The miracle stories of Elijah and Elisha in 1 & 2 Kings are some of my favorites. Both of these prophets are often blunt and sometimes crude.
There's this great story about Elisha purifying a pot of stew in 2 Kings 4:38-44. The great thing about it is the rather mundane setting for a miracle. I mean, it seems to be easier to just throw out the stew.
|No preservatives or gourds.|
Even as I write this, I realize my privilege leaking through. There was a famine in the land and they couldn't just drop in to Homeland and pick up some Dinty Moore for a replacement. The fact that they were putting wild gourds into their stew shows that they were doing what they could to stretch their meager resources.
Some have tried to analyze this scientifically as they wonder what poisonous species the gourds might have been. How would the flour or meal have naturally cut the poison?
But this kind of misses the point.
Elisha as the faithful man of God has power over life and death. It is his connection with God that allows him to conquer their hunger and the wastefulness that they would have had to resort to in throwing it out.
The simple faith in Elisha's power is tangent to Elisha's faith in God. It may be easier for us to over-analyze rather than accept.
And I always wondered who was the first to try it after Elisha's cleansing!
During the Lenten season, there are plenty of "poisonous" items that we encounter. Our job as Christians is to figure out what these might be and allow God to cleanse them for us. They may be rather mundane but rather than famine, most Americans are dealing with an overabundance.
I'm not sure what Elisha would say about it but I don't think he would beat around the bush.