Two Things Can Be True

I’ve been saying two things can be true at one time a lot lately.

The reference for that is the woman in 1 or 2 Kings (like I like to say-go search so you can read it for yourself and know that I’m not making it up) welcomed the prophet Elisha into her home.

She was minding all of her business and being hospitable to the man of God.

She didn’t have a child nor did she ask him to pray that her womb would be open. But mans was like you gone have a baby.

And she did.

So this boy is growing and living and thriving.

Then bam. He dies.

Sis was like naaaaaaaah.

Go get me an animal. I’m finna ride out. I’m finna go find this man.

People are worried. She starts out by saying all will be well.

Ma’am. What? *insert Nick Young’s confused face with question marks meme*

Yo baby is dead and you talmbout all will be well?

What I didn’t say is that before she left, she put the boy in the room they had prepared for Elisha for when he was there.

As she got closer to him, she changed her words. Instead of saying all would be well she said all is well.

Whew. The closer she got to the one with the solution the more faith she had to believe.

Sis found him and was like “playa, playa from the Himalayas. This child I didn’t ask you for is dead.”

Elisha was the armor bearer aka assistant for Elijah. He kept this practice up and has a dude named Gehazi.

Gehazi is the reason for alla this. He’s the one who told Elisha sis didn’t have a baby when E was trying to repay their kindness.

G was mad rude and tried to send her away. E was like “nah son. Let her be.”

So E sent G ahead to the house with his staff (wooden cane thing) to try to revive the kid.

Pause. There is so much in that sentence. Jesus died on a piece of wood and revived us for all eternity. Staffs are used by shepherds. David used one and I believe wrote Psalm 23. Jesus is described as a shepherd. So many things in the Old Testament point to Jesus. Also, the disciples attempted to cast out a devil/heal a kid and failed (ion try hard with some of this so y’all will go study for yourself!).

G put the staff on the boy’s face and nothing happened.

E was already on his way behind G with moms.

E goes into his room with the boy and closes the door. Then he prayed.

Next, he does a sophisticated version of CPR. He put all of his body parts, including his mouth, on the boy’s. The boy warmed up.

E left the room and walked the house. He went back and did his lil CPR thing again. The child sneezed seven times then opened his eyes.

Omg. This baby came back to life like Jesus and Lazarus. I’m undone. And let’s not even get lost in the seven of it all.

The woman lost a son she didn’t even ask for. Surely she was vexed and grieved. But he was already a miracle. And she knew how to gain direct access to the Miracle Worker through his servant.

I’d like to think she built an altar. Much like I wrote about Abraham. She knew enough about God, in what was surely distressing, to know He would work it out.

This season is familiar yet…tuh. Two things are definitely true. But something I said on the phone led me to this refrain once again. It reminded me of this woman.

As long as my ACTIONS match my faith and not my feelings.

I’m allowed to feel a way. I said in that convo that even Jesus felt a way. He came to die and still wanted, in His flesh, to avoid the cross.

But He knew He had to do it. So, while something else was also true, He did it.

I know why. So, while my feelings are true, this is the way I have to take. He’s never failed before and He won’t start now. I’m gonna go to my altar.

Go be great. Someone’s counting on it.

Isaiah 8-9 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah

1 Then God told me, “Get a big sheet of paper and write in indelible ink, ‘This belongs to Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Spoil-Speeds-Plunder-Hurries).’”

2-3 I got two honest men, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, to witness the document. Then I went home to my wife, the prophetess. She conceived and gave birth to a son.

I mean. A prophetess is basically a preacher. So these Christians who say women can’t preach… Let’s also not forget Deborah in Judges. The judges were THE supreme authority at the time.

3-4 God told me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Before that baby says ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mamma’ the king of Assyria will have plundered the wealth of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”

Whooooooooooaaaaaaaaaa

5-8 God spoke to me again, saying:

“Because this people has turned its back
    on the gently flowing stream of Shiloah
And gotten all excited over Rezin
    and the son of Remaliah,
I’m stepping in and facing them with
    the wild floodwaters of the Euphrates,
The king of Assyria and all his fanfare,
    a river in flood, bursting its banks,
Pouring into Judah, sweeping everything before it,
    water up to your necks,
A huge wingspan of a raging river,
    O Immanuel, spreading across your land.”

