And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. He said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour some out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot. II Kings 4:38-41 ESV
Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Psalm 107:17-22 ESV
Do you have white socks that are getting grungy looking? You can soak them in water for ten minutes with a teaspoon of lemon juice, and then put them in the wash. They will come out much cleaner. Do you like grapefruit? Many people think it’s too sour. But there’s a trick for making it sweeter. Add a little salt! On the other hand, sometimes people put too much salt into soup. Do you know what you can do then? Peel a potato and put it into the soup, and that will take the extra salty taste out of the soup.
There are lots of household tricks like this. Probably your mom or your grandma can tell you some more (or your dad or grandpa too!) But there’s one thing that no household trick will help. If someone puts deathly poison into some soup or stew, a little flour won’t take the poison away. The only things you can do is throw the soup out. When some of the sons of the prophets got together and Elisha decided they should work together to make a big pot of stew, one of them cut some wild gourds into the pot without realizing that they were poison. But Elisha put a some flour into the pot, and the poison was gone! God worked through Elisha’s flour to do a miracle and save them from dying from eating poison stew.
God has done an even greater miracle than that. We were all poisoned with sin, and because of that we were doomed to die. But God came to us in Jesus and took all the poison of sin and death on himself. He took all our sins to the cross with him, and died for them there. He didn’t stay dead, though. On the third day he came out of the grave, and now he is alive forever. Because of Jesus, all the poison of sin and death is gone for us. Our sins are forgiven every day, and we have life forever with Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for taking the poison of sin and death away for us. Amen.