Summary: The child of God may possess many wonderful Christian traits but if a single besetting sin in added to the mix the damage to our Christian testimony can be devastating.
DEATH IN THE POT
"Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, ‘Man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And they could not eat it." II Kings 4:40
I. “And there was a famine in the land.” (v. 38).
Elisha could not long enjoy the “mountaintop experience” of raising the Shunammite’s son from the dead. He had to face the famine in Gilgal. So with us: "In the world ye shall have tribulation."
II. When we see a need we must respond to it as best we can.
"As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his ser-vant: ’Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets."
We are to respond in like manner: "If a brother or sister is with- out clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them: ’Go in peace, be warmed and filled’, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use if that?" James 2:15-16.
III. The problem in the pot:
1. Obviously there were many good vegetables in the pot of stew.
So it is in the life of the Christian. There are many good traits in the life of the child of God: kindness, honesty, friendliness, concern, etc.
2. However, the poisonous gourds made the entire pot of stew deadly. The wild gourd is a very poisonous cucumber-like plant common in Palestine. To the eye, it looks perfectly good; but if eaten, it can have deadly consequences.
3. So it is in the life of the Christian. The many admirable traits we possess will lose their luster if we dare add “wild gourds” to the mix. Some of the “wild gourds” we must avoid are: pride, self-praise, self-righteousness, haughtiness, an unforgiving spirit, bitterness, anger, a sharp tongue, etc.
IV. The curing meal: a Type of Christ.
Elisha said: “Bring me some flour.” (v. 41).
Typifying Christ, Leviticus 2:1 says:”And when any will offer a meal offering, his offer-ing shall be of fine flour.” This second of five Old Testament offerings typifies the humanity of our Lord.
Only when Christ is added to the mix of our life can there be healing from the deadly effects of the “wild gourds” that threaten our spiritual well being.