Daily Reading: September 13th


#DailyDevotion The Lord Has Given Us Promises To Fight Our Enemies

September 13th

Read 2 Chr 32:1–22

2Ch 32:7 ESV  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.

2Ch 32:20-22 ESV  Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven.  (21)  And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword.  (22)  So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side.

 

Do you think Hezekiah had heard about Elisha and the Syrians?  Hezekiah knew the Word of the Lord.   He knew the promises of his God.  Hezekiah proclaims these promises to his people to encourage them against the Assyrians despite all the Assyrian victories over peoples and their gods.  He and Isaiah then go and pray these promises of God the Lord and rest their hope in them.  Well the Lord heard their prayers and saw their faith in Him.  The Lord delivered Jerusalem from the hands of the Assyrians.

 

We too have promise from the Lord. Rom 8:1-2 ESV  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  (2)  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Rom 8:15 ESV  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Rom 8:34-39 ESV  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  (35)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  (36)  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  (37)  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  (38)  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  (39)  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

With these promises and many more promises are we to live and face our enemies: sin, death and the devil.  We live our lives trusting that these things are true.  And when the enemy besets us just like the Assyrians beset Jerusalem we pray these promises, we pray this Word of God.  Asking the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill His promises in His Word are the most spiritual prayers we can pray.  They will stand against all the assaults of the adversaries.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, in the hour of our need and at all other times, because we are always in need, remember Your promises and deliver us from our adversaries of the flesh, the world and Satan.  Amen.

Daily Reading: September 12th


#DailyDevotion The Freedom Of The Gospel Produces A Fruitful Response

September 12th

Read 2 Chr 31:1–21

2Ch 31:1  Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession… 2Ch 31:20-21  Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God.  (21)  And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

 

What Israel did here is what we must do in our hearts, souls and minds.  It was a response to keeping the Passover and hearing the Word of the Lord by the priest again.  As we hear God’s Word particularly as we hear all that He has done for us in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit will begin the work in us of cleaning out the old gods of our past and our present.  He brings to mind these things we trust rather than our Lord Jesus Christ.  What shall we do with them when we discover that we have been worshipping other things, trusting other objects, replacing our Father in Heaven with the created to get us through the night and the day?  If we have such faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit we will endeavor to act like the Israelites and break them in pies, cut them down and destroy them.  Not necessarily literally but spiritually.  For we may have use for food, clothing, shelter, drink, spouses, jobs, credit, money and the like, but we need to put them in their proper place.

 

When the Israelites rediscovered the freedom of the Lord they brought forth their tithes, freewill offerings and the like with great joy.  They had the gather them all in great heaps and make storage for them for the redistribution which the Lord God had appointed.  We too when we discover that Jesus has freed us from the power of sin, death and the devil will freely give ourselves to support those who bring us this good news that it may continue in the land which we live.

 

Hezekiah, stands for Jesus who truly does what is right and good before the Lord.  Jesus served His Father with His whole heart, soul, mind and strength.  Jesus gave up His life that we might live in Him.  Now our Jesus prospers as we multiply as His holy people filling the earth.  He is building for Himself a kingdom which He gives to all who put their trust in Him.  As Jesus prospers so shall we all.

 

Lord God, Heavenly Father, grant us such faith in the work of your Son Jesus Christ, that we turn from all our idols of this life and place ourselves into His merciful, caring hands. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 11th


#DailyDevotion Do You Need To Clean Out Your Temple?

September 11th

Read 2 Chr 29:1–24

2Ch 29:2-5  And he[Hezekiah] did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.  (3)  In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.  (4)  He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east  (5)  and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place.

 

The Jews had only a couple of righteous kings who worshipped the Lord, who trusted in His promises.  Hezekiah was one of those.  By his day, the temple was fairly much in ruins.  The priests had quit the offerings, sacrifices and preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord.  Some may have employed themselves as priests of the other false gods the Jews were worshipping.  They had filled the temple with abominable objects of worship.  It needed a thorough cleaning.

 

Hezekiah remembered the Word of the Lord and trusted in the Lord.  Accordingly he reinstituted the temple sacrifices.  2Ch 29:22-24  “So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and threw it against the altar. And they slaughtered the rams, and their blood was thrown against the altar. And they slaughtered the lambs, and their blood was thrown against the altar.  (23)  Then the goats for the sin offering were brought to the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them,  (24)  and the priests slaughtered them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel. For the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.”

 

The book of Hebrews writes, Heb 9:22  “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”  He also writes, Heb 10:4  “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”  These were offered up in light of the sacrifice of Jesus.  Now Jesus has offered up Himself and shed His blood for you.  Paul writes, Eph 1:7  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,…”  We have been separated from the world and cleansed like the priests who cleansed the temple. Heb 10:19-22  Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,  (20)  by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  (21)  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  (22)  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Again, Heb 12:22-24  “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,  (23)  and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  (24)  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”  This is what we are experiencing when we gather together on Sunday mornings.

