The event in this passage is another example of God’s care for His children and His power over nature. It also provides spiritual lessons regarding false doctrine.
1. Elisha came to Gilgal
a. Gilgal was probably located a short ways northeast of Jericho on the west of the Jordan River.
b. Gilgal was where Joshua and Israel camped after entering the Promised Land.
2. There was a dearth in the land
a. A dearth was a famine. Food was short. Perhaps the famine noted in 2Ki 8:1-3.
b. Application: The prophet Amos spoke of a spiritual famine (Amo 8:11). Today, though there is a lot of religion, there is a dearth of Bible truth.
3. Elisha taught the sons of the prophets
a. The famine did not stop Elisha from teaching the young prophets. We too must continue preaching truth even during times of global lockdown as experienced recently. God wants us to preach in season and out of season (2Ti 4:2).
b. As disciples before their master, the young men sat before Elisha. Arthur Pink notes, “In seasons of “dearth” the servant of Christ needs to be particularly attentive to the spiritual needs of young believers, instructing them in the holiness and righteousness of a sin-hating God when His scourge is upon the nation; and also making known His faithfulness and sufficiency unto “His own” in the darkest hour, reminding them that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psa 46:1).”
4. Elisha planned a meal after the teaching
a. Elisha knew that the young prophets needed physical food as well as spiritual. During a famine, this must have been more difficult.
b. In Jesus’ ministry, He capitalised on preaching, but on a couple occasions, he also fed the multitudes after his preaching. Jesus did not practice a social gospel that capitalised on physical needs, but he did not ignore the physical either.
5. They added wild gourds to the pot
a. One of the young men went out into the field to gather herbs. We do not know if Elisha sent him or if it was his own idea. He found many wild gourds (i.e., wild cucumbers) and added them to the pot.
b. They knew them not – they did not know that the gourds were poison. No one suspected it until they served the stew.
c. Just like the gourds in that stew, many dangerous doctrines are blended into preaching today. When there is a shortage in the land of sound doctrine, Satan provides an abundance of poison doctrine (2Co 11:13-15). Many poison doctrines are difficult to detect.
6. There was death in the pot
a. As they began to eat, someone tasted that the stew was poison.
b. Thankfully, someone was wise enough to detect the poison before it did its deadly work. The best way to protect yourself and your family from false doctrine is to know well the Word of God. Prove all things with the Bible (1Th 5:21-22). Study it daily. Memorise key verses. Attend a solid Baptist church. Take notes on your pastor’s sermons.
1) Digital Bibles are great for research. Computer Bible software is great if you create notes in it.
2) I am not a big fan of using a digital Bible in church or personal study. You need to mark your Bible and put notes in the margins. The notes I have placed in my Bibles are great doctrinal tools. If you do not take notes on sermons and put notes in your Bible margins, you are stunting your spiritual growth.
c. It is not a good idea to study false doctrine until you have a very good grip on sound doctrine. Some false teaching is very logical and compelling. Many who are among the cults today got there because they listened to their false doctrine and did not have any Biblical defe nce.
d. Some false doctrine is not damnable, but is still very dangerous. In that category, I would place Calvinism and Post-Tribulation eschatology. These and similar doctrines have led many into confusion.
7. Elisha cast meal into the pot to heal the stew
a. Elisha cast meal (i.e., flour) into the pot and this cured it. God by a miracle caused the flour to cure the stew. The stew no longer was harmful. God once again showed His authority over nature.
b. In a spiritual sense, the meal pictures to Word of God. Only the truth of God’s Word can counter false doctrine. Jesus said, (John 8:32) “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.“