And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver.I've never lived through a famine, but I can imagine how terrible it must be. I can imagine the anguish of a mother who has NOTHING to feed her children, who are so weak they don't even bother to cry, or to wipe away the flies that are pestering their eyes.
(2 Kings 6:25 ESV)
The famine in Samaria was so bad that a donkey's head, with little meat and very little worth, sold for 80 shekels of silver, and a small bit of dove pooh sold for 5. It was horrendous. It was so bad that women were agreeing to eat their sons in turn. I cannot imagine that.
Elisha knew it was bad; but he trusted the living God. Elisha knew that the king was blaming him for the famine - but he also listened to God and spoke His words of truth.
This is what he said:
Elisha Promises Food
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)Imagine the nerve of the prophet! He declares that this time tomorrow, food will be cheap, and plentiful, and economic recovery will be complete. They'd just been through a siege so terrible that everyone in the city was starving, and mothers were eating their own children. Yet Elisha declared, Tomorrow about this time, it'll all change.
The captain didn't believe it. He scoffed.
So Elisha declared, you'll see it with your own eyes, but you'll not eat any of it.
To mock the prophetic word is to mock the Lord himself, however, so he shall see it … but … not eat.
Go to 2 Kings 7 and read what happened.
In a nutshell, there were four lepers at the gate of the city who were in a desperate situation. They figured they were going to die anyway, so why not go into the city. But they knew that the people in Jerusalem would likely stone them if they entered, so they decided to take their chances in the enemy's camp.
Imagine their surprise when they crept into the massive Syrian camp to find NOBODY there. Oh, there were animals and tents and riches and food - lots of food. But not a single soul.
God had moved on behalf of His people. He'd sent the sound of a rushing army into the Syrian camp, and the soldiers, seasoned soldiers, panicked and fled. They left behind everything, even their weapons... and RAN.
The lepers rushed into tent after tent, finding goodies and hiding them for themselves. Suddenly, they thought, what are we doing? Why not go and tell the leaders of the city?
When the people found out what had happened, they rushed to the Syrian camp and plundered it. In their haste, they trampled the captain who had scoffed at Elisha's prophetic word.
. . .the captain had answered the man of God, “If the LORD himself should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.
(2 Kings 7:19-20 ESV)
God can change your circumstances in a flash. Are you in a bind? Are you desperate for change? Are you crying out to God for the salvation of a loved one? DON'T GIVE UP! Keep on trusting. Keep on believing! God knows your every need, and He can change your circumstances in a flash!
God is never to be mocked. The captain knew that Elisha was a prophet of God, and he knew exactly what he was saying.
God is to be praised and exalted. Speak up boldly when you are among those who do not believe. Don't hold back, don't be afraid. If you love God, do not deny Him.