 

We need to remember also that 1Co 6:19-20  “… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  (20)  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”  So likewise we should like the priest of Hezekiah’s day remove the filth from our lives and our hearts and replace it with the Word and Promises of Jesus and let them reign there.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, through baptism, you have sprinkled us with your blood, made atonement for our sins and made us your holy temple.  Give us your Spirit through the Word and Sacraments that we may purify our hearts and dedicate them to your service as you have given yours. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 10th


#DailyDevotion Jesus Christ Is Not Some Loveable Puff Ball

September 10th

Read 2 Kng 9:1–13; 10:18–29

2Ki 10:21-28  And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other…(24)  Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, “The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life.”  (25)  So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, “Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape.” So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal,  (26)  and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it.  (27)  And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.  (28)  Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.

 

Jehu, king of Israel is a type of Christ.  Now you may, “Wait a minute!  Jesus isn’t like that.  Jesus is some nice fuzzy fluffball, tender and nice, not judging anyone.  He wouldn’t do that!”  Well yes and no.

 

Certainly Jesus has said, Joh 3:17  “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” But it is also written, “Joh 3:18-19  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (19)  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”  So we have before us a Jesus that is both merciful and kind and one who judges those who do not believe in Him.

 

It is true, 2Co 5:18-19  “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  (19)  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”  Now is not the season of judgment.  Now is the time of reconciliation.  Jesus has sent us into the world to proclaim that Our Father in heaven has reconciled Himself to the World through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He is no longer counting our trespasses against us.

 

But there is a day of judgment, a great and terrible day of the Lord.  There is an appointed time when the world will be judged. Concerning the world 1Pe 4:5  “they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” It is written concerning that day, Rev 19:19-21  “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him [Jesus] who was sitting on the horse and against his army…  (21)  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.”  It is this Jesus whom Jehu represents in today’s lesson that we may take notice of it and learn from it to be faithful to the One who is always faithful to us, Jesus Christ, who indeed freely, by His sacrificial suffering and death, by the shedding of His blood, delivered us from sin, death and the power of the devil.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, keep us faithful unto the end that we may not be judged with the rest of the unbelieving world. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 9th


#DailyDevotion Trust In The Lord Jesus And Let Him Command His Angels Concerning You

September 9th

Read 2 Kng 6:1–23

2Ki 6:15-17  When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  (16)  He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  (17)  Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

 

Many people in the West, yes even religious people, my goodness even Christians will poo poo any ideas of spirit or angels.  At best religious and Christians usually think in selfish terms of just them and God and if we’re lucky, them and Jesus also.  Our Old Testament lesson shows us today that we are surrounded in our world by spirits.  Not spirits of the dead, but spiritual creatures, celestial beings whom we normally call angels.  Now whether they just appeared with the forms of horses and chariots or that is the best thing the prophet Elisha could relate to what he saw we don’t know.  But we know that is it true that he saw the hosts of heaven there ready to defend him.  He was not afraid.

 

Jesus when arrested attested to this in Mat 26:53  “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”  Jesus was not afraid either but subjected himself to the arrest for our salvation.  Of these angels it is written, Heb 1:14  “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” And Mat 18:10  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”  The angels whom the Lord created keep watch over us and when we are delivered from all harm or when we thought, “Man that could have been a lot worse than it was.” know that the Lord had sent an angel to protect you.

 

But there are evil angels also.  We call them demons.  They rebelled against the Lord at the beginning of creation. 2Pe 2:4  “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;…” Paul warns us, Eph 6:12  “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  They hate us and seek our harm.  Most of all they seek to separate us from faith in Jesus.  So we must test the spirits and our own thoughts which may not even be our thoughts but theirs.  We test them against the Word of God and the Faith which has been delivered up to us.

 

But we do not pray to angels nor do we command them.  We put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and call upon His name in every trouble, prayer, praise and giving thanks.  If we need such help Jesus will certainly send it.  Jesus though is our chief messenger being the very Word of God.  He is our chief protector as He sits at the right hand of God the Father.  He commands the heavenly hosts on our behalf and that work which His enemies the fallen angels commit He limits to the benefit of His Church and the spreading of the gospel.  So if trouble befalls us, we can be certain it is for our good and the good of His Church.  He and His angels were not sleeping.  He has a greater plan for our troubles.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, always send forth your holy angels to guard and keep us from all harm.  Grant us your Holy Spirit and your Word that we may recognize the false teachings of those who rebelled against you that we may always be faithful unto you. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 8th


#DailyDevotion Is Christianity Too Simple For You?

