Prophecies and Faith; July 27, 2017


2 Kings 7:2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

This story is a somewhat stark illustration of the dangers of unbelief. Humanly speaking, this man’s unbelief is entirely understandable. A prophecy of normal prices for food the next day, when the inhabitants of Samaria were literally starving to death because of the siege, certainly sounded like a fantasy. However, the person expressing it was Elisha, a prophet with a very solid track record. Rather than rejoicing at the grace and mercy of God, this man belittled the messenger, and it ended up costing him his life. (verses 19-20) Paul tells us to “not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21) We aren’t to accept every prophecy blindly, but we certainly aren’t to treat them with contempt. The KJV says, “Despise not prophesyings.” I have known people who turned off the minute someone started prophesying, and that’s dangerous. It’s true that I’ve heard people speaking out of their own imaginations and calling it prophecy, and the Bible is loaded with examples of false prophecies. However, there is a real difference between letting the Holy Spirit illuminate what you hear to help you “spit out the bones,” and “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” There is no shortage of prophecies today, and the Internet allows them to be spread widely. We are to be discerning, but not unbelieving.

This is very close to home for me since I’ve been used to deliver quite a few prophecies over the years, even though that’s not a significant part of my ministry today. The thing that stands out to me in this particular story is the risk of unbelief. We have had several people leave this church over the years because they couldn’t believe God was going to provide and bless us. Their departure was painful for us, but I think they suffered more. Fortunately, none of them were trampled to death that I know of! We are once again in a situation that what God seems to be indicating is far too big, far too grand for us, and some people seem to be having a “faith crisis.” I am not to put them down, but rather encourage them gently. I am not to be blind and foolish, but I am not to let their struggles with faith be contagious. I am to speak the truth in love at all times, letting the Lord use me to open their eyes to the magnificence of His grace, while being faithfully obedient in all that He says I am to do in following His plan.

Father, thank You for what You did yesterday. It was enormously encouraging! I still have no clear idea of how You are going to provide the funds for what You are telling us to do, but I have more and more assurance that it is going to happen. May we all follow You together, not leaving anyone behind, so that our love for each other may be a powerful testimony of Your reality, for the salvation of many. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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