Today’s OT18 readings are 2 Kings 4 and Daniel 8.
This devotional is about 2 Kings 4.
Ahab and Jezebel were both dead, relieving Israel of her two most evil influences. Their son Joram, who was now king, was not as bad as Ahab and Jezebel (2 Ki 3:2), but he was far from a godly man. He faced some political problems, too, as we read about yesterday when Moab rebelled against the tribute Ahab had imposed.
Meanwhile, though Israel as a whole remained idolatrous, the work God had been doing continued. Elijah was gone (though, not dead) but that was not at all the end of God’s activity in Israel. Instead, just as Elisha had asked, God blessed his ministry twice as much as He blessed Elijah’s works. Here in 2 Kings 4 we see God working miracles through Elisha:
- God spoke through Elisha to miraculously provided for a poor widow on the edge of starvation (vv. 1-7).
- He raised a dead boy to life again, restoring a family that feared God despite the idolatrous times they lived in (vv. 8-37).
- He cured a group of prophets who were eating poisonous potluck (vv. 38-41).
- He multipled loaves to feed a large number of people, foreshadowing a miracle that Christ would do many hundreds of years in the future (vv. 42-44).
All of this miraculous activity happened despite the godlessness of the people of Israel. In fact, this is often how God works. His power is often displayed most directly in the most ungodly of times and situations.
So what do we do with this? One thing we should do is not worry if our country and culture becomes more secular. The more godless the culture, the more God works in power. We also should consider the situations we are in. Do you work in a godless company? Live in an unsaved family? How might God use you to pray for people and, in answering your prayers, reveal to those around you that God is real?
So look for needs that need prayer and offer to pray for people. Let them know that God is real and that he still is active and working, not only meeting human needs but–more importantly–saving people from their ungodliness and unbelief.
The most effective person I’ve ever met in personal evangelism begins most encounters with people by offering to pray for them and their problems. Have you tried that in your situation?