“Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the LORD. This is what the LORD says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver. ” 2 The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!” But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 2 Kings 7:1-2.
egularly I use the Daily devotional and yearly plan of New Living Translation. They normally take a text from New Testament and Old Testament. Today the New Testament text is 1 Corinthians 13. The popular scripture about love, that emphasizes that whatever I do and particularly if “I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains”, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. This bible plan was followed by 2 Kings 7. Where as you read above Elisha prophesied about prosperity in Israel . But you know the officer made a mockery of Elisha’s prophecy and the man of God quickly pronounced death on the officer! Fast forward the prophecy of Elisha came to pass there was prosperity in Israel and the prophecy on the officer came to pass also - ‘You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it’ also happened. “And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!” 2 King 7:20.
What the Holy Spirit is teaching us today is how to deal with anger. Yes, the bible tells us if any man is in Christ we are a new creature old things have passed away ! But you and I know that even though God has done that in the spirit we still manifest some old things in the flesh sometimes. Which is okay to start with, that is why the bible says “work out your salvation”, you have been saved from your sinful nature of sin, but there are some things in you and I that we need to deal with as we grow in grace and in power.
As I normally say, the bible characters are gone, it is you and I that need to learn from them and make heaven. So this is not a discourse to apportion blame on a major prophet like Elisha but to learn a few things from him, especially his inability to deal with anger issues. Let me give you more instances where Elisha exhibited unrestrained anger:
- Cursed and caused Gehazi to become leprous “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow” 2 kings 5: 27.
- Cursed and caused 42 young children that made mockery of his baldness and sent them to early graves. “And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” 2 King 2:24.
- Disparaged and disrespected King Jehoram and others who came to him for a word.”And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee”2 Kings 3:13-14.
I do not justify Gehazi for his greed and the children for mocking an Elder or The Kings officer for unbelief and being talkative, but do these simple acts justify instantaneous death from a man of God? The answer is No. But when people offend individuals who are prone to anger the result most times is out of proportion.
What is anger? Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Let the truth be told we all have a degree of anger. What we are dealing with here is escalating anger. Anger that leads you to do something stupid at the slightest provocation. Anger that makes you curse your spouse, children, family, relations, church members or leaders. Anger that makes you destroy your precious hard earned TV screen, laptops, phones. Anger that makes you call police on your spouse. Anger that makes people to commit suicide, withdraw from school, leave the church where God is blessing them. Anger that makes people resign from their job prematurely. Anger that makes people drive furiously until they wreck their own car and probably kill innocent road travellers! Anger that makes an individual becomes a nuisance to his/her nuclear and extended family. Many of us even pray in anger. Or how do you explain the type of “fall and die” prayers of our generation! Because someone stole your one hundred dollars phone you say “whoever stole my phone shall not wake up tomorrow”! Is the life of someone equivalent to your iPhone? Jacob said “But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live”. Gen 31:32a and sent his beloved wife Rachael to an early grave.
Elisha had an unbridled anger that he couldn’t accommodate simple mistakes of people around him. Listen to me Brother, Sister, Pastor, Prophet , Evangelist, Apostle, Bishop, General Overseer, President, politician, farmer, market woman, civil servant, etc.
The Holy Spirit will help you take the following steps to manage your anger:
- Realize your church members, relations, colleagues, people generally will provoke you and infuriate you. No matter who you are.
- Not every person is operating at your level of faith or understanding.
- Realize in your mouth is power of death and life, bless them instead of cursing them. I always give myself as an example. When I was younger I was always fighting unreasonable fights, but my dad and grandfather blessed me instead of cursing me. They would say “Dele it will be well with you as I am looking at you”, “ God shall add sweetness to your life”! That’s why you can read what you are reading now. If they cursed me as Elisha cursed the children I would probably be dead or have wasted away somewhere instead of me being a blessing as God has made me today.
- Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment is slight provocation it's easy to say something or do something stupid or you'll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.Bible says be quick to hear and slow to speak.
- Resolve not to hold grudge but forgive. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.
- Use the opportunity to teach the love of God. People are looking to you for spiritual guidance . We’re all still prone to mistakes. Elisha could have sat Gehazi down and given him a lecture on when to receive gifts from church members and when not to receive. Elisha was supposed to be a spiritual father and mentor. Elisha could have stopped to teach the children that one day they will grow old like him and their long hairs will also disappear. At least tell them he was not born bald headed!There used to be a family in our church. The father was bald headed and his son likes to show off his Afro- type of long hair! I told him one day he should expect baldness, because it is in his gene! Mr. President you cannot arrest everybody because they are not singing your praises or in your political camp! Restrain or control yourself!
- Use humor to release tension. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what's making you angry and possibly any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Your wife put too much salt in the soup, terrible thing, but surely not deliberate. The meat is too tough, it’s going to pull out your premolars. Just point her attention to it with clean jokes: “One day in this house my wife will stop cooking salt and adding rice” “One day my wife will cook meat in this house and it will be as if I am leaking ice cream.”! Diffuse terrible situations with grace of the Holy Ghost upon you.
- Mix love not anger with your prophetic anointing . Let your prophetic anointing bring peace and joy not annoyance and death on your followers and listeners
- Know when to seek help.
Man of God. Woman of God if you know you have anger problems go for anger management course, counselling, or deliverance or all of the above. Learning to control our anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.
- Take time to rest. Most times we minister under high tension. We want to impress, we want to see God move. We must realize we are vessels of honour, we are in the flesh. We are burning out. Take time to rest. Pastor Oyedepo once said “if you don’t rest you will soon be laid to rest.” According to Rick Warren, “if you don’t learn to go apart to rest you will soon be torn apart” You are venting your anger on everybody probably because you are tired, worn out and burned out. Do like Jesus “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida”, while He Himself was sending the crowd away.” Mark 6:45
- Think of what is aggravating your anger and depart from it.
Conclusion:. If you are Gehazi, or the loquacious Officer, or the abusive children you had better weigh what you say to some ‘men of God’ or people in authority because you may be talking with anger consumed man of God and send yourself to early grave, be warned! Finally, remember that you are highly anointed and gifted does not mean you don’t have anger issues. Deal with your anger problems stop send people to premature deaths because of your anger!
A word is enough for the wise.