Yes, my city and yours are under a curse. But what is the cure?
2 Kings 1 & 2
2 Kings 1 & 2:
Don’t you love Elisha’s boldness in asking for “a double portion” of the Lord’s Spirit in his life! I wonder how much more we could do for the Lord, if we just ASKED Him to do something through us! It made me think of Isaiah when He really saw God for Who He was:
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'” Do we, maybe out of a false sense of humility, neglect to say “Send me!” or “Use me, Lord!”
A pleasant city
Chapter 2.19-21 really spoke to me. It says:
“Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.’ And he said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, Thus says the LORD. ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.'”
In John MacArthur’s Study Bible, he says, “The healing of Jericho’s water, through Elisha, freed the city from Joshua’s curse, making it habitable for humans once again (Josh. 6.26; 1 Ki. 16.34).
I thought about our city. It, too, is a pleasant city in so many ways. Even though we often complain about our dust, our hot summers, and our laid back attitude, there are so many things for which we should be thankful—first and foremost—our people. I believe El Paso has some of the most wonderful people in the world! And wherever you live, there are things about your city or town that make it “pleasant.”
But we, also, suffer from a curse, the curse of sin, like all mankind does. The answer to our problems is also the same—applying salt, God’s cleansing and purifying, to the source, the hearts of the people. Jesus told us that we are to be salt to those around us (Matt. 5.13). Let’s ask God to “send us” and “use us” to be His agents of grace, sharing the Gospel with those who need His cleansing power!
When others attack you, instead of defending yourself, keep your eyes on Him. Verses 14-16:
14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
The Apostle Peter says it this way:
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (2 Pet. 2.21-23).
The power of the tongue
Oh, the power of the tongue to do good or evil! Over and over, the Scriptures, especially the book of Proverbs speaks of the tongue, the lips and the words of our mouths. Here in verses 6 & 7 we are told our mouths bring contention, blows and destruction. What a powerful weapon we wield. We need to learn to use it sparingly and wisely!
Be of good cheer in trials
“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”
We need to always keep an eternal perspective. We understand that we will encounter tests and trials, even suffer at times, but we can “be of good cheer” knowing the He has “overcome the world” (16.33). Or as James puts it, we can count it all joy when we encounter various trials knowing that it’s in the trials God is doing His greatest work! (Jas. 1.2-4).
What about you? Questions to ponder or journal:
Have you ever asked God to use your life? Have you ever invited Him to “send you”?
How have you failed to apply “salt” to your life or how have you failed to be salt to your “pleasant city”?
Where have you failed to “count it all joy” or “be of good cheer” in trials?
And, finally, how are you doing with “the tongue”? It’s a constant battle, isn’t it? But James said that the one who controls his tongue is a mature believer (Jas. 3.2). I haven’t arrived yet :-(, but I’m working on it!
Have you ever read some passage in the Bible and thought, “What in the world does that mean to me? How does it apply to the time and place where I live?”
Yesterday I talked about reading good books. Besides just reading, we all need a library of resources to help us study God’s Word. One good tool is a study bible. I frequently refer to the MacArthur Study Bible, but there are others, as well. I’ve added a couple of links at the bottom.
Study Bibles can help you understand the customs at the time the Bible was written and give you additional background information. They can help you “connect the dots” between God’s Word and your life.
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip Salt & Light/ Looking at the Rays of Grace What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays Jenni Mullinix/Thrive at Home Thursdays Becoming a Godly Wife Graced Simplicity Children Are a Blessing/Growing in Grace Linkup The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Essential Thing Devotions
Saturdays Still Saturday
This post contains affiliate links, but I only recommend books that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!
|ESV MacArthur Study Bible, HardcoverBy Crossway Books & Bibles
For years, the spiritual lives of countless men and women all over the world have been strengthened with the help of The MacArthur Study Bible. This all-in-one spiritual library contains Dr. MacArthur’s personal study notes below the full-length Bible text. Virtually every Scripture has a matching study note with detailed information, explanation, and helpful insight. The notes are based on Dr. MacArthur’s verse-by-verse approach to the Bible and nearly forty years of careful study. His goal is to let the Bible speak for itself—nothing more, nothing less.For the first time, The MacArthur Study Bible will be available in the English Standard Version (ESV). An “essentially literal” translation, the ESV Bible combines “word-for-word” accuracy with readability, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. More than 100 of the world’s leading Bible scholars and teachers were involved in its creation. Timeless, trustworthy, and relevant, the ESV has become the fastest-growing Bible translation and the trusted choice of millions of Bible readers, students, teachers, and preachers worldwide.
The ESV MacArthur Study Bible is an essential resource for growing Christians. It can transform your personal time in God’s Word by clarifying difficult passages, bringing unseen cultural and historical details to life, and helping you understand and apply biblical truth.
|NIV Life Application Study Bible–European bonded leather, black/black 1984By Zondervan
One of today’s best-selling study Bibles–the NIV Life Application Study Bible–has been updated and expanded. The newly revised edition includes over 300 brand new Life Application notes, 350 note revisions, 16 new personality profiles, updated charts, and a Christian Worker’s Resource make this study Bible even better. Features: the best-selling NIV translation; over 10,000 in-text application notes and significant revisions to nearly 350 others; over 100 personality profiles with sixteen new ones; most charts revised to clarify meaning and importance, plus eight all-new charts; new information on the intertestamental period; Christian Worker’s Resource, a special supplement to enhance the reader’s ministry effectiveness, includes How to Become a Believer, How to Follow Up with a New Believer, Mining the Treasures of the Life Application Study Bible, So You’ve Been Asked to Speak, and Taking the Step to Application.