The Rev. Dan Puckett: When will we seek the living God of heaven?Published 11:05pm Wednesday, July 6, 2011
There is an account of a troubled city in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings that draws our thoughts to the United States.
The men of the city of Jericho came to Elisha who was the man of God (2 Kings 2:19). The men said, “This town is well-situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.” One would have to conclude that since Jericho was established in its location, there was a time when things were going well. Something had happened. The situation had changed to the point that the people might have to abandon the city and move on.
The term “well-situated” leads us to believe that the city was well conceived, strategically located and built well.
The United States of America as a nation was well-conceived, firmly established and built on principles of freedom and personal responsibility. The early years of this nation truly epitomized people who were not asking what their country could do for them, but asking and seeking what they could do for their country. The nation grew and prospered. The roots were deep in godly principles. America became a great country.
Then slowly and almost imperceptibly, things began to change. Human nature and selfish interests were put ahead of the common good, and the great nation that was “well-situated” began to decline and become “unproductive.”
Let’s look again at Elisha. The man of God did not hesitate, and knew that only the mighty power of God could save the city. He said, in 2 Kings 2:20, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” Those were desperate times; normal means could not save the city. It had to be a new bowl, a new way of thinking, a new course of action. But, in this new bowl, they were to put salt.
Salt has the power to purge and salt has the power to preserve.
This salt that the man of God called for is a symbol of the ways and means of God. God has always called for people to repent of their ways and go God’s way, from self-seeking to seeking God, and from committee meetings to prayer meetings.
The “new bowl” may signify the need for a new approach. In the three great spiritual awakenings that occurred in these United States from 1730 to 1858, the spiritual movement and radical changes bypassed the established church. God called and used men who did not fit into the “system.” But revival came, the nation changed, and God was glorified.
Maybe today, rather than waiting and hoping that somebody will “get it right,” people whose heart God is burdening with the state of our nation need to fall on their knees and ask God to lead them to others who have a similar heart. For then, I believe we would have a grassroots revival and see God pour out His Spirit on this land that once was “well-situated,” but now is on the brink of mediocrity and possibly destruction.
It must be the living God of heaven we seek. He is the salt. The new bowl is the willingness for God’s people to be radical in their seeking after God, his holiness and his glory.
Elisha took the salt in the new bowl, poured it into the water spring, and healed the land (2 Kings 2:21). The land returned to productivity (2 Kings 2:22).
When will we seek the living God of heaven for the healing of our nation?