By Motunrayo Alaka
The God of suddenly: Sometimes the experts are clueless (II Kings 7:1-20)
Some weeks ago, I wrote about the famine in Samaria that was so tough parents were signing contracts to eat their children. Well, as you probably know, the famine eventually ended suddenly. One day, the situation was dire. The next day, there was surplus food and wealth.
At the peak of the famine and the pain it brought, Prophet Elisha arrived on the scene and declared:
“Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.” (II Kings 7:1)
Imagine someone saying, “By this time tomorrow there will be a cure for novel coronavirus.” Preposterous? Totally. I get it. My walk of faith however tells me we can make and believe such bold statements when they are from God. Why? He is the God of suddenly.
Anyway, someone the Bible calls “…an officer on whose hand the king leaned…” immediately disputed the possibility of the prophecy. The hand is a symbol of power and strength in the Bible. This officer was most likely the Chief of Staff or the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. If we think in terms of the situation in Samaria at the time—famine—he may have been the Minister of Agriculture.
While the portfolio of the officer is unclear, what is certain is that he was so knowledgeable that the king (or call him president) and by extension the entire country, depended on him for direction. The man knew his onions. That could be the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, his counterpart in the United States of America, Anthony Fauci or Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the case of covid19.
The word from God was not empirical enough for the king’s officer. It made no sense. It did not add up. He was conversant with the percentage of the inflation and the recession that had hit the economy. He had the updated data on hunger, poverty and unemployment. He knew the curve and believed he also knew the effective options for flattening the curve. He had the recovery plan, and it was definitely impossible to achieve in 24 hours. To the expert’s mind, even God would need more than a day to solve such a complicated problem.
But our God is a God of suddenly. The spiritual controls the physical. The king’s aide did not know God could cause the enemies to hallucinate and hear the sounds of a non-existent chariots and an immense army approaching so they ran for their lives and left all their possessions behind. His expertise could not fathom how a team of ex-communicated people—lepers—will have the confidence to approach the enemy’s camp or the compassion to share the information of the waiting spoils with the rest of Samaria.
As we continue to go through the mess and uncertainty of the covid19, we need to listen to experts and follow their instructions on the best way out of this. We will keep physical distance, wash our hands often, use our masks when necessary and be sensible about our safety. We should however remember that the experts could not stop the pandemic from starting. Experts are often clueless because our God’s ways. Our God is a God of suddenly.
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