Wednesday, November 09, 2022

2022.11.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 6:1–7

Read 2 Kings 6:1–7

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speak to whom in 2 Kings 6:1? What do they say? Where do they ask to go (2 Kings 6:2)? For each one to do what? In order to make what? What does the prophet answer? What further request do they make (2 Kings 6:3)? Now what does he answer? Who go where and do what in 2 Kings 6:4? What is one doing in 2 Kings 6:5? What happens? How does he respond? To whom? Why? What does Elisha ask in 2 Kings 6:6? What does he do when the man shows him the place? What happens to the iron? What does Elisha say to do (2 Kings 6:7a)? What does the son of the prophets do (verse 7b)?

Why needn’t we either compromise nor despair for material provision? 2 Kings 6:1–7 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord cares even for our most mundane needs in almighty power.

God works in almighty providence to attend to mundane things, like bunk space and being able to return borrowed axes. This is not the rise and fall of nations, and these aren’t royalty, but God works a miracle through His prophet to do it. This reminds of lessons from 2 Kings 4:38–44, now in the context of 2 Kings 5:20–27. Let us seek grace to be content with God’s marvelous provision, lest we fall into the sin of Gehazi.

God works in almighty providence through wisdom and diligence. God’s provision precludes sinning, but it includes planning and work. Part of how He provides here is observation and planning (2 Kings 6:2) together with the diligence required to borrow axes, take the trip, and chop down the trees. Trusting in almighty providence mustn’t become an excuse for failure to plan or failure to work. And planning and working must never be where we find our sense of security. They operate under God’s almighty providence.

God works in almighty providence through tiny details. It seems like a little thing in 2 Kings 6:2 when one man expresses his preference for the prophet to come with them. But then an iron axe head ends up on the bottom of the river. We never know what tiny details now are going to end up being significant. But God does. He works through tiny details.

God works in almighty providence through almighty power (cf. Genesis 30:38). The stick in the water reminds us of Jacob putting striped sticks in the water. The Israel that received Genesis (and probably Jacob himself) knew that this could not change what the baby sheep or goats would look like. And we certainly know that floating sticks don’t make floating iron. But as with several of Elisha’s miracles already, a prophetic action is added to imprint the Word more starkly in the memory. The stick is not the means of the miracle, because it doesn’t need to be. The Lord Himself provides the outcome.

We too, dear reader, live under the constant care of almighty providence. Let us see how He attends to mundane things and even tiny details so that every moment of every day will be an act of trusting. So that we might honor Him in how we live, let us see that He still expects us to plan and labor. And so that we might neither take credit nor lose heart, let us remember that He is free to work by means, beyond means, or even beside (without) means.

What difficulties do you face in everyday life? How will they ultimately be resolved? So, what should you do?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for attending to every detail of our lives in almighty providence. Forgive us for our lack of faith when we view our lives as unimportant to You or distant from You. Forgive us for our foolishness when we don’t plan, our laziness when we don’t work, and our blasphemy when we excuse ourselves by calling this folly and laziness “faith.” Forgive us for the sake of Christ’s sacrifice. And grant us His righteousness, that we might trust You, plan wisely, work diligently, and praise You for all of the good that You do. For, we ask it all through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” 

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