And Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is the Lord who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I will make this dry streambed full of pools.’ For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ This is a light thing in the sight of theLord. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water and ruin every good piece of land with stones.” II Kings 3:13-19 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
Samantha’s friend Nellie lived in an orphanage with her sisters Jenny and Bridget. The orphanage was very strict with the girls, made them work hard, and didn’t give them enough to eat. Nellie was going to be put on an orphan train and separated from her sisters, and she was terribly upset about this. So Samantha snuck them into the attic of her home, where she lived with her uncle and aunt. Nellie went out during the day to try to find work, and her little sisters stayed quietly upstairs. Samantha stole food from the kitchen to feed the girls. But after a few days they were caught, and Samantha’s uncle and aunt had to decide what to do with them. Even though she had been wrong to sneak and steal, Samantha hoped the girls might be able to stay in the home a little longer until Nellie could find a job to support her sisters. But her aunt and uncle gave them something better than they could have expected. They gave the three girls a forever home with them so that they could be cared for and grow up as Samantha’s sisters!
When the three kings talked to the prophet Elisha about their thirsty armies, they hoped the Lord would save their men and animals by giving them water. Elisha didn’t give them much hope. He spoke sternly to Jehoram, the king of Israel, about the way he hadn’t been faithful to the true God. How could he expect God’s help when he worshiped false gods? But God gave these three kings more than they could have expected or hoped for. God spoke through Elisha and promised that there would be water for their thirsty armies and animals. And God would do even more than that. He would give them victory over the people of Moab in battle.
We also rebel against God and fall into sin, and we have no right to expect anything from him. But God loves us, and he continues to help us and care for us even though we are sinful. He gives us homes and food and and families and many wonderful gifts. We don’t deserve any of these things God gives us, but he gives us even more than that. He sent Jesus, his own Son, to die on the cross for us. Because of Jesus, we have God’s forgiveness and love every day, and life with him now and forever. That’s more than we could ever expect or hope for!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for everything you give us every day, and especially for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.
Tripp, Valerie Changes for Samantha: a winter story Middleton, Wisconsin: Pleasant Company, 1988.