Hope beyond the Grave

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 13:14-21 . . . as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he came to life and stood on his feet. (v. 21) The great author G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” Chesterton’s observation is generally true, but many Christian men and women have tried the Christian ideal and been transformed through their trials. They have had …

A Time to Mourn

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 8:7-15 “Why does my lord weep?” (v. 12) Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, was known for his motto, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” Knowing what breaks God’s heart, and what should break ours, is not always easy to discern. Over the course of several chapters, the Bible has revealed many things about the prophet Elisha. But only near the end of his career does the …

Tragedy and Trust

Jim Mead

READ : a:2:{i:0;a:1:{i:1;s:22:”2 Kings 6:24–33″;}i:1;a:1:{i:1;s:14:”2 Kings 7:1-20″;}} “This is a day of good news . . .” (7:9) John Barry’s The Great Influenza tells the story of the worst plague in history. In 1918, influenza killed 100 million people worldwide in 24 weeks, more than AIDS has killed in 24 years. Though Samaria’s situation was different, Barry’s description of modern cities in the grip of tragic circumstances helps us feel some of the horror faced by Israel’s besieged capital. In …

Fear, Faith, and Peace

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 6:8-23 “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” (v. 16) I remember a “Family Circus” cartoon in which the children misunderstand their parents’ prohibition on watching a violent TV show. The older sister says, “We can’t watch this next program because of the violins.” Children aren’t the only ones who misunderstand. Violence breeds misunderstanding . . . and fear. This miracle story places a servant’s fear at the …

Random Ax of Kindness

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 6:1-7 . . . his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, “Alas, master! It was borrowed.” (v. 5) A few years ago “practicing random acts of kindness” was all the rage. People were encouraged to resist the world’s hatred and violence by doing small, anonymous good deeds: buying the lunch of someone in line at the fast food place, paying the toll of the car behind you, those sorts of things. Without a …

Turning Points

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 5 So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan . . . and he was clean. (v. 14) When I was a pastor in Vidalia, Louisiana, my regional denominational office, one hundred miles away, sent me a letter that took many days to arrive. The first two numbers of the zip code had been inverted, sending the letter to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before someone turned it around in the right direction. Life leads …