September 8

2 Kng 5:9–27

2Ki 5:13  But Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “Master, if the prophet had asked you to do some extraordinary act, wouldn’t you have done it? Why shouldn’t you do as he said: ‘Wash and be clean’?”

 

Naaman was expecting the prophet to come out and perform some big act to bring healing to his leprosy. He hoped he’d at least come out of his hut, shout out the name of his God and wave his hand over it. But Elisha was not, as a man of God, there to put on a show. He did not come out of his house. He just sent his servant with his word, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan river.” The river that was right there. Naaman was angry. He had come all this way. He had brought great wealth. He was a man of importance and thought more of his own land than the word the prophet spoke by another.

 

Yet his servant is wiser. Certainly if he told you to do something great you would have done it. Now he was told to do something simple and right there, why not do it. Most people are like Naaman. If you don’t have to put out great expense or go to great trouble  than it probably isn’t worth it. Christ when he was visibly with us sometimes acted like Elisha here. A number of times people came to him for help. He didn’t put on a big show. He didn’t even speak words of healing or prescribe some action. Several times he simply said, “Go and it will be done according to your faith.”

 

For the greatest gift and acts in our life that bring us greater treasures than Namaan brought Elisha, greater treasures stored in vaults and worth more than all the money in all the banks in the world, Christ has given us some simple things that the world, like Namaan scoffs at. Jesus gave us Baptism and the Word and Bread and Wine i.e. his Body and Blood. If a doctor said he had the cure to all diseases, to cancer or a pill that would prevent death, the world would come to him and pay any price to have it. Now Christ comes through the Church, like Elisha’s servant Gehazi, with his Word and simple commandments to give us eternal life, salvation from death, a permanent cure to all disease, a world without famine or thirst, without crimes or tyrants and the world despises it.

 

Be repentant, believe and be baptized into the name of Christ: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this simple act of faith we are rescued from death, disease, a sinful world and delivered to life, salvation and a promise of a new world. Naaman came to faith in the living God, the Lord of Israel and for the rest of his life worshipped him alone. Jesus is that living God, the Lord of Israel. We have been given this great gift and it cost us only our lives as it cost him his life. He give our life as we put our trust in his word.

 

We weekly maintain this gift of God in baptism as we simply go to the gathering of the saints to hear from the man of God, the one Jesus has sent, the pastor proclaim that word that Jesus has given him. This word continues to preserve us in the faith until what has been promised we see with our own eyes. Jesus gives us a great miracle which looks like nothing, ordinary bread and wine, in which he gives us his body and blood. In partaking this simple looking gift, we are made partakers of a great covenant with God our Father.  Here he says, “I’m and your God and you are my people. I forgive you your sins and remember them no more. Here is my Spirit that you may live as my people.” It isn’t great. There is no show, no flashing lights or dancing stars, just an ordinary man, with ordinary bread and wine and Jesus’ word.

 

What is your response to this simple thing? Do you take the word as it stands, believe and do it?

 

Heavenly Father, grant that I may believe your word in simple faith and receive all the gifts you have promise. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: September 7th


#DailyDevotion It’s Not What You Know But Who You Know

September 7th
Read 2 Kng 4:38—5:8
2Ki 5:1-8 ESV Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. (2) Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. (3) She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (4) So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” (5) And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing… (8) But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

You don’t have to force a witness situation. Those who belong to Christ will be brought to you oftentimes in the most peculiar ways. You don’t have to know a lot or be a genius to witness the good news to someone. You just need to know someone who does or is. Once it was told that Mr. Ford of Ford Motor Co. was being deposed at a trial and the lawyer grilling him was trying to show that Mr. Ford was ignorant. At the end of the questioning, Mr. Ford admitted that he did not know the answer to the question, but he had a red button on his desk and if he pressed it he would have an army of men at the ready to find out the answer if he needed it.

The Israelite slave girl did not have the ability to heal Naaman. But she knew of someone who could. The king of Israel couldn’t heal Naaman and he didn’t think about sending him to Elisha because he didn’t have faith and didn’t go to church like he should (if he did, perhaps he wouldn’t have been so distressed). The girl knew about Elisha and speaks out in love for her master so that he might be healed.

Sometimes in life we may be brought someone who needs to hear the gospel. Perhaps they have questions we can’t answer. Maybe we just don’t have to courage to speak even what we know. But if you are a Christian, then you are churched, and if you are churched then you have a pastor. The pastor ought to at least know what the Lord Jesus would have to say on anything of a spiritual nature as he has the Word of the Lord. It is his diet day in and day out. You should feel comfortable in bringing your friend, employer, or even your enemy there that they may know there is a pastor in the land.

