Poisoned Stew

2 Kings 4: 38 – 41         NLV

Elisha now returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. One day as the group of prophets was seated before him, he said to his servant, “Put a large pot on the fire, and make some stew for the rest of the group.” One of the young men went out into the field to gather herbs and came back with a pocketful of wild gourds. He shredded them and put them into the pot without realizing they were poisonous. Some of the stew was served to the men. But after they had eaten a bite or two they cried out, “Man of God, there’s poison in this stew!” So they would not eat it. Elisha said, “Bring me some flour.” Then he threw it into the pot and said, “Now it’s all right; go ahead and eat.” And then it did not harm them.

How can one not love this story? When I read this story is when I decided to pray over my food. It seems the blessing of God can take poisoned food and turn it into something nutritious and delicious.

How many toxins and poisons are in and on our food these days. Frankly, we have a bigger problem than those guys did because much of our food has been sprayed with poison and we can’t always get it all off simply by washing. So, we sure better be praying over our food.

It would be great if we could all afford to buy everything from the organic food section. It would be even better if all our food just was organic, but we live in an age where that is not always possible. Sometimes there isn’t even an organic option. So, we all do the best we can to get food that is clean and made as God intended it.

One thing that intrigues me about this story is Elisha’s response. He didn’t just pray over the stew which is what I would have expected. Why did he throw flour in the pot? What would you have done? I wouldn’t have thought about adding flour. Do you think, as I do, that Elisha heard from God? Did he inquire of God and flour was the answer God gave him? I think so. It does not seem that Elisha panicked, and he didn’t overreact. I would have turned the pot over and started over, but that’s me thinking in my own wisdom instead of God’s.

Look, there is a lot we don’t know about our food supply these days. We trust our grocery store to sell us good products but guess what. There is a lot they don’t know. It’s best we place our trust in the Lord and follow His advice. Now you might understand why I pray as I grocery shop. It’s a mine field in there.

Promised Health

Deuteronomy 7:15

“And the Lord will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.”

We are on the third verse of the healing series and here is what I have learned so far. Both of the first two verses seem to suggest that a key ingredient of health is listening to the voice of God. Now, I suppose that should not come as a surprise but at the beginning of this series, would you have expected that to be the first point Father expressed? And, don’t be surprised that I said that this is what I am learning because I am right there with you. The first verse said, “give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments,” (Exodus 15: 26), so I am asking and listening along with you.

Today’s verse comes from a section in Chapter 7 subtitled, Promises of God. So, now you can say you have a promise from God regarding healing. He promises He will remove sickness. Here is the interesting bit though. You can tell that verse 15 is a continuation of previous verses. It even seems that it might express the result of what came before and, in fact, this is true. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but maybe God does. You have to go back to verse 12 to find out the context of this passage. Verse 12 reads, “If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you.” How great is that!? Even more interesting is that the verses between 12 and 15 include blessing your food and drink. So, here we are again. If we will listen to the Lord our God and obey Him, He will remove sickness from our midst.

Do you remember that the Jews had specific dietary guidelines and that those differed from other populations? What is that about? Do you think those guidelines were exactly what these verses speak to? I am not suggesting that God is telling you to go kosher. I am saying that He speaks to His people, leading them to healthy choices. I want to be clear in this too, what He speaks to me may not be the same as what He speaks to you. Maybe one person is advised to give up dairy or wheat while others are not. What I am explicitly saying is that Yahweh wants to remove all sickness from you because of the love covenant He made with you. He leads us to good health because that is what love does. It is imperative that we learn to inquire of Him and then to listen and obey.

Now, here is the hard part, listening. Tell the truth, do you sometimes get a little nagging feeling down inside of you about what you are eating? Do you get thoughts that would lead in a particular direction if you heeded them? Or, perhaps you hear a thought go through your head about drinking more water or getting up and walking a bit. God is rarely a loud voice in your head. He is gentle, more often nudging than pushing. We all need to become experts at hearing God’s voice and that often begins by listening to some of the quiet thoughts which float across your mind.

