2 Kings 4:8-17
Acts 4: 1-7
What is your view and understanding of Jehovah? What is your view and understanding of the resurrection of the dead? What is your view and understanding of everlasting life? These questions are the theme of todays readings.
Abraham was called by Elohim/God from the land of Haran. He heeded the call and received a promise/covenant from Elohim/God to possess a land unknown by him and for his descendants to inhabit the land, but he never knew the name of this Elohim/God. Elohim’s name was not revealed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, his eleven brothers, and descendants until Moses. Even until the encounter Moses had with the burning bush, the name YHVH (Jehovah in English) was a mystery. So were the concepts of eternity and everlasting life, or life after death.
Psalms 102:12-18 This passage starts with the statement that Jehovah abides forever, that somehow He lives on endlessly, but maybe that is expected of gods. Jehovah’ name also will endure for generations to come. The servants of Jehovah find pleasure in the smallest detail of His creation, and His favor shown to Israel. He hears the slightest prayer, and answers those prayers, all the nations know of His glory. A people yet to be created will sing His praise, He will endure and the children and descendants of Israel will continue.
A general concept here is stated that through our children we endure forever. Is this then an ancient/early concept of everlasting life?
2 Kings 4: 8-17 Elisha was approached by a widow from the wives of the sons of the prophets, who had two sons, had substantial debt that was due now with no means to pay, and a famine was on the land. Elisha asked her what her possessions were, was there anything of value in her house. She replied that she had a vial of oil. Elisha then told her to go beg, and borrow from her neighbors anything that would hold liquid, from vases, to urns, to buckets, get them all. Then go into your house, close the door and start pouring from your vial of oil into all the vessels you have borrowed. When all are filled, sell the oil, use the proceeds to retire your debt, and use the rest to live on. This then is a story of the workings of a prophet to relieve the distress of a family with nowhere to turn, Jehovah is mentioned as one whom the widow’s husband feared. Her debts and troubles are temporarily taken care of, yet there is no sense of perpetuity.
Acts 4: 1-7 Peter and John, filled with the Spirit of God, have just healed a lame man by fixing their gaze upon him and declaring, “though they have no earthly means to help him, no silver or gold, no temporal solution for his malady, yet what they do posses they offer, and say, ‘in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.'” That possession they have is Spiritual Power. As Peter and John continued speaking to the crowds, as you can imagine they had created quite a stir, the Sadducees, priests, and temple police, being greatly disturbed, came to them because they were proclaiming in Jesus, the resurrection from the dead. The Sadducees, descendants of Zadok, a chief priest from the days of King David, were a sect similar to the Pharisees, yet not as powerful, and did not believe in resurrection from the dead, but only in this physical life. They then had Peter and John jailed overnight. The next day the Pharisees and High Priests joined the first group and began questioning Peter and John by what power or in what name they had performed this miracle of healing.
The answer to their question is given later in the text, beyond our reading for today, but what we are to understand from these combined passages, is the full development of the revelation from Jehovah to man concerning Spiritual life, Resurrection from the dead, and Everlasting life. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:16-19, “For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” verse 21: “For since by one man, (the first Adam), came death, by a man, (the second Adam), also came the resurrection of the dead.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Friends, through time, the Scriptures, our Bible, true Spiritual life has been revealed, Forgiveness of sins has been revealed, and Everlasting life has been revealed, all in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but through me.” Peter said of Jesus, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven, that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” There is life beyond this physical, temporal realm, there is life in the eternal realm, there is value way beyond the “wealth of this domain.” What is your hope in? What is your faith in? What are your desires for the future? They should have nothing to do with this world, this government, or any possessions.