It is tempting to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We can look at society and even many churches (in particular, their leaders), and just give up. There is such a struggle against the darkness and against sin, that it can be overwhelming.
At the time of Elisha, Israel had a God-worshipping heritage, but it was set up for failure at the beginning with golden calves being placed as the place of worship. Israel had been the stronghold of Baal and Asherah. God worship had struggled to be strong in the face of royal opposition. It could have been given up. The light doesn’t die.
An unnamed man brings his offering to the prophets of God. There is no place of God to worship in Israel, so the man brought it to the prophets. While it was not “at the Temple” (a no-go place for the Israelites), it was still a matter of the heart. The man couldn’t bring it to the temple, so he brought it to the next best place.
Then, there wasn’t enough to feed them. That should cause us to conclude that they were not doing particularly well. If there was such great concern that there wasn’t enough bread, bread was probably an issue, showing that faithful giving was an issue.
Their situation was much like the people who were following Jesus. There was not nearly enough food to feed all those people. While we might question Andrew’s faith, there does seem to be something behind that. Andrew apparently knew Jesus well enough to go search the crowd for food. Then, bringing what was found, he concluded that there wasn’t enough for the crowd.
In both the stories of Elisha and Jesus, logically there wasn’t enough food. God still did something. God did so much that there were leftovers.
- What does the bread-making miracle of Elisha have to do with Jesus’? Does it matter about Elisha’s when it comes to Jesus’?
- What situations can you think of that are similar to the man who doesn’t bring his offering to the “right” place, but to the “best” place for him? Do you think God honors that?
Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, CEB)