and the people of those days didn't. They argue with him, they accuse him of creating negative prophecies, as if could manufacture the future with his words, they try to put him to death to silence him.

Okay. Not easier. We listen, we obey, we move by faith. Faith in who God is.

In this passage, a widow goes to Elisha and tells him that the creditors are about to come and take her sons to settle a debt. Her husband had been one of the prophets who followed Elisha around.

Elisha asks her how he can help. What do you have in your house?

It seems like an odd question. If she had anything of value, she would sell it and keep her children.

Instead of questioning him, she says, nothng except a little oil.
Now Elisha tells her to go to all the neighbors and ask for empty jars. "Don't ask for just a few," he says.

She begins filling up the jars with the little bit of oil, and the oil keeps flowing until all the jars are full. She is able to sell the oil, pay off the creditors, and then live on the rest of the money and raise her children.

Can you imagine if she had questioned the prophet and only gotten a few jars? Or if she had said, "You're crazy," and done nothing? Or if she had resigned herself to her fate and not gone to the prophet for help>

How many times do I ask for too little because of my lack of faith?

How many times do I disobey because I don't understand or because I don't believe God can move on my behalf, on behalf of my family?
How many times do I fail to even ask God to intervene?

1 comment:

ThomasMo said...

Wouldn’t it be great if everything did make sense to us?

How often do things happen in our lives that we just do not understand?

How often do we feel the pull of God in one direction but, due to our lack of understanding, go off in a direction of our own choosing?

I often wonder about some, ok, many of my decisions and what life would be like now if I had chosen differently. It is a common ideology in our society to say that we should not dwell on the past, yet the past is where we find our mistakes. If hindsight is 20/20, then this is where we need to look and understand the choices we have made and how they affected not only our lives, but the lives of others as well.

I believe that the key element is trust. In 2nd Kings, the widow trusted Elisha enough to follow his direction, even though to her it made little sense. We have to trust that God is guiding us through the Holy Spirit. We also have to trust our relationship with Him enough to believe that we are hearing Him correctly. I think that this is one of my biggest problems. It isn’t that I don’t trust God; I don’t trust myself to be successful in what God is asking of me. I have to understand that God will not send me somewhere, and then just leave me to fend for myself. He will be there every step of the way.

Understanding comes with obedience. We may not understand what God is doing initially, but as we walk in obedience and faith, it will become clearer as we go. Trust and have faith in God, and He will not lead us astray.