God is removing sickness from among us, as He promised to do. Our part in the bargain seems to be listening to His commands and faithfully obeying them.

Kneading Bowl

Exodus 23: 25

But you shall serve the Lord your God and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.

How is your bread and water? God will bless your kneading bowl and your well so that you may enjoy good health.

This verse reminds me of Hippocrates who is considered the father of modern medicine. He is famously reputed to have said, “Let food be your medicine.” So, I hear, let your bread and water be your medicine per this verse, or let your food be your first health protocol.

Food quality and the quality of our food choices play a direct and proportional role in our health. When the quality of our food is compromised, then so becomes our health. It doesn’t take a physician of legendary importance to figure that one out. The fuel we feed our bodies is of primary significance and importance to our overall health. The human body was created with the ability to repair itself. However, it needs a full complement of nutrients in order to perform its vital functions. When we make poor dietary choices or the quality of our food is sub-par, then the body is robbed of the substances it needs to run the machinery, protect vital organs and repair itself.

In our first verse in this series, we saw God identifying Himself as our healer. The first way He fulfills this role is in blessing our food. The first thing today’s verse says is that if we will serve our Lord, He will bless our food and water. What I hear there is that we must learn inquire to of Him regarding food and to listen to Him as He coaches us. I have heard of people who have had God direct them in their diet. He can guide a person in specific ways. One person, I recall, heard God tell them not to drink coffee for a while. That is not a direction for everyone, it was specific to that person. Maybe there are specific foods your body does not tolerate well.

What is important here is to understand that the first way God fulfills the role of our healer is to coach us as to food and drink. We know that we cannot continue to put bad fuel in our bodies and reasonably expect it not to harm us. God created amazing physiology that cleans and restores the cells of our bodies but as we age, we find that years of pollution is getting the best of us slowly but surely. We don’t necessarily get sick because we age. It is simply a matter of time and that the body’s tolerances are being breached. So, not matter how old you are, health begins today by honoring God with our food choices. That not only means eliminating junk food. It also entails trying to buy foods which are not laden with toxic chemicals. The more organic choices you can make, the easier it is on your body and the better health you will enjoy.

Mostly, listen to God. Serve Him in your diet and allow Him to coach you. The Great Healer has advice which leads to blessing. He says plainly that He is removing sickness by blessing your food and drink. That does not mean He takes the damaging substance out of bad foods. It means He wants to lead you to where the blessing is. He will guide you in the way. Do you think it sounds silly to pray about food? I think it is crazy not to because our food is causing many problems physically. Bless the Lord, serve Him and receive health through the blessing of your kneading bowl.

Temple Guard

Psalm 141: 3

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Yesterday we talked about longevity. You should expect to live a long life and be vital and vibrant. You have God’s promise on that. It is His will. Yet, we are not all living in God’s perfect will. Why not?

Yahweh sent the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. He is our teacher. What that means to us is that He reveals God’s wisdom to us. The Holy Spirit leads us into success by leading us in wisdom. This relates to long life and health as well.

So, take today’s scripture. What does it have to do with longevity? Well, the first thing is that what you speak from your mouth is going to determine the results you get. If you are trash talking about your life and life expectancy, then garbage will be the result. If however, you take God at His word and let His words about you come out of your mouth, then you are going to build a healthy life. This is pretty basic, but essential, Christianity. Therefore, we pray and ask God to set a guard over our mouths so that we speak only right words about ourselves and our bodies.

Here is the second application of today’s verse and it goes right to the matter of health and long life. As God guards what comes out of our mouths, so can He protect us from what we put in our mouths. As garbage words taint our well-being, so do the things we put in our mouths. Study after study and author after author informs us that most (though some claim all) disease and physical dysfunction is caused by poor diet. We’ve gotta get a revelation folks. Part of the reason there were no infirm among the Israelites is because they did not eat garbage. Father even cooked for them, providing them manna each day, so they could continue on their way in full vigor.

