A few weeks ago on Facebook, I watched a video clip on how several of the Detroit Public Schools had poor environmental issues that teachers and students had to learn in during school hours. In one Detroit Public School, the condition of the school had water leakage from its ceiling, an unsafe playground, and damaged walls, doors, and railing. As a result of these poor conditions in these schools, the students and the teacher’s health were being affected by these hazard conditions.
As the parents and teachers met together to discuss how these concerns come to be addressed, both parties were divided among themselves on how the Detroit Public School system could be held accountable and how improvements could be made in their schools and for their children. Also, during that same time that I watched this video, I had read a news article on how there was unsafe drinking water that the residents of Flint Michigan were exposed to. The reason that the drinking water had become contaminated was due to the bad decisions that the city of officials had made to switch their water source the Detroit water system to the Flint River system. As a result of these changes being made to Flint’s water system, there was no proper over site by city officials which led to a high degree of lead poisoning in the drinking water of the city. As the city began to confirm these reports through a series of tests that were ran on the water system, a high amount of lead poisoning was in the water which was causing various health concerns and behavior problems with the children and the residents of Flint Michigan who drank the contaminated water.
As I began to meditate upon these two disturbing news reports that were happening in my home state of Michigan, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance the events that happened in the life and ministry of the Prophet Elisha who had just began his prophetic ministry to the Children of Israel. His predecessor which was the Prophet Elijah had just been taking up in a whirