Why Why Why?

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. 2 Kings 5:1

What a biography. Commander for the king. Great man. Highly regarded. Valiant soldier. But Naaman had a problem. He had leprosy. You would think that the Lord could have already healed him from this great skin malady. You’d think that the leprosy would have passed him by because he’s a great man in the eyes of the world and God!

But no. Naaman had leprosy.

Many who read this know what this feeling is like. You’re serving Christ, racking up great victories. You’re making a difference in many lives. You are doing what you know to be the work of the Lord. Then something catastrophic happens. You or a family member is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Or you find out very disturbing things about your adult child. Or you’ve miscarried for the second time in as many years. Or your parents were killed by a drunk driver.

Why why why?

Naaman had an advocate: Elisha.

We too have an advocate: Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus will go to the Father on our behalf, but we must go to him first. The Bible tells us to “cast all our cares on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7  Will it be easy as 1,2,3? No. Nothing in life is that way. But going to Him is part of the solution.

Often it is the only solution.

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For His Provisions

“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’ ” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD. 2 Kings 4:43-44

The reason this story looks so familiar to us is because it’s mentioned in the New Testament as “feeding of the 5000” and “feeding of the 4000.” Same setting; different men involved. Elisha could clearly see that the 20 barley loaves could feed 100 men; nobody else could. The men distributing the bread knew how much they started with. As pieces were pulled off, the bread was replenished. The crowd may not have known what was happening, but the servers did. And there was a famine in the land.

How God provides for us is not always clear at the time. Sometimes it’s not even clear after it’s said and done. But the fact remains: God provides. Thank Him today for His provisions. Thank Him for life itself.

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Blessing Missionaries

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 2 Kings 4:8

Have you ever offered to house missionaries when they came to town? If you want to impact your kids (and your own lives), volunteer to house and feed all the missionaries that come your way. Then let the kids fire their questions at them. Missionaries love to talk about what they do. Kids never tire hearing about the often unusual places God calls people to serve. By the time the second missionary comes to town, your newly-bought globe will be put to great use.

And you’ll be blessing the missionaries.

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Asking and Giving

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” 2 Kings 4:1,7

Out of all of the possible miracles this woman could have asked for from Elisha, she asked him to help her pay her bills. Think about that for a second. She didn’t ask him to raise her husband from the dead. She didn’t ask for another husband and stepfather for her children. She merely asked the prophet to help with her deceased husband’s debts.

What a practical lesson. She needed help. She asked a man she knew could help her. He did. Everyone won.

If you were in need of this kind of assistance (or food for you and your kids), would you ask for help from people you know would help? I think our pride often gets in the way of asking. Let’s turn the table around a bit: if someone you knew asked for help, would you help? Of course you would.

Our brothers and sisters are there to help when they can. Sometimes they just need to be asked.

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When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land. 2 Kings 3:26-27

Even though the Moabites will be defeated in this battle, Moab makes one last ditch effort to rally the troops: he offered his firstborn son as a sacrifice. The significance of this should not go unnoticed. Firstborn son. The father’s pride and joy. The heir apparent to the thrown in Moab. The king of Moab didn’t take that action lightly. He was willing to sacrifice his most prized possession to defeat the three kings and their armies.

In the world we live in, many would never sacrifice a child for a military win. And yet, there are many who sacrifice their lives for various, causes they were willing to die for. Yesterday I discussed the persecuted Believers in their own countries. Pray again for the persecuted Church. When one man or woman is hauled away to prison, he or she leaves behind others who love them and weep over them. Pray for those Believers as their fight must be difficult, if not impossible. Pray that God will encourage them greatly. And as I mentioned yesterday, ask God what you (and I) can do to help on this side of the world.

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