Death plagued the prophet’s stew-filled pot.
To eat of it, the men could not.
It hadn’t started out that way,
But then they added the Old Bay
Which somehow must be neutralized
And its strong spiciness downsized.
So, as the prophet hugged his hoard,
They marched him to the cutting board.
“You must be quick. Starved men are dying.
On your food choice they’re relying.
We hope you’ve picked some tasty squash
To calm this spicy calabash.”
Death lay inside the prophet’s pot.
But of that death the man knew not.
Perhaps his hunger dulled the hearing
Of the prophet so God-fearing
With an eye for pretty vines
He must have known were not for wines.
What was God telling him to do
As he sliced gourds into the stew?
Because I think he felt uneasy,
As if he’d done something cheesy.
Nevertheless, he forged ahead,
Regardless of the awful dread
He felt as chunks fell in the pot.
Could he relax upon a cot?
Death lay inside the prophet’s pot,
But it appears he knew it not.
Nor did the other clueless guys.
Were they too wise in their own eyes
To hear God warning them, “Beware!
Those gourds are toxic. Do not share.”?
Because the stew surely smelled strange,
But they declined to rearrange
Their thinking to accommodate
The wisdom lying on the plate.
When men are hungry and must eat,
Sometimes what’s bitter may taste sweet.
But death lay in the prophet’s pot.
“To ask for wisdom he forgot,”
The prophets groaned in one accord
As they called out to the Lord.
The man had poisoned them for sure.
And now much blame he must he endure.
They knew they could not trust his word,
Because from God he had not heard.
His food choice made them sick, you see.
He’d made them eat from the wrong “tree.”
Soon men began to act like grumps,
And some demanded stomach pumps
Until Elisha strolled in and said,
“Hey, it’s all right. There’s plenty of grace for all,
No need to fight.
For although this mean stew may be lacking a fix,
I’ve got the solution: Throw meal in the mix!
The right kind of flour from God’s Word will do it,
Because it is pure with no wrong attached to it.
You see, prophets don’t live by mere bread alone
But by every word that proceeds from God’s throne.”
So the prophets obeyed him and dished out the food.
Now instead of more pain, they felt peaceful and good.
There was no more death in the prophet’ pot,
And God’s healing power they forgot not.
Now herein lies a lesson that we all can learn:
Rather than curse a sickness, eat bread you can’t earn.
Instead of bemoaning your pain and your loss,
Receive God’s grace poured out for you on the cross.
(Based on the story in II Kings 4:38-41, with reference to Isaiah chapter 53, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, and Luke 22:19-20)