Dangerous Doubts (2 Kings 7:1-2)

2 Kings 7:1-2

 

1 But Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” 2 Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”

 

            If we read the Old Testament too quickly, our eyes tend to glaze over as we read of the judgments of God as run-of-the-mill events. We watch glorious victories occur. Then we watch God strike down somebody for touching the ark or gathering on the Sabbath. Somehow, if we are not careful, we fail to ask what is going on.

 

            Here, Elisha is threatened by the king of Israel. The enemies of the kingdom are at the gates of the capital city, and the besieged people inside Samaria are starving. The king is frustrated by the hardship, and decides to take out his frustration by lopping off the head of the prophet.

 

            The story that grabbed my attention, however, is the exchange between the king’s guard and Elisha. As the man comes to fetch and execute Elisha, the prophet tells him that, tomorrow, food will no longer be scarce in Samaria; the threat of the Syrian army will be eradicated. The guard simply cannot believe this to be possible. When he pronounces his doubt, Elisha tells the man that he will see this provision of God, but he will die before he tastes any of it.

 

            Now, if this story is familiar, you need to stop and ask some questions. Why? Why would this man face such a hard judgment for simply doubting? Why would he die at the end of the siege because he has trouble believing the impossible?

 

            The answer is that God has exalted his own name and his own glory above all things. Since the universe was created by God, for God’s glory, how could there be a greater sin than to doubt the strength of God? Remember, the man did not ask if God would really do such a thing, but could such a thing really be done. The guard, in an open pronouncement to God’s representative, said that God could not accomplish what he declared he would do.

 

            What dangerous doubts do you have? What do you say either with your lips or in your heart that God cannot do? Do you doubt that God can forgive a sinner by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? Do you doubt that God can provide for you in your particular area of need? Do you doubt that God’s word is sufficient for life and godliness? Do you doubt that God’s word is enough to feed his people, grow his church, and build his kingdom? Do not doubt the power of the God who spoke the universe into existence. Do not doubt the God who raised Jesus from the dead after Christ paid for the sins of all his children. Do not doubt the God whose word is living and active. Do not doubt the God who, just as he promised, freed Samaria from the famine in one single day. 

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