You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
When I saw Psalm 139 in today’s list I was overjoyed – it is a beautiful confession of God’s greatness and majesty, a declaration of His omnipotence that reinforces what we heard on Sunday. Like many people when I saw 2 Kings, I prepared myself for a potentially depressing account of kings going wrong. Instead, I saw Elijah and Elisha demonstrate exactly what David had written about.
We can be encouraged by the account of what happened after Elijah is whisked away to heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Initially, Elisha is distraught but, because his faith is in the God of Elijah, the God he himself serves, he knows he has not been left abandoned at all. He finds that he has a double portion of the Spirit that guided Elijah as he had asked. Straight away he tries it out – he moves in faith and parts the waters of the river.
13-14 He picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had dropped to the ground when he was taken up into heaven, and then he went back to the Jordan riverbank and stood. He struck the water with the cloak.
Elisha: Where is the Eternal One? Where is Elijah’s True God?
After Elisha struck the water, the Jordan River divided, just as when Elijah had struck the waters. Elisha then walked across on dry land.
He knew that the Lord, the God of Elijah was right there with him, watching him, knowing him as He had promised.
You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
If you read about Elisha you’ll find some of the miracles are what we might consider odd or even weird to be honest, a floating axehead? Poisonous stew? Boys killed because they mock him? Unending oil? But these miracles just show that Elisha believed God was interested in the nitty-gritty parts of life and God proved his faith to be right.
Let’s jump to the New Testament where Paul and Barnabas are on their missionary travels. All the way from Jerusalem to Cyprus and on to Asia Minor, quite a voyage in those days but they are boldly preaching the Good News of Jesus and God is backing up their words and their faith with miracles and converts. How can they do this? Because they believed God and tried that belief out.
It takes faith in God’s promises to serve Him. It takes trust that He will do what He says. Sometimes that trust starts when we listen to others telling us what they have experienced; we get a little ounce of faith that will grow if we feed it and exercise it. Then we can tell others what God has done for us and they get that faith boost that enables them to grow and serve.
David trusted God and his faith is beautifully displayed in his psalms, especially here in Psalm 139. Let’s read those words and believe that the Almighty really does know us, watch over us and care about us as David declares. Then let’s take the confidence that that gives us and exercise our faith, try it out, so that others can be encouraged, blessed and touched by God, so that the omnipotent God can be seen in the way we live our lives.