2 Kings 4:18-5:27 + Acts 15:1-35 + Psalm 141:1-10 + Proverbs 17:23
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Old Testament - Interesting readings in 2 Kings 4 about the Shumanite woman, her son and the prophet Elisha today! You'll note that in verse 20 her son dies, and in verse 21 she places her son on Elisha's bed - in part so that no one will know that her son died. As she gets to verse 22-24 she is saddling up on a donkey to go straight to Elisha without anyone in her family knowing her son had died! Below is a painting by Rembrandt from 1640 titled "The Departure of the Shumanite Woman":
As the Shumanite woman nears Mount Carmel Gehazi, Elisha's servant, comes out to greet her and still she won't even tell him that her son has died! She says everything is fine. She wants to deliver the news first and directly to Elisha! I like this woman's focused faith. She knew that Elisha delivered the Word that she would have a son in previous day's readings, and now that her son had died, I think she had faith that Elisha, being a prophet in relationship with God, would be able to revive her son. Do you have a focused faith like this when it comes to your relationship with God and Jesus? Do you always take your problems directly to the One who can truly revive you? Below is an image of Elisha and the Shumanite woman by artist C.F. Vos:
Did anyone else notice that at the end of chapter 4 today Elisha busted out with a miracle that seemed to foreshadow Jesus' loaves and fishes miracles?? Very cool to consider the parallels between Jesus' feeding of the 5,000 and Elisha feeding 100 here in chapter 4 verses 42-44: "One day a man from Baal-shalishah brought the man of God a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread made from the first grain of his harvest. Elisha said, "Give it to the group of prophets so they can eat." "What?" his servant exclaimed. "Feed one hundred people with only this?" But Elisha repeated, "Give it to the group of prophets so they can eat, for the LORD says there will be plenty for all. There will even be some left over!" And sure enough, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the LORD had promised." (That's Jesus below, not Elisha :)
In chapter 5 we get to the story of the healing of Naaman. I found it very interesting that Naaman needed to humble himself and wash up in the waters of the lowly river Jordan! Know anyone else that did some "washing up" in the river Jordan?? :) Maybe all of us somehow need to humble ourselves and symbolically be washed up in the river Jordan to receive true healing? Below is a portrait by artist Guy Rowe of the prophet Elisha with Naaman washing in the river Jordan:
Bible.org's commentary on today's Second Kings readings titled "The Shunammite's Son Resurrected" is at this link, "Death in the Pot" is at this link, "The Miracle of the Bread" is at this link, "The Healing of Namaan" is at this link, and "The Sin of Covetousness" is at this link.
New Testament - Peter's teaching at The Council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 verse 11 is one of the most important verses that all of us should really meditate upon and know and believe: "We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus." Do you believe Peter here? Do you believe this to be true? Does this simple message of this little button below ring true to you?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "The Jerusalem Council: The Gospel Defined and Defended" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 141 is a beautiful prayer of David's - praying for deliverance from the wicked and their ways. Verse 4 is powerful - "Don't let me lust for evil things; don't let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil." Is this a prayer you could incorporate into your prayer life? What might be some examples of "delicacies of those who do evil"? Will you pray to God to avoid these "delicacies" and "treasures" that will ultimately fail you?
Proverbs - Proverbs 17:23 today teaches us: "The wicked accept secret bribes to pervert justice." This should be a reminder to each of us to never accept bribes! Bribes always pervert justice...
Worship Video: Today's readings in Acts remind me of MercyMe's song "You Reign:"
Do you know the One who reigns? Click here to meet the King!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat of their delicacies." Psalm 141:4 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your heart is not drawn to what is evil. Pray that you take no part in wicked deeds. Pray that you do not eat the delicacies of evildoers.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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