THE WORKING OF MIRACLES – 1

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Next to gifts of healings in the Bible text, and closely aligned to it, but very different is the working of miracles. Someone has defined the word ‘miracle’ as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”

Healing is restorative but a miracle is creative. Healing often happens over a period of time but a miracle is instantaneous. A young woman from Auckland, New Zealand was born blind and without any optic nerves. When she was prayed for God created new optic nerves and she was able to see. That is a miracle!

Together with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is a Creator. He was there at the very beginning of Genesis “hovering over the waters” [Genesis 1:2]. The word “hovering” implies “sweeping” or “moving” rather than staying stationary. The Holy Spirit is the executive arm of the Trinity, so he was active as God spoke each word.

Job writes about the creative power of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” [Job 33:4]. The Hebrew word ‘ruach’ translated as “breath” is often used of the Holy Spirit. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” [Psalm 139:14], and we are a creative work of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament, before Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisha asked him for a double portion of his spirit [2 Kings 2:9]. It has been pointed out that the Bible records seven miracles performed by Elijah and fourteen miracles that were performed by Elisha. What an amazing evidence of the double portion that Elisha asked of Elijah, that he should perform twice as many miracles as his mentor. The first miracle that God performed through Elisha was to turn the bad water of Jericho, which had caused the land to be unproductive, into wholesome water [2 Kings 2:19-23]. That is a creative miracle of the Holy Spirit working through God’s servant.

There is no miracle in the life of Elisha that excites me more than the story, in our reading today, of the widow with a jar of oil. The woman’s husband had served the Lord, but had died leaving serious debts. The creditor was coming to take her and her sons to be his slaves as payment for the debt. In her desperation this widow came to Elisha for help. Imagine the amazement that this woman must have experienced as the oil from that small jar filled vessel after vessel and all her needs were met.

Questions:

What spiritual principles can you draw from the story of the widow with the jar of oil that we read in our Bible reading today?

Can you think of some other examples of the creative work of the Holy Spirit in God’s Word?