June 23 - The Need for Purification
One of the first miracles performed by Elisha when he had succeeded Elijah was the purification of water for the city of Jericho (2 Kings 2). The situation of that city was pleasant, but the water was bad, causing barrenness, death and miscarriages. The healing of the water by salt to the spring of water purified the water and the land became productive once again.
As Elisha went to Gilgal again, there was a famine in the land. One of the sons of the prophets took in from the field some wild gourds into the stewing pot and polluted it. There was death in the pot and the stew was not fit for their consumption. Elisha threw some flour into the pot and the poison was purified and there was no harm in the pot. This time, it is the purification of food by flour.
Not only water and food needed purification, Naaman needed purification as well. He was a great man and had the favor of the king of Syria. Yet he was a leper, unclean by the standard of Israel and the Gentiles. He went to ask Elisha for cleansing of his leprosy. At first, he was reluctant to follow the prophet’s advice, thinking that rivers in Syria were far better than the River Jordan. Once he yielded to the way of the Lord and washed himself seven times in the Jordan, his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
At the Jerusalem Council, Paul related the story of Gentile conversions. Peter then stood up and confirmed the work of God, citing the giving of the Holy Spirit to Gentile believers and the cleansing of the hearts by faith. The work of purification begins when one receives Jesus Christ as Savior and cleansing takes place. All the sins are forgiven and washed by the blood of Jesus on the cross. After being justified by faith, the believer’s job is to keep himself clean through the process of sanctification. Sins committed after conversion are to be purified through our confession and pleading the blood of Jesus again and again.
Sin has the power to pollute and cause all God’s creation to deteriorate, whether it is water, or food, or sickness in people. With sin, the devil is trying to destroy the world and its inhabitants. God’s heart is for restoration, to turn everything and everyone back to His original design and intention. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus comes to give life and abundant life. The way to healing is to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus on the cross.
Even like some animals cleaning their bodies, we are to purify ourselves by staying away from uncleanness of body, soul and spirit. Do you have a habit of confessing your sins before the Lord daily? Now go to the cross and be cleansed!
Ps 137:1-9 2 Kgs 4:18-5:27 Acts 15:1-35 Prov 17:23