Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 4:18–5:27, Mark 14:51–15:15, Prov 6:12–19
Today’s Theme: Lying vs Truth
There is a strong theme today dealing with the evil, folly and danger of lies and dishonesty. We see this in the selfish and greedy lies of Gehazi, the denial of Peter and the proverbs.
On the other side, we see Jesus testify to the truth that He is God.
Lying always leads to more pain and suffering, truth always leads to life and freedom, so walk in truth and in faith today.
Take time to meditate on the suffering Jesus endured for us today.
2 Kings 4:18–5:27
Faith in God
And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” She said, “All is well.”(2 Kings 4:23, ESV)
This was not “Word of Faith”, where the truth is not confessed and is denied for fear of the sheer power of our words, creating or destroying something or accepting current circumstances. This is essentially lying, we are called to honestly face the facts, in faith.
The fact is she had faith in God that her son could be raised from the dead and she knew her husband and did not want to cause him to panic or be worried.
We too must walk in actual faith toward God, not the power of our words, and be sensitive to the lack of faith or emotional state of those around us.
Sensitive to the needs of others
And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.”(2 Kings 4:27, ESV)
Elisha was caring enough to see that she was in distress, maybe the Lord hid it from him so that their faith could be exercised. Ask God to make you sensitive to the needs of others today.
Ritual alone is dead
Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. Therefore he returned to meet him and told him, “The child has not awakened.”(2 Kings 4:31, ESV)
Following the rituals is not enough, especially when your heart is wicked.
Sensitive, private ministry
So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord.(2 Kings 4:33, ESV)
He was not doing a circus show like the TV preachers today, he went to minister to the boy in privacy.
Be careful about what you eat
One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were.(2 Kings 4:39, ESV)
Not just anyone and anybody can cook :), there is also a spiritual principle, the teacher of God’s word should not use ingredients he has not tested and tired. Just because a book, website or TV show said something, don’t throw it into the mix of your spiritual diet, it could make you sick.
God’s miraculous blessing
But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’ ”(2 Kings 4:43, ESV)
This is like the miracle that Jesus performed, God provides living bread for the men, this is symbolic of His word which we are filled with.
Also notice the lack of faith in Gehazi.
A good friend
But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”(2 Kings 5:13, ESV)
What a good servant and friend. Lord, help us to help our brothers see sense, thank you for the friends that help us to see sense when offence, pride, rage etc. seeks to ensnare us.
It was only though humility that Naaman could receive his miracle.
A prophet of integrity
But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he > refused.(2 Kings 5:16, ESV)
Nothing like the so called prophets in the WOF today, who only prophesy for money.
Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord.(2 Kings 5:17, ESV)
This is awesome; because Elisha would not take the riches, Namann was able to receive the true riches of salvation and worshiping God.
The evil of lying
And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’ ”(2 Kings 5:22, ESV)
This was a blatant lie which will only lead to shame and punishment. Don’t tell lies.
Deception and greed
Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.(2 Kings 5:27, ESV)
A warning to all those who would take money and be dishonest, selfish and greedy, in the name of the ministry.
Standing vs Naked Shame
but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.(Mark 14:52, ESV)
This actually happened! There is a lesson for us in it being recorded, if we run from Jesus when the world comes to attack Him, we will end up running in shame and disgrace, this is why Paul encourages us to stand.
And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”(Mark 14:62, ESV)
To all the detractors that say that Jesus never said He was God, here it is in plain English. Jesus’ answer to the question is clear.
Jesus is very God of very God
You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.(Mark 14:64, ESV)
There was no ambiguity in their minds, Jesus was claiming to be the son of God, very God of very God, He was claiming to be God.
The title of this point is taken from the Athanasian Creed which affirms God as a Triune Being.
Jesus suffers shame and abuse
And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.(Mark 14:65, ESV)
This is one of the most painful verses, that the Son of Man was spat upon and struck, it is said in just a few words but must have been an horrific experience. This was man at his worst and God at His best.
Pause and read this again, stop and meditate on the suffering that Jesus endured for our salvation and God’s glory. Let those thoughts lead you to adoration, worship and service.
Don’t deny Jesus
And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.(Mark 14:72, ESV)
This was evidence that although Peter denied the Lord in his weakness, He still belonged to Jesus and the other accounts tells us that Jesus had specifically prayed for Peter. Lord, help us not to deny You.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.(Mark 15:11, ESV)
These were truly wicked men, it is likely they were heavily influenced by demonic spirits.
Don’t be a coward
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.(Mark 15:15, ESV)
This man had the opportunity to be bold and do the right thing, but he was a people pleaser. Lord, keep us from this trap of trying to please men, which leads to cowardice.
This scourging is one of the most painful things that Jesus went through.
A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech,(Proverbs 6:12, ESV)
We should be open, clear and honest.
God hates lies
a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.(Proverbs 6:19, ESV)
One of the key things that God hates is lies and dishonesty.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 15