But Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” (2 Kings 7:1–2 ESV).
Northern Israel, during a time of egregious apostasy against God, blamed the drought and despair and death on God. He was, in their minds, to blame. Elisha wanted them to see how quickly their fortunes could turn. Repent, and God would open the windows of heaven. Prove it, they would say. So Elisha prophesied to Samaria, “Tomorrow about this time food will be sold for next to nothing. For once, supply will outpace demand. Food will be easy to come by.”
One of the king’s officials replied, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” He doubted the prophet, the prophecy, and God. He could not fathom a way in which God could work out that problem. Their hunger was too severe. Their situation too dire. God could not do it.
So Elisha told him, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” And the story unfolded just as Elisha said it would. Lepers went out to the Syrian camp, only to find it empty, abandoned by an army who’d been terrified by the doing of the invisible God. Food and supplies abounded in that camp, and the lepers went to tell the king in Samaria. When news leaked of their good fortunes, the people rushed from the city into the Syrian camp. They were rescued! God had broken through.
However, in the stampede of joy the king’s official was trampled. He died, having seen the work of God, but not tasting it.
As for me, I want to be a person who both sees and tastes the miracles of God. I don’t want to be a little doubting Thomas all the time. I want to be rid of the spirit which says, “How could God possibly accomplish that or solve this.” Instead, I want to say, “Of course God could. I believe in him. I will cling to him and trust him with my life.” Because I want to see God work, but also partake of it, I want Elisha’s attitude, not the official’s.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Have faith in God! Too much of our lives are swallowed up in doubt and the discouraged belief God could not possibly come through. We imagine him as helpless. We gently — or not so gently — inform him of the impossibility of our predicament. He has, we imagine, failed. Things are too far gone now. Like the captain, we say, “Could this thing be?” We cannot imagine how God could solve our life’s dilemmas.
But he can, and the attitude which says he can’t will often see him work, but without partaking of the work.
Let yourself believe in him. Trust him. When you pray, sure, be honest with him. Express your fears and doubts. Jeremiah did. The church did. Moses did. God’s people do. But let your heart circle back to faith. Tell him he is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer. Tell him he will overcome. Tell him you trust him. Tell him how much you cannot wait to watch him do his miraculous work.
And then, taste it. For he will come through.