DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
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THE BEST OF INTENTIONS -- JULY 20, 2021
2 Kings 4:38-41
There are times when operating under the best of intentions, we can harm ourselves and others.
A community is threatened by a famine and in the famine has become dependent upon resources they are. not fully accustomed to for survivalo. In a famine there is a limited food supply, the lack of rain makes it impossible for most vegetables to survive. Livestock can also become victims of a famine and die because of the lack of water. However, there are some things that can survive in a famine--wild plants that do not need much water, wild berries that grow even in extreme heat and even insects that can serve as a food source when necessary.
Elisha has gone to visit the school of the prophets, a sort of seminary, if you will, to prepare persons for ministry. What becomes clear to Elisha is that students have not been eating and needed food. Elisha instructs one of the servants to make some stew for the students. The servant goes out and collects wild gourds that are similar to squash or small melons but possess an extremely bitter taste. The servant collected the gourds to use for the stew not knowing what they were. The servant seeking to provide a meal for the company of prophets and Elisha did so unware of what he was using for the meal.
Once the people tasted the stew they declared that there was death in the pot. The bitter taste of the stew led the prophets to believe that it was dangerous.
We always put ourselves and others at risk when we are willing to use things that we have no knowledge whether they are good or bad. Even when trying to help others, our intentions should be mixed with discernment. We should always be careful not to put others at risk by our efforts to help them.
Elisha took some flour and placed it in the stew and the flour helped to purify the stew and no harm came to the people. Unlike the servant, Elisha knew what to do and the effects of the flour on the stew.
We need not just good intentions but wisdom and discernment to match our intentions in order to have an outcome that benefits everyone.