Two Miracles with Food
Read Time: 7 Minutes
Food is an essential part of life. Yes, that was a profound statement. But my point being that God is concerned with our food also. His care of us is not just confined to spiritual matters and healings and protecting us. He has total concern for us, even our food. These two miracles belong to the well-rounded set of miracles that Elisha did for God's people in Israel.
II Kings 4
:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal:
and there was a dearth in the land; [dearth - a famine]
and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him:
and he said unto his servant,
Set on the great pot,
and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
:39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs,
and found a wild vine,
and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full,
and came and shred them into the pot of pottage:
for they knew them not.
:40 So they poured out for the men to eat.
And it came to pass,
as they were eating of the pottage,
that they cried out, and said,
O thou man of God, there is death in the pot.
And they could not eat thereof.
The food in the pot had begun to make them sick. The vine that was in the food was poisonous. Here they are, hungry and food is not all that plentiful and then it makes them ill. The words "there is death in the pot" is the figure of speech is metonymy, an exchange of nouns. Here the effect is put for the cause. It is a big deal! The words "there is death in the pot" is much more emphatic than "it is poisonous" and draws your attention to it.
These men that were eating were not really on the ball with God. God uses several different words for 'men' in His Word. This is done on purpose. There are different types of men. We use adjectives to describe them: Holy men, evil men, good men, corrupt men, etc. In the Hebrew there are four principal Hebrew words used for different types of men. Knowing the Hebrew word sheds light on the subject. The word 'men' used here in verse 40 is enosh; men/man "with regard to his infirmities, as physically mortal and as to character, incurable. . .always used in a bad sense . . It is from anash, to be sick, wretched, weak and denotes inability for strength, physically and for good, morally."* So these men, these sons of the prophets were not walking with God. Nevertheless God has Elisha heal them.
:41 But he [Elisha] said,
Then bring meal.
And he cast it into the pot;
and he said,
Pour out for the people,
that they may eat.
And there was no harm in the pot.
Wait! This food that just made them sicker than dogs is healed because someone threw some meal into it? It is healed if the Man of God tells you to and God must have told him to do it. This takes an act of faith on the people's part to continue eating--and they were hungry. What a great witness of the power of God.
The next miracle that was recorded in the Word that Elisha did Jesus Christ did also. Elisha received food as a tithe and commanded that it be ready to feed 100 men, but it is an inadequate amount.
:42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha,
and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits,
twenty loaves of barley,
and full ears of corn in the husk thereof.
And he said,
Give unto the people, that they may eat.
:43 And his servitor said,
What, should I set this before an hundred men?
He said again,
Give the people, that they may eat:
for thus saith the LORD,
They shall eat,
and shall leave thereof.
:44 So he set it before them,
and they did eat,
and left thereof,
according to the word of the LORD.
God multiplied the food so that there was plenty. It didn't happen before the cook started preparing it, it happened when he took action on the promise of God. Just like the parting of the Red Sea didn't happen before the priests stepped in, it happened as they walked forward believing the promise of God.
The word believe is a verb. Believing is an action. It is something we do. When we are told to do something we act, we do it and God brings about the results. We are told to pray for our leaders so that we may lead a quite and peaceable life; so believe what God said and pray for them whether you agree with them or not. We are told to pray for our enemies, so believe what God said and pray for them, you will see results. We are told to give of our first fruits to God's people, to those who teach the Word so believe what God said and you will see results. God is not a man that He should lie, He is not going to go back on His Word. God said he would take care of us, even better than he does for the sparrow that has all of its needs met. Believe what God said and act like it.
* Quoted from the works of E. W. Bullinger compiled using the authorized version
of 1611 with structures and critical and explanatory notes with 198 appendixes.
The Companion Bible. Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, 1974.