Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from Aug. 9-15 are provided by Cami King, a staff at Journey Community Church (Raleigh).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 6:1-7
Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
Last week we read a story about Gehazi, a servant of the prophet Elisha. For whatever reason – be it greed or leaning too heavily upon his own understanding – Gehazi went behind Elisha’s back and took payment from Naaman (whom Elisha had healed) after Elisha had refused it. Gehazi then lied to Elisha about what he’d done when Elisha (already aware of what had happened) questioned him about it. As a result he was struck with leprosy. In direct contrast to that narrative we have our passage for today. Here, unnamed disciples of Elisha display meticulous piety, devotion, and sacrifice in their service to Elisha in constrast to Naaman’s unfaithfulness.
It is often said that Gehazi greedily sought riches (and became a leper as a result) while these men faithfully sought the things of God and were content with material poverty as long as God (through the prophet) was made available to them. I think this is a fair way of seeing things and much can be learned from this understanding. However, last week we looked at Gehazi’s story from a different perspective, instead imaging him as not merely a greedy man, but one who in a tough spot (the life of a prophet – and his servants – was no cakewalk), compromised and yielded to temptation. Leaning too heavily upon his own understanding of things (thinking, “We earned this payment!”), he found himself in sin and condemnation.
In light of these things, what do we stand to learn from today’s passage? That God rewards those who faithfully serve Him. But not only this, He comes to their aid, even in seemingly trivial matters. One of Elisha’s disciples lost a borrowed ax head (expensive!) and instead of brushing it off (thinking, “It was an accident!” or “It’s not mine anyway!”), he cared deeply about what had happened. And God comes to His aid (through Elisha). I can’t help but recall Jesus’ words about the sparrow. If God’s eye is even upon the little birds, He certainly watches over his servants as well and will help them when they need Him (even in small matters) – especially for those who strive to live faithfully for Him.
So whether you’re being tempted by greed or any other sin into unfaithfulness or you’re feeling weak in the face of a difficult season to cut corners and compromise – take heart! Even in the little things, God sees and provides according to His glorious riches. Faithfulness is always rewarded.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to remember that faithfulness is always rewarded. When I am tempted to sin and to do things my own way, help me to trust in You and give you room to come to my aid in ways that exceed what I could think or imagine. Thank you for loving me so much that you are attentive to my needs – even the small ones.
Bible Reading for Today: Galatians 1
Lunch Break Study
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Questions to Consider:
- Why is it important that we not fear man?
- What point is Jesus making in verses 29-30? What does this tell us about God’s heart for us in light of the previous verse?
- In what ways do you deny God before men? How have these verses encouraged or challenged you to acknowledge Him instead?
- It is easy for us to fear what we can see – especially other people. But we give them more power than they actually have. At the same time, we don’t fear God often times for the simple fact that we cannot see him and have no real concept of his power and majesty. But He has power over everything (even our eternal destiny) and therefore is the only one worthy of fear.
- While it is important that we have a proper fear of the Lord, it is also crucial that we understand His great love for us. Yes, He has to power to take and give life (eternally!), but He has chosen to wield His power on our behalf (best demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus). Therefore we should rejoice and all the more live faithfully for Him.
- We deny God in many different ways. We may outright deny Him with our words before others, or we may deny him with our actions of unfaithfulness before an on-looking world. Either way, a healthy fear of the Lord and a deep persuasion of His love for us should spur us on to faithfully acknowledge Him in thought, word, and deed.
Can you recall a time when God was mindful of you and provided for your needs (even in small ways) as you’ve tried to live faithfully for Him? Spend some time reflecting on those moments and thanking God for His faithfulness. It is important that we revisit these moments to remind ourselves of God’s love and faithfulness so that we might be encouraged to continue to live faithfully for Him. Are you being tempted in a specific area toward unfaithfulness? Are you weary from a tough season and considering a compromise in your walk with the Lord? Offer these things to God, keeping in mind all that we studied today. God always rewards faithfulness and is mindful of us even in small matters. Ask for His help in the specific areas you need today.