Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 21, 2015

“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings 2:15-25.

“15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.”  And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.  16 They said to him, “Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men, please let them go and search for your master; perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him on some mountain or into some valley.”  And he said, “You shall not send.”  17 But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send.” They sent therefore fifty men;  and they searched three days but did not find him.  18 They returned to him while he was staying at Jericho; and he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?”

19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees;  but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful.”  20 He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.  21 He went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I have purified these waters;  there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.’”  22 So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

23 Then he went up from there to Bethel;  and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead;  go up, you baldhead!”  24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord.  Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.  25 He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.”  2 Kings 2:15-25.

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In today’s Scripture, Elisha provides us an example of five Godly qualities that we see in the following 1 Peter 4:14-19.  I will first quote 1 Peter 4:14-19 and then tie Elisha’s qualities to the relevant part of 1 Peter 4:14-19.  Hopefully, Elisha’s example in today’s Scripture and 1 Peter 4:14-19 will combine to help us exhibit those Godly qualities.

“12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;  13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.  14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;  16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.  17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God;  and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?  19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”   1 Peter 4:14-19.

First, “they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.”  Verse 15.  Likewise, in 1 Peter 4:14, we read “the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

Second, we see that Elisha urged the fifty strong men to not search for Elijah.  He wanted to spare them the trouble.  Elisha was not a troublesome meddler.  Verses 15-18.  Likewise, in 1 Peter 4:15, we read:  “Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler.”

Third, Elisha did good in purifying the water.  He did what was right.  Verses 19-22.  Likewise, in 1 Peter 4:19., we read:  “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

Fourth, to a degree, Elisha was reviled and experienced suffering when “young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead;  go up, you baldhead!”  Verse 23.  Likewise, in 1 Peter 4:13-16, we read that Christians will “share the sufferings of Christ” and be “reviled for the name of Christ” and “suffers as a Christian”.

Fifth, Elisha had to endure this difficulty and suffering, but the young lads who reviled him were tore up by two bears.  Verses 23-24.  Likewise, in 1 Peter 4:18, we read:  “And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?”

In summary, through God’s grace, when we experience a little suffering as a Christian, let us not be surprised.  Let us live by the Holy Spirit.  Let us walk by the Holy Spirit.  Let us not snap back and do evil in return.  Let us endure.  Let us do what is good and right.  Let us rejoice that we have a faithful Creator Who will cause us to do what is right and Who will guard and preserve our soul to salvation.

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