Thursday, October 1, 2009

Living out Faith

If I had to choose one woman in Scripture I would want to be like, I really am not sure who I would choose. There are so many amazing women in the Bible! But at the very top of my list of heroines is the faithful woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37.

In verses 8-17, we see her servant heart, hospitality, love for God's people--all throughout this passage we see her as a very humble woman of God. We are told that she is wealthy, yet she doesn't appear to ever take advantage of the blessings that God has given her. She didn't glory in her wealth but rather used it in the Lord's service. In fact, in reading this I am challenged by the extent of her hospitality. She regularly fed Elisha every time he passed through, and then even suggested to her husband that they build an extra room onto their own house for Elisha! One thing that really jumps out at me about this passage is that this woman wasn't waiting for her husband to tell her how to minster to others. While she was completely submissive to his authority, consulting him on everything, she was actively seeking out her own opportunities to minister to others. She wasn't just sitting at home waiting for her husband to suggest something. Instead she initiated opportunities; in doing that she even encouraged her husband to minister to others. The Lord blesses her for this, giving her what she had longed for--a son of her own.

Verses 18-37, however, really prove what an amazing woman of God she truly was. What incredible faith she had! The son that she had longed for for so many years dies with almost no warning. I can't even imagine the despair she must have felt. What anguish she must have been in that morning, only being able to hold her son as he died! Yet then she lays her son down and goes to find Elisha, hiding it from her husband! She simply tells him, "All is well." I believe this was not a lie. It really was well with her. She trusted in the Lord completely. Again, when she meets Elisha's servant, she tells him, "All is well." Only when she reaches Elisha does she show her complete brokenness, falling at his feet in agony. "She is in bitter distress," Elisha tells his servant. Then follows her to her home and the Lord allows him to raise the boy from the dead.

Psalm 50:14 says, "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” If you read that entire passage, you will see that what the Lord is saying here is that there is no true offering we can give Him. He owns all anyway! So what is the offering He most desires? That of trusting Him for every trouble, every trial. Trusting that He will bring us through and deliver us is the greatest offering we can give to our Lord. The Psalm ends with verse 23: "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!"

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