In our last post, we brought attention to the ever increasing and almost overwhelming tidal wave of information that tends to cause the moments of quiet stillness in which we hear from God, all the more difficult to discover. Without a clear leading from the Lord, it’s unlikely that we will have the faith to receive the promises of God that are so necessary for whatever we are seeking for our lives; whether guidance, forgiveness, healing, provision, anointing… whatever is on your heart that is in accordance with His revealed will in scripture.
In Wednesday’s post we looked at a very familiar passage in Mark 2 where the four friends of the paralytic were so clearly convinced that God had led them to bring their friend to Jesus, that they would not be stopped even though every entry way to the place where Jesus was was blocked by the crowds gathered to hear Jesus teach. (See Mark 2:1-12) However, this hunger to hear the word of the Lord and to receive a breakthrough from God needed in our lives is seen throughout the Old Testament as well. In a much more obscure passage in 2 Kings 7, the prophet Elisha brings this clear and yet seemingly inconceivable prophetic word.
Elisha said, Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 2 Kings 7:1 (NIV)
What made this word so difficult to believe was that Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, had mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Samaria. This resulted in a terrible famine in the city because the people were trapped and all supplies had been cut off. Things had become so desperate that the unthinkable is happening as described in 2 Kings 6:28-29.
When Elisha’s word is given, the King of Samaria, who had blamed Elisha for the whole debacle, was not able to believe in this word. Even his trusted adviser challenged the possibility of such a thing happening in verse 2.
“Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”
However, there were four men who were so desperate that when they heard this word from the prophet they thought it through and determined that they had nothing to lose if they acted on the word as they could quite possibly die by the famine or by the soldiers of king Aram. These were four men with leprosy who rested outside of the city gate because they were not allowed inside where they might affect the people with their disease.
You must read 2 Kings 7:3-9 to catch the dramatic discovery of these four destitute men.
Somehow, supernaturally, the Lord has caused such turmoil in the encampment of the forces of the Arameans that they fled from their encampment outside the city in the middle of the night and “ran for their lives” leaving everything behind; their tents, their horses and livestock, their silver, gold and clothing, and most especially… their abundance of food!
These lepers have great instruction for those of us who are seeking to receive from the Lord. When our minds battle with circumstances that seem to be standing directly in the path of what we need to receive from God, it takes “crazy faith”… faith that acts on what we believe God has said despite what circumstances and/or experiences may be telling us.
I’m not sure why this is the case. Very often in scripture its the most desperate people, the ones who have no other recourse except to trust in the Lord, who end up receiving the greatest blessing from Him! Think of how God provided for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Ponder the desperation of Moses after 40 years in the dessert or Joshua as he faced the Jordan river at the time when its current would have normally wiped away anyone who tried to cross it. We could go on and on and speak of Elijah, and Ruth, and Daniel and the dozens of individual stories recorded in the New Testament gospels of desperate people defying their limitations and choosing to believe God rather than other voices that would discourage or defeat them.
The battle for believing is one that recognizes that its only when we choose to believe what we know God has spoken to us, no matter what the test results or external circumstances may reveal, that we have any real hope of receiving. Even then, it is not a guarantee.
However, the gift of intimacy of hearing the Lord and trusting in Him and His word no matter what transpires results in the blessing of faith which brings great pleasure to God and according to Hebrews 11 never fails to bring eternal blessing to our lives.
Read the story in 2 Kings 7:1-20 and ask yourself where you are in your posture of faith as you face the critical battles of your own life. Ask the Lord to reveal His word to you and then, when you reach the end of your own explanations and experiences, act on faith in what God has spoken and leave the results to Him. He will never fail you!