II Kings 2:19-22 (KJV)
This narrative in the second book of Kings comes after a company of prophets realizes that the spirit of the Prophet Elijah has rested upon Elisha, his understudy. Elijah has been “taken” from Elisha, and he ascends into heaven rather than dying. However, before Elijah ascends, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). I looked upon the text in admiration of Elisha for seeing the work that God did through Elijah, and wanting to do twice as much. His request reminds me of my peers, as they seek to make twofold as much of a change. Elisha was given his request, and was immediately put to work.
Elisha was in the city of Jericho, and the people of that city who recognized his new anointing, came to him with an issue of their water. They explained to Elisha that “the location of the city is good,” or some translations even say, “the situation of the city is pleasant.” Then the people disclose that the water is bad, and the land is “barren” or unfruitful. It was strange to me that the people of Jericho were able to praise a place that seemed so broken and marred. However, gradually I began to see things from their eyes. Regardless of the unfortunate situation, it was their home. This is where they played together, learned from one another, and fixated on hope amongst each other. They didn’t need anyone to tell them that there was an issue in their land, they knew, and they sought to find a remedy.
Elisha immediately asks for someone to bring him “a new bowl and put salt in it” When they brought his request to him he went to the water and threw salt into it. Afterwards, he proclaimed “Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” It stood out to me that Elisha specifically asked for a “new” bowl in order to hold the salt. Some would say that it was for the sake of ensuring that the salt was not tainted. My inclination is that the new bowl was representative of the alternative way that the spirit of God wanted to work through Elisha. Elisha asked to inherit a DOUBLE portion of Elijah’s anointing, not to become him. He knew that the approaching trials that would need solution would require an innovative approach to what Elijah previously taught him.
Even more unnerving for me, was why Elisha chose to use salt for the sake of making the water wholesome. But I am reminded of a very familiar scripture in Matthew 5:13 where Jesus Christ proclaims, “YOU are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.” We are salt, the reform, preserving the world from the careless injustices, and corruption. Guided by the Holy Spirit, and walking in truth, we are the provokers of change. Through God’s power, by our hands, we can heal and help this land. Our land.
If you would like to participate in the movement for change, and contribute to the efforts to help the residents of Flint, Michigan there are various ways to get involved. You can purchase a t-shirt from greaterlifeapparel.com (an image of the shirt is shown below). The proceeds of each shirt will go to the United Way of Genesee County for support services and prevention efforts in Flint. Additionally, you can go to gofundme.com/BethelFlintRelief to donate however much you can in the efforts to supply 300 families with water filters. God bless you! Shalom!