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Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Did He Know?

Did you ever wonder how the prophets knew what God wanted them to do or say? My curiosity is aroused when I read about men like Elisha. (I’ve only gotten to 2 Kings, chapter 8 in my reading so far, but this is what I’ve seen.)

How did Elisha know:
  •         That hitting the Jordan’s waters with Elijah’s mantle would part them? (2 Kings 2:13-14)
  •         That salt would heal the nasty water? (2 Kings 2:20-21)
  •         That they should build ditches to hold rain and that they would win the battle over Moab? (2 Kings 3:16-19)
  •         That God would fill pots with oil, and, first of all, what instructions to give to the widow? (2 Kings 4:2-7)
  •         To prophesy to his hostess, the Shunammite woman, that she would have a child? (2 Kings 4:16)
  •          To stretch himself on the child so the dead boy would come back to life? (2 Kings 4:34-35)
  •         To tell the messenger to tell Naaman to wash in the Jordan seven times? (2 Kings 5:10)
  •         To cut a stick, throw it into the water so the axe head would float to the surface? (2 Kings 6:5-6)
  •         That the horses and chariots of the Lord were all around them and that he should ask God to blind the enemy? Also, that they should send the enemies away after feeding them? (2 Kings 6:16-22)
  •         That on the next day “a measure of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria”? They were in a siege! (2 Kings 7:1)

      How did God tell him what was going on, how to solve the problem—what God was going to do—and what prophecies to tell someone? It seems obvious that God guided him, but how? Did God whisper audibly into his ear? (I think of the still, small voice for Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13.) Or, did he get a mental impression and somehow know it was from God? Although I would love to know the mechanics of God’s communications, the important thing isn’t how. It is, rather, Elisha’s complete trust in what he knew God had said.

      How about us? We have it easy. We have God’s Word all written out for us. We can see what God says each time we open our Bibles. Have we read it and gotten the message? Do we have full confidence in it—so much so that we believe it unswervingly, obey it, and trust its prophecies?
      Something to think about.

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