They will eat and have some left over. (v. 43 NIV)
This story follows right on the heels of yesterday’s and is intended to be read as a continuation of it. Apparently, the famine is lifting in certain parts of the country, because some farmer has been blessed with a harvest, and has brought the first fruits to the man of God as a way of acknowledging that God is the one who blesses the earth to produce food. Elisha acknowledges the man’s faith by putting it to a further test, instructing him to use it to feed the multitude of (hungry!) men gathered on the hillside: “Give it to the people to eat” (v. 43).
Centuries later, another Man of God would echo these words in a similar situation. “You give them something to eat,” Jesus says in Mark 6:37. The man and his servant—anticipating Jesus’ disciples—are incredulous. “How?” they cry. In response, Elisha testifies to the deepest truth of all: the flourishing abundance of Genesis 1–2 did not die in Genesis 3. God is still God, Elisha says, and is capable of taking a humble offering of bread and transforming it into a manna-on-the-Sabbath-like feast that meets both hunger and hope’s deepest longings. They will eat and have some left over.
Elisha wants everyone (and all of us) to realize that the fundamental state of creation is abundance. God has declared that “they will eat and have some left over.” —Travis West
As you pray, thank God for the abundance of creation.