Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Recipe For Soup


That Sour Rye Broth doesn’t look very appetizing, does it? Perhaps it would be better if there were some herbs? Pastor used these verses as part of Wednesday night’s lesson in our study of Elisha:

And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; 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. (2 Kings 4:38 KJV)

“Dearth” is an excellent descriptive word. It almost looks like “death”, and means a scarcity or lack. It comes from Middle English’s “derthe”, which is a shortage and dearness of food. Very appropriate for this time, and the “students” studying at Elisha’s “Bible college” (well, that’s what I think of as a decent description) were in need of physical nourishment. One went out to gather herbs:

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. (2 Kings 4:39 KJV)

This one was sent on a mission – gather herbs. He found something else and it looked good, must have smelled okay and would surely fill the need so he brought them home, cut them up and added to the soup. Then there’s that one, small, phrase “they knew them not.”

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. (2 Kings 4:40 KJV)

Ask someone who has had food poisoning – it’s not worth it just to have eaten a meal. There are substances that are very harmful, though looking at them doesn’t give us a clue. I had a grandnephew who loved cantaloupe, and was in ICU for listeria. Looked great, but was “death in the pot.” Elisha, a man of God, had an answer:

But he 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. (2 Kings 4:41 KJV)

No, I cannot think of meal – any meal – that thrown into a pot will remove something harmful.  However, I firmly believe that following God’s directions will. Elisha was a man of action, and a man of God. He accomplished miracles before – and after – this one. Following his directions cleansed the poison.

So – how does that apply to us? We aren’t making soup, we’re living our daily lives. How can this be applied to us?  Pastor gave an example that I like.

God has laid out “recipes” for our lives – the “ingredients” that should be in a Christian’s life. The Bible is full of commandments, admonitions, exhortations, good examples and examples where people went terribly wrong. God has told us, over and over again, what is to be part of the “soup” that makes up our lives.

There are ingredients that look good and we think they will add spice to our lives. They don’t. There is no nourishment and in many cases the result is actually harmful. The one man who thought it was good ended up harming many.

So, get to know the recipe – the Bible – and check the ingredients in your life before adding what could end up taking it away. Excellent lesson in four verses!!

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