[May 18]--Will You Benefit From The Future?

2 Kings 6:24-7:2

Here in America, we don’t know what real hunger is. We might not eat as well as we’d like all the time, but we don’t know real hunger. Getting into a dispute with your neighbor like the woman did in today’s passage—that's desperate times.

The reason I bring up this story, however, is not because of the specific circumstances, but the principle behind what Elisha told the officer who was physically supporting the king. The officer, quite understandably, was highly skeptical that the dire situation would change that drastically. According to the word of the Lord through the prophet, the prices for flour and barley would immediately drop to ridiculously low rates, which would mean that not only would the siege be lifted, but the food shortage would be solved overnight. Even if the army left tomorrow, where would all the excess food come from?

The prophet gave an interesting answer, and it’s important for us to hear it. His response in effect was “Oh, it’s going to happen, but you won’t benefit from it.” And sure enough, if you continue reading, the Aramean army fled for their lives when the Lord made them think they were about to be overrun by another enemy, and they ended up leaving behind all their equipment and stores of food when they panicked. There was more than enough food to feed the entire city, so everyone was saved.

But all this didn’t help the officer who publicly doubted the prophet. He was accidentally trampled by the rush of the crowd, so Elisha’s prediction was fulfilled to the letter.

Why does this matter to us? Because we might be in danger of following that officer’s example. Let’s take a New Testament example to really illuminate this principle for us: As C.S. Lewis pointed out, both Peter and Judas were used by the Lord to fulfill his purposes. But only one of them benefited from it.

My friend, all of God’s promises will be kept in the end. The seemingly endless battle we’ve seen between Satan’s kingdom and Jesus’ kingdom will have a conclusion, and if you’ve read the book of Revelation you know how it ends. The question is not “Which side will finally win?” The question for you to answer is, “Will I benefit from it?”

On a much lesser scale, I believe that we're on the edge of a national revival. I hope and pray that the church in America will be awoken by the Holy Spirit, and we’ll see another Great Awakening. It’s happened before, at least three times. I think that the Lord is about to do incredible things through and for his church, in the very near future. But again I ask you, “Are you going to benefit from it?”

I don’t think that God’s ultimate purposes can be thwarted, not by Satan and certainly not by you or me. He will accomplish what he wants to do. His overall plan will be carried out. That’s not the question. The only thing up in the air is. . . well, I guess you can see where I’m going with this.

Father God, many are the plans in my heart, but it’s your purpose that prevails. I want to be a part of it. I want to be a willing participant, not just a tool in your hand but an obedient child who listens to his Father’s voice.

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