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They ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord. 2 Kings 4:44
When my husband and I were first asked to host a small group in our home, my immediate reaction was to decline. I felt inadequate. We didn’t have seats for everyone; our home was small and couldn’t hold many people. I didn’t know whether we had the skills to facilitate the discussion. I worried that I’d be asked to prepare food, something for which I lacked both passion and funds. I didn’t feel like we had “enough” to do it. I didn’t feel I was “enough” to do it. But we wanted to give to God and our community, so despite our fears, we agreed. Over the next five years we found great joy in welcoming the group into our living room.
I observe similar reluctance and doubt in the man who brought bread to God’s servant, Elisha. Elisha had instructed him to give it to the people, but the man questioned whether twenty loaves could feed so many—one hundred men. He seems to have been tempted to withhold the food because—in his human understanding—it wouldn’t be sufficient. Yet it was more than enough (2 Kings 4:44), because God took his gift, given in obedience, and made it enough.
We may wonder about the purpose of the miracle recorded in today’s passage. It becomes a little clearer when we back up a few verses. In verses 38–41 Elisha had performed another food miracle where he made a pot of poisonous stew safe to eat. Because there was a famine in the land, the provision of food would have been one of the top concerns of the people. So both of these miracles—the curing of the poisonous stew and 20 loaves of bread feeding 100 people—are signs of God’s provision. It is interesting to note two key phrases in verses 43 and 44 that address the doubts of Elisha’s servant: “this is what the Lord says” and “according to the word of the Lord.” The power of the Lord is what provides when we have little or nothing to offer.
Reflect on a time when your resources were inadequate. How did God provide?