Death in The Pot

2 Kings 4:38-41

And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39 So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were.  40 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. 

41 So he said, “Then bring some flour.” And he put it into the pot, and said, “Serve it to the people, that they may eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

NKJV

Gourd -OT:6498 paqqu`ah (pak-koo-aw’); from the same as OT:6497; the wild cucumber (from splitting open to shed its seeds): KJV – gourd.[i]

Death in the Pot

What was meant to preserve life was about to bring death to the people of God. The devil desires nothing more that to destroy the life and testimonies of His people to either bring about their death or make them ineffective for God.

Death -OT:4194 maveth (maw’-veth); from OT:4191; death (natural or violent); concretely, the dead, their place or state (hades); figuratively, pestilence, ruin: KJV – (be) dead ([-ly]), death, die (-d).[ii]

During a famine the men of God went to get some vegetables to make a stew and someone saw some wild gourds growing on a vine, I guess they looked pretty good so he took himself a lapful. There are two thoughts I have on that:

  • He sliced them into the pot. Many troubles in our lives comes either from our own hands or others meddling where they have no business being.
  • He did not know what they were yet he put them in the pot. (knew: yada` OT:3045 yada` (yaw-dah’); a primitive root; to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively, instruction, designation, punishment, etc.) [as follow]:KJV – acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, [un-] awares, can [-not], certainly, comprehend, consider, could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be [ig-] norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have [knowledge], (be, make, make to be, makeself) known, be learned, lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have [understanding], will be, wist, wit, wot.[iii]
  • Meal or flour was added and the poison was gone. This was one of the many miracles of Elisha. Bring meal – Though this might, in some measure, correct the strong acrid and purgative quality; yet it was only a miracle which could make a lapful of this fruit shred into pottage salutary.[iv]
  •  

A Spiritual Application

We need to move from an Old Testament physical story to a New Testament spiritual application. We need to see the pot as the life of a Christian and the gourds are the things we add to our own lives that can cause “death in the pot” in our lives. Things either through ignorance or intent, with deliberation or emotional outburst, there are things that are death in the pot. These include:

  • Allowing ungodly influences into our lives. I remember a song I use to sing with my children’s church and we are going to use the lyrics for our outline:
  • O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

We need to watch what we watch. There are few ways for things to enter and take root and the eye gate is one of them. We need what we watch on TV. We need to look at while we are reading. We need to take care that they are pure and wholesome. When wrong things enter our eye gate it can influence our lives and actions and can be death in the pot of the Christian life.  (Put TV Guide in Pot)

  • be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little ears what you hear

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little ears what you hear

We need to be careful what we let in our ear gate. Ungodly music and talk (not just radio but listening to carnal Christians who are complaining and we listen to that garbage it can give place to the devil and harm those who listen to it. This includes those so called “prayer request” that are just dressed up gossip meant to tear someone down not build them up) it can plant wrong thoughts and ideas in our hearts and take root in our souls and influence our thoughts and actions and can be death in the pot of the Christian life. (Put CD/Cassette Player in Pot)

 

  • be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little hands what you do

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little hands what you do

Is what we are working on in our lives meant to build up others or ourselves? Wrong motive in actions can lead us down a deadly path, being death in the pot of the Christian. (Put Paper Heart in pot)

  • be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little feet where you go

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little feet where you go

We need to be careful. I was listening to a  TV preacher, I won’t mention his name, I would hate to embarrass him but he said it was OK for a Christian to drink wine as long as he watched himself. I don’t see that. We need to keep our feet from going to where it would not glorify God. No bars, no drinks, why? (Put empty bottle in pot )

Lev 10:9

 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die (it is death in the pot)

You may say this is Old Testament, but watch, what was the tabernacle? The dwelling place of God, and where does God dwell now? In the Christian, so we are God’s tabernacle or temple (1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?)

  • be careful little mouth what you say

O be careful little mouth what you say

O be careful little mouth what you say

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little mouth what you say

 OK this is a pretty big one, our mouths, which should be used to praise and glorify God but are being used for other things like:

  • Backbiting : BACKBITE To speak slanderously or spitefully about a person (Ps 15:3; Rom 1:30). Backbiting involves an element of deceit and cowardice. It should be avoided by Christians.[v]
  • Complaining: do we need to be reminded God hates complaining (see also murmuring) remember what happened to Israel in the wilderness, the quails, the brass serpent.
  • Lying: & sowing discord among the breathern:

Prov 6:16-19

 

16 These six things the LORD hates,

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

17 A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

18 A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

19 A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.

NKJV

Lying tounge- sheqer

 

OT:8267 sheqer (sheh’-ker); from OT:8266; an untruth; by implication, a sham (often adverbial):

 

Sowing discord-weather by deceit or word, it is hated by God and  is death the mouth can be death in the pot of a Christian. (put mouth in pot.

There is a Cure

When Elisha put the meal or flour in the pot the stew it was supernaturally fixed so there was no death in the pot! How can we as Christians get the death out of the pot?

Ps 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

KJV

 

Ps 119:16-17

I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word . Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word .

KJV

 

Ps 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

KJV

By adding God’s Word to our lives, living it and following its teachings day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute we can get the death out and keep it out by keeping and following the Bible

But this only works for the Christian who has had his sins forgiven and is saved by grace, otherwise we are trying to work our way into Heaven, and we cannot do that as the Bible says:

Eph 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

NKJV

We are saved by grace alone by faith alone, works comes afterwards.

 


[i] Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.

[ii] Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.

[iii] Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.

[iv] Clarke, Adam: Adam Clarkes’s Commentary on The Bible, 2 Kings 4:41, electronic database, E-sword.

[v] Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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