Vegetable Stew for a Hundred Men

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
It was a hungry time, and all those young men must have been really glad when Elisha said to his servant, Put on the great pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.
You can guess all the good veggies that would be in that pot of stew and the good smell that came from the steam as it bubbled and cooked. But there was one young man who had an idea, and he thought it was a good idea. Maybe he thought there wasn’t enough stew in that big pot to feed all those hundred men, or maybe he just wanted to add more herb flavoring to it.
This is a Bible story, and we may be sure that God is telling us something important here. Of course, the Bible is a good book, but don’t you think we should add a little something to it? It is a very old book and probably some modern changes or additions would help. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to try? After all, Jesus lived two thousand years ago, and maybe we could add a few up-to-date thoughts and make it easier to read and more pleasant.
God, the author of the Bible, used a great assortment of men to write His Word, but it’s the Word of God all the way through. All you will do is spoil it if you try to add your own ideas.
This young man in our story went out and gathered a whole lapful of wild gourds and shredded them into the pot of stew. He must have been a helpful person, and he wanted to make sure there would be enough stew for everyone. His reason was really good, so wouldn’t it be all right if he made a little mistake?
No, it wouldn’t! And if you make a little mistake about the way to God’s home in heaven, it won’t be all right either. Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:66Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)). Could anything be plainer than that? Jesus suffered God’s anger against sin, and Jesus is our Saviour forever. Are you adding anything to that truth? If you are, it may be a whole lapful of lies.
As soon as the men began eating the stew, they said, Oh, man of God, there is death in the pot! Do you mean that a few shreds of wild gourd would cause death? Yes, they would! And even one little lie of the devil could cause you to miss salvation forever, if you believe him. The devil may say that we’re all sinners and Jesus died for everybody and so it’s all right with you. But stop a minute. You will find in the Bible that you are a sinner, and God deals with one sinner at a time. Will you come to Him now, not in bunches or in families, but just by yourself? It has to be personal. “The Son of God  ...  loved ME, and gave Himself for ME” (Galatians 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)). There is still time for you right now. There would not have been time if those men had swallowed the stew and then found it was poison. The first spoonful showed that it was poisonous, and they told the right person. They quickly said, Oh, man of God, there is death in the pot! Don’t swallow the devil’s lies. Look and see what God says!
Elisha did not get upset, and he did not scold anybody. He just said, Bring me meal. Meal was ground wheat that was ready for food. Many times the Bible shows us that wheat is a picture of Christ Himself who came to earth and suffered and died for you. Elisha added the wheat meal to the pot of stew, and it removed the poison of the wild gourds. The young men could all eat it now without harm and be filled and happy.
If you know the Lord Jesus as your very own Saviour, then you may have a whole lapful of Satan’s lies offered to you by people who don’t know your Saviour. But if you read your Bible, you will find that Jesus Himself is everything you need, and your happiness will be now and forever.
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, [your] transgressions, and, as a cloud, [your] sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed [you]” (Isaiah 44:2222I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Isaiah 44:22)).
Think About God’s Word!
1. What did adding the wild gourds do to Elisha’s pot of stew?
2. Good food has a lot to do with how healthy we are. What is one way to get good “spiritual” food?
Project: This story says that wheat is a “picture of Christ Himself.” How many verses can you find that support this statement?