July 23, 2018
2 Kings 4:43-44…“He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.” vs. 44
Many people don’t realize that there was a miraculous feeding story connected to Israel’s ancient prophet, Elisha. It’s only a couple of verses and recounts the time a servant is told by Elijah to feed 100 people with 20 barley loaves and a few ears of grain. Of course that wasn’t nearly enough to feed so many but it worked! They ate and had some left. It’s an account that sounds familiar to us, probably because each of the gospel writers tells a similar story in connection with Jesus’ ministry. Not only did they want to connect Jesus to the rich prophetic history of Israel, they wanted believers to know that Jesus could provide abundantly for all of their needs, the physical as well as the spiritual. Even when it seemed as though there was a scarcity of resources, with God there would be abundance. It’s significant that in the Elisha story, the loaves are part of a first fruits offering. Our generosity is the first step in the road to abundant living for all. That’s a lesson that has proven to be enormously difficult to learn. More frequently, the human impulse is hoarding and not sharing…and the results have been catastrophic. Again and again we’ve allowed massive famines and food shortages to define history and then blamed God. God can do amazing things with our gifts–but first we have to learn to give.
Thought for the Day: Why does God need our gifts?