And while the Lord doesn’t do a lot of healings through His pastors today, they have something even better. They have the word which can heal the heart, bring reconciliation between God and man, and give eternal life. That word is in Christ Jesus, God has taken whatever standing between you and your heavenly Father and laid it all upon Jesus on the Cross. It was nailed to it on Golgatha and buried in the garden tomb never to seen or heard of again.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us the word to speak to those who need to hear it. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 6th


#DailyDevotion Nothing Is Wrong. All Is Well

September 6
2 Kng 4:8–22, 32–37
2Ki 4:10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”…16 And he said, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.”…26 Run at once to meet her and say to her, ‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?'” And she answered, “All is well.”

Elisha being a man of God represented God. How one treated Elisha is how one treated the Lord. Jesus said as much, Mat 25:40 ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ So the Shunammite woman has her husband build a room for Elisha the prophet for when he is traveling through town. It is out of her fear and love of the Lord, the God of Israel and not because of the person himself that she is doing this.

Elisha recognizing this asked her what he could do for her. First mentioning a few worldly things he is capable of but she wanted none of it. So he gives her a blessing from the Lord that she should have a child. She can hardly believe it, in a good way, and lo and behold she has a boy at the appointed time. Yet the boy grows up and then dies in the field. You might think she would be upset but listen to her response to her husband and Elisha about how things are going, “And she answered, ‘All is well.’”

All is well. How many of us can face the present and the future with all is well? Here this woman’s only son has died. She tells her husband all is well. She goes to the prophet and she says all is well. Her son is dead. But she knows there is a prophet in Israel. She knows he speaks the word of God. It was the word of God that brought her this blessing of this boy. Her faith tells her all is well. She know the Lord can bring her boy back and she believes he will bring her boy back.

We have someone else who is the Lord God of Elisha. His name is Jesus. His father in heaven cares for us. Jesus has great and marvelous promises that if we ask his Father anything, he will hear us. Ask, Seek, Knock Jesus tells us and the Father with answer, you will find and the door will be opened up to you. As a sign Jesus dies on the cross and rises from the dead on the third day. This sign is a promise that all will be well for us. For just as Jesus has risen from the dead, we too shall rise and receive everlasting life. Our future is brighter than you think with faith in Jesus Christ. Like the perfect wife in Proverbs, Pro 31:25 “She dresses with strength and nobility, and she smiles at the future.” we can smile at the future.

This is not to say everything is going to go hunky dory in life just because you have faith. This woman’s only son died. Most of the apostles suffered a martyr’s death. Even Jesus suffered and died and he promised you a cross. But with faith in Jesus who died for you and rose again, you can smile at the future and say all is well.

Heavenly Father, grant us such faith in your Son Jesus Christ and his great and wonderful promises that we may smile at the future and proclaim to those around us, all is well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 5th


#DailyDevotion It’s Not Magick, It’s The Word Of The Lord

September 5th

Read 2 Kng 2:19–25

2Ki 2:19-25  Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.”  (20)  He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.  (21)  Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the LORD, I have healed this water; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.”  (22)  So the water has been healed to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.  (23)  He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”  (24)  And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.  (25)  From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

 

Here we see the spirit of Elijah doubled in practice.  To those who have been humbled the Lord is merciful and kind.  These men had been merciful unto Elisha who sought to see if the Lord had perhaps put Elijah down somewhere not too far away, but he was indeed taken up until the day of the Lord Jesus’ transfiguration.  In His mercy then the Lord uses Elisha to bless the people there at that place.  No it was not the new bowl nor the salt which purified the water but the Word of the Lord which healed it.  The new bowl and the salt were the carriers, the instruments through the Word of the Lord acted, salt being an agent of purification (though not usually of water) and a new bowl representing something new had to be done here.

 

In the same manner the Lord Jesus Christ makes us pure and holy and new creations.  He uses the water of Baptism which is not just water, but the water included and combined with the Word of God.  The Word of God with the water gives to us the Spirit of God and faith in Christ which makes us a new creation. (Rom. 6:3ff, Gal. 6:5, 2 Cor. 5:17).  St. Paul in Ephesians tells us, Eph 5:26-27 “having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  (27)  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”  Jesus tells us, Joh 3:5  “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. So wherever the Word of the Lord is so is the Spirit of our God.

 

Now the action of Elisha towards the youth seems rather harsh, 1Co 10:11 ESV “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”  Indeed at the end of the ages when Jesus returns, everyone will receive their recompense.  These young fellows were acting out what they had seen their parents did and instead of reproving them they followed their actions.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith that we trust in the Word which you have placed in the institutions of the sacraments and may we recognize those whom you have sent and treat them as we should treat you.  Amen.