From reading the One Year Bible this morning, I was reminded that with God faithfulness & patience are serious business. Just as serious as he is in reprimanding those who aren’t obedient, he is equally as serious in blessing those who are. It doesn’t matter who you are. You will experience a blessing from God by being faithful & patient.
June 24th’s reading plan takes place in 2 Kings 6-7 when: Elisha held the prophetic mantle, Joram was king of Israel, & the nation was at war with Aram. The king was enraged with Elisha, the man of God, for something he did & he wanted his head! From that rage the king robbed himself of God’s blessing by his own unfaithfulness & impatience.
You see, what had happened was… First, God helped Elisha single handedly trap an entire force of Aramean troops. But when Joram, the king of Israel, asked the man of God if he should kill them, Elisha responded with a shocking act of mercy. Elisha told the king to give the Arameans food & drink & send them home. Despite that the king of Aram later mustered his entire army & besieged Samaria, one of King Joram’s major cities. As a result a long & wearisome famine struck the land of Israel.
But one day King Joram had enough; he couldn’t wait another day. To him, this whole situation wouldn’t have happened if Elisha didn’t advise sparing the troops from earlier, right? Read what happens next in 2 Kings 6:31-7:2.
“May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day,” the king vowed. Elisha was sitting in his house with the elders of Israel when the king sent a messenger to summon him. But before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “A murderer has sent a man to cut off my head. When he arrives, shut the door and keep him out. We will soon hear his master’s steps following him.” While Elisha was still saying this, the messenger arrived. And the king said, “All this misery is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.” The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”
But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”
We’ve all been there. We’ve all spouted out the mantra of many impatient men & women before us, “Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?” You may be waiting for a spouse; you may be waiting for a job or a promotion; you may be waiting for a family member to know Jesus; you may be waiting for the bus, I don’t know. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take it a day at a time. God has called all his children to be faithful & patient. These are indispensable Christian virtues. When we choose to rob ourselves of the blessing of obedience, life has a way of taking a turn for the worse.
With God, having faith is serious business. He sees the victory you’ve been waiting for & it’s right around the corner – I’m telling you! Instead of being like King Joram & robbing yourself just one day shy of a long awaited victory, have faith & be patient. Your breakthrough could literally come tomorrow. Heck, why not today?
Trusting in all of God’s promises is itself an act of faith. Maybe God is calling you to take a step of faith right now. Sometimes our call to action means waiting patiently & remaining faithful day to day. Your day to day living-for-the-Lord never goes to waste (1 Corinthians 15:58). Besides, it’s not even worth finding out what the alternatives are. For example, Elisha said the king wasn’t going to eat anything from the Samaritan market because he couldn’t wait one more day – that came true just a few verses later. In fact, it also says he got trampled to death, but we can just say he “went to sleep hungry.”