Exodus 20:5 (King James Version (KJV)) “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;“. Some of what we are faced with today is a result of many of us making gods out of people, systems, governments, and things. God will not share His glory (Isaiah 42:8).

9-10 But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands.
    Listen, all of you, far and near.
Prepare for the worst and wring your hands.
    Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands!
Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it.
    All your talk is mere talk, empty words,
Because when all is said and done,
    the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.

Tuh. Jesus is the last word. Isaiah said it and it is true. At the end of the day every thing we need is in him and everything is subject to his name. Periodt.

A Boulder Blocking Your Way

11-15 God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people. He said:

“Don’t be like this people,
    always afraid somebody is plotting against them.
Don’t fear what they fear.
    Don’t take on their worries.
If you’re going to worry,
    worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
The Holy can be either a Hiding Place
    or a Boulder blocking your way,
The Rock standing in the willful way
    of both houses of Israel,
A barbed-wire Fence preventing trespass
    to the citizens of Jerusalem.
Many of them are going to run into that Rock
    and get their bones broken,
Get tangled up in that barbed wire
    and not get free of it.”

16-18 Gather up the testimony,
    preserve the teaching for my followers,
While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding,
    while I wait and hope for him.
I stand my ground and hope,
    I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel,
Warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    who makes his home in Mount Zion.

19-22 When people tell you, “Try out the fortunetellers.
    Consult the spiritualists.
Why not tap into the spirit-world,
    get in touch with the dead?”
Tell them, “No, we’re going to study the Scriptures.”
    People who try the other ways get nowhere—a dead end!
Frustrated and famished,
    they try one thing after another.
When nothing works out they get angry,
    cursing first this god and then that one,
Looking this way and that,
    up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing,
A blank wall, an empty hole.
    They end up in the dark with nothing.

Their gods have no power. Baal anyone (1 Kings 16:16-40)?!

Isaiah 9

A Child Has Been Born—for Us!

1 But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute, but the time is coming when he’ll make that whole area glorious—the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee.

2-7 The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
    light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
    you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
    Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
    all their whips and clubs and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
    a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this.

John 8:12 (KJV): Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

God Answered Fire with Fire

8-10 The Master sent a message against Jacob.
    It landed right on Israel’s doorstep.
All the people soon heard the message,
    Ephraim and the citizens of Samaria.
But they were a proud and arrogant bunch.
    They dismissed the message, saying,
“Things aren’t that bad.
    We can handle anything that comes.
If our buildings are knocked down,
    we’ll rebuild them bigger and finer.
If our forests are cut down,
    we’ll replant them with finer trees.”

11-12 So God incited their adversaries against them,
    stirred up their enemies to attack:
From the east, Arameans; from the west, Philistines.
    They made hash of Israel.
But even after that, he was still angry,
    his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.

13-17 But the people paid no mind to him who hit them,
    didn’t seek God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
So God hacked off Israel’s head and tail,
    palm branch and reed, both on the same day.
The bigheaded elders were the head,
    the lying prophets were the tail.
Those who were supposed to lead this people
    led them down blind alleys,
And those who followed the leaders
    ended up lost and confused.
That’s why the Master lost interest in the young men,
    had no feeling for their orphans and widows.
All of them were godless and evil,
    talking filth and folly.
And even after that, he was still angry,
    his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.

18-21 Their wicked lives raged like an out-of-control fire,
    the kind that burns everything in its path—
Trees and bushes, weeds and grasses—
    filling the skies with smoke.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies answered fire with fire,
    set the whole country on fire,
Turned the people into consuming fires,
    consuming one another in their lusts—
Appetites insatiable, stuffing and gorging
    themselves left and right with people and things.
But still they starved. Not even their children
    were safe from their greedy hunger.
Manasseh ate Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
    and then the two ganged up against Judah.
And after that, he was still angry,
    his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.

Speechless.