“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy.” – Psalm 126:1-2
Scripture reading: 2 Kings 8:1-6
How perplexing the Lord’s ways are! Remember this woman who had established a B&B for Elisha in chapter 4? She’s back and so are the meandering ways of the Lord. She had received advance notice of an impending famine and was told to sojourn in the land of the enemies, in Philistia. She obeyed. When she returned after her seven year exile, she came back to nothing. Her reward for obedience is further hardship. She’s not alone; Christ Himself and countless Christians the world over know this pain. She appeals to the king and he restores her fortunes. And, delightfully, he does so because of the ‘chance’ intervention of Gehazi. Evidently the Lord had restored his fortunes too.
That’s our experience too as Christians. We have been exiled from God’s presence because of our sin. But God restores the fortunes of the banished ones and brings His exiled ones home and gives them the inheritance long promised. Remember the prodigal son?
This restoration grace is founded on the person and work of Christ. Think of His death as His exile, His banishment from His Father’s presence for sins not His own. The grave is His sojourn. His resurrection is the ending of the famine, life from the dead. And His ascension is His homecoming, receiving the enjoyment of His inheritance as the Son of God. This is what gives us hope. Hope for the lost and hope for the individual Christian whose life is a mess. God is in the business of restoring fortunes.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that you might rejoice in the Lord’s restoring grace with laughter and song. Pray that the Lord will restore the fortunes of needy Christians and of His Church.
Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.