The word of God is living and active. It is not only something we study, it studies us. As the Bible reveals truths about itself, it also, simultaneously, reveals truths about us. That’s what you will discover as we work our way through the sacred account of one of the Old Testament prophets, Elisha. These studies will uncover human depravity and highlight the astonishing grace of God to His people in His Son, Jesus Christ, the greatest of all prophets and the final Word of God. These studies had their beginning in sermons preached at Trinity and can be heard at sermonaudio.com.
The Gospel according to Jericho
“Thus says the Lord, I have healed this water…” – 2 Kings 2:21
Obviously, this passage is not about environmental science. It declares the mighty works of the God of our salvation through His servant Elisha, displaying His wonderful kindness in healing Jericho’s water. But I want to maximize His kindness by pointing out that the city was under a curse. Even if we didn’t know that from Joshua 6:26, the present situation of water causing miscarriage (‘the land is unfruitful’ v. 19) is proof that her inhabitants were living in disobedience and under God’s disfavour (Exodus 23:26).
To this undeserving city, God brings healing. Why would He? Do you ever wonder what God was thinking when He pursued our redemption? Who would ever have imagined that God’s scheme would involve God Himself taking the curse in order that sinners might receive blessing (Galatians 3:13)? Not through a little salt in a bowl, but through the cross of the Lord Jesus, the thought of which caused the salt of His body to be expelled in profuse sweating.
Jericho is good news for people like us. We are ‘sinners, poor and wretched, weak and wounded, sick and sore, bruised and broken by the fall.’ The Gospel according to Jericho. Another city in the Bible shouts out good news (Revelation 22:1-3). The water flows from the throne of God and waters the tree of life, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed. The Gospel according to Old Jericho and New Jerusalem because it is the Gospel of Jesus.
Suggestions for prayer
Pour out your heart to the Lord regarding your struggles, weaknesses and sins and ask Him for healing through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the Saviour Who bore our curse so that we would receive His blessing.
Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.