Scripture Reference 2 Kings 2 : 19-22
19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.
20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” 22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
In today’s lesson we find the people of Jordan enquiring of Elisha regarding their unpotable water. It is no small matter that the man of God newly anointed with a double portion of his master’s spirit is confronted with a great need that only a miracle from God can remedy.
Church, we are God’s anointed and God’s elect to represent the Way, the Truth, and the Life to a world in desperate need! Elisha does not respond by looking for a natural solution to the dilemma rather he is immediately prompted by the Spirit to employ those who were asking for help to do the work of faithful obedience.
We often want or expect God to “fix” out problems while we sit back and watch, however it is the wisdom of God to involve those seeking God’s intervention in the business of active participation in the redemptive purposes of God. Jesus told those who would follow Him, John 20: 21 … As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Naaman was required to dip himself into the Jordan seven times if he would be healed of his leprosy 2 Kings 5 and the disciples were required by Jesus to feed the multitude even though they had nothing but a child’s lunch to offer!
God wants to involve you in His redemptive purposes! It requires faithful obedience to the Word of God to do the works of God!
Elisha asked the people to bring him a new bowl and some salt. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their attention to the outside of the dish when inside the dish was nothing but filth, Matt. 23: 25-26! If the inside is filthy it is unusable and a bowl that is already being used or is filled with other things is not ready to be filled afresh and anew. Salt is a preservative and cleanser, Jesus used the imagery of salt in reference to the effective witness of His followers. Each of these items illustrates an application beyond themselves, the preparedness and readiness to be filled and the healing/cleansing power of God at work in us and through us in the lives of others.
However, although these items can point to such wonderful applications the healing was not and is not to be found in these material things; the healing was and is discovered in obedience to the Word of the Lord by acting in faith! Note that when Elisha makes use of the items he says, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” It was not the new bowl or the salt that healed the water, it was the promise of God spoken by the man of faith in response to the people acting in obedience to the Word of the Lord! Persevering in faith means acting in faith when issues arise. In order to act in faith we need to respond in obedience to God’s Word regardless of what we might think about what God is requiring us to do. Faith will always require an active response to God.