Spotlight 07/2016: Faith satisfies
Do we always understand how the gospel can help us in everyday situations? District Apostle Joseph Ekhuya from Kenya in East Africa says no, and recalls a long forgotten famine.
In a recent divine service by the Chief Apostle, he said that one of the victories we must win with Christ this year is the victory over the lie of the evil one, who insists that Jesus is not telling the truth: “His gospel will not work in our situation.” In 2 Kings, chapter 6 and 7 we encounter a very interesting story. The story says that Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, gathered his whole army and went up and besieged Samaria. The siege was so severe that it caused a great famine in the walled city. It was so severe that the inhabitants eventually even resorted to eating donkeys and boiling their own children for food. The king of Samaria was very upset with the situation. He thought that this calamity must have been brought on the city by God, and he wanted to kill the prophet Elisha, who was resident in the city.
But when he arrived at the home of the prophet, Elisha said, “Listen to what the Lord says! By this time tomorrow you will be able to buy in Samaria ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley for one piece of silver.” Immediately, the captain who was with the king said to the prophet that this kind of thing can only happen if the Lord were to make windows in heaven and send grain immediately. The captain was being sarcastic and expressing his unbelief based on his personal experience, but Elisha was declaring the word of God. And the words of the prophet were fulfilled. In the night of the same day, four leprous men who always sat at the entrance to the city gate said to one another, “Why should we wait here until we die? It is no use going into the city, because we would starve, but if we stay here we will also die. So let us go over to the army of the Syrians. If they spare us, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall die.” As it began to get dark they went to the Syrian camp. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there. The Lord had made the Syrian army hear something that sounded like the advance of a large army. The Syrians thought that the king of Israel had hired Hittite and Egyptian kings and their armies to attack them. So the Syrians had run for their lives, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and leaving the camp as it was.
When the lepers came to the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold, and clothing. They went off and hid everything. Then they entered another tent and took everything from there and hid it. On realizing that there was just too much plunder they went back to the city and invited the rest of the people who came and looted the entire Syrian camp.
That morning there was so much food in Samaria that ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had said through Elisha. The word of God had worked in this situation, contrary to the captain’s personal experience.
It is desirable that we overcome our unbelief and accept the truth of Christ. We believe even when we do not understand how the gospel can help us in our everyday life and the various situations we encounter. With the help of Christ it is possible if we ask Him to get involved (Mark 9: 23–25).
Joseph Opemba Ekhuya