“Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: &lsquoThey will eat and have some left over.’”
—2 Kings 4:43
In his work as a prophet of the Lord, Elisha was both a public figure and a private individual. He advised a multinational military alliance and spoke in the courts of kings. But he was also a prophet in private, personal ways. He helped to free a woman from debt, to provide a family with a son, and to bring that son back to life again. By God’s power, he purified a spring of water and also a pot of stew, and he fed a hundred hungry men so well with twenty barley loaves that there were leftovers.
Elisha was a rescue worker whom God used to transform harmful situations and times of deep need into times of plenty and shalom—promises of full, flourishing life.
Elisha could see above, beyond, and through immediate ruin and misery to what God had planned instead. His prophetic faith was fueled by hope.
Hope is the message all prophets bring from God into a troubled world. We prophesy that this world is a new creation, that we live in the era of new life. We proclaim to one and all the hope of transformation and new starts, the hope of justice and peace, the hope of reconciliation and forgiveness, the hope that is at work in us all.
Our work as prophets, like Elisha’s, is to witness to that hope and to be agents of that hope to people who have none.
God of hope and of new beginnings, thank you for your plans for us, plans of hope and a future. Strengthen the hope that is within us. In Jesus, Amen.
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