This is where the Spirit of Truth comes in. If you will listen, he will lead you into all truth about diet. I laugh because, as far as I know, we are the only creature on earth that doesn’t know what food to eat. How many books have wolves had to read in order to establish their diet? Now, let me tell you the whole truth. The Spirit may lead you to a book. He may lead you to a friend. These are some of the ways the Spirit leads us into truth. And we must diligently listen to him as he guides us to those resources. Let me be one of those friends and give you my own personal piece of advice. Seek wisdom, seek her as treasure, as the Bible says, but also pray at the grocery store. Certainly, my advisors would tell me to have a plan and a list when I go to the store, but I am not going into that dangerous place without the Holy Spirit. No way! In fact, if you hear someone praying in tongues in the next aisle, it is probably me. The grocery store is like the Temple of Doom if you do not know how to navigate the booby traps. Here’s my advice. Don’t be a booby. Put on your Indiana Jones hat and take the Spirit with you, making sure to follow him closely. Wrong steps in that place are causing Americans their lives. Let’s change that.

We want to live long lives and still be physically and mentally able throughout. So, set a guard over your mouth. Give the Spirit permission to counsel you about your diet and hearken to his voice. Be whole, my friends. Be whole and healthy in Jesus.

The Necessities

Nehemiah 9: 20

You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, and You gave them water for their thirst.

Food, water and the Holy Spirit – these are the necessities of life and God has provided them all to us. There are many people on this earth that think the only true necessities are food and water, but they would be wrong. There is no life without the Spirit of God. We saw that yesterday. If the measure of the Spirit, which is given to every person, were withdrawn, we would die. We would have no breath. What good is food and water to carcasses?

Even now, we wander through our days yielding to our desire for food and quenching our want of water. These are the cares of the body, the things we need physically in order to sustain life. Meanwhile, our spirits die from lack of nutrition. We care for our physical bodies, as well we should, because we are aware and educated about the physical requirements of our bodies. We are physically aware. However, no one taught us that our spirits need constant nourishment. Most of us did not grow up with the understanding that the Spirit of God was a spiritual need just like food and water are to the body. We are not spiritually aware, but that can change, and I believe it is changing.

The Spirit is good, a gift from God and our instructor. That is a sentence we would do well to ponder, even memorize, as long as the memorization is more substantive than a rote memory exercise. Just knowing that he is good can change our lives significantly.

Jesus sent to us the Holy Spirit. He even said it was to our advantage that he go so that he could send the Spirit. Our beloved Jesus sent him to be a benefactor of each of our lives, to improve the quality of our lives. Our role is to actively and purposefully receive him and to get to know him.

I hope you will solemnly ponder this week’s verses and allow them to aid you in finding a richer relationship with the Holy Spirit of God.


John 2: 22

When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Believing Jesus; believing in Jesus, ultimately should bring a person to believing the Scriptures.

We are called “believers”, but what do we believe. There are some basic tenets of the Christian faith which we are all expected to believe: the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc. surprisingly, one of those basic tenets isn’t that Jesus is the Word of God. people are taught to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God but if you listen to them, most do not actually believe what they read in the Bible.

Once, when I was a guest at a church, I heard a sermon on Jesus feeding the 5000. To this day I almost regret that I did not stand up and shout, “Blasphemy!” The pastor taught that feeding the 5000 was not a miracle of Jesus. Instead, he posited that women in the crowd fed the people. The women in the congregation appreciated his comment because good church women, especially from the south, do feed the multitude. None the less, can you see that this Pastor is not truly a believer? He does not believe what he reads in the Bible. I wonder, sometimes, how that church is doing. If the pastor teaches unbelief, what expressions of faith can you expect from the congregation?

I want to challenge you to read the Bible and then to believe what you read. Third, I want you to believe that what you read there can happen today and can happen in your life. Do you need food? Read 1 Kings 17. Do you need money? Read Matthew 17: 27. Then believe what you read. Believe that what God did for someone else, He is willing to do for you. Believe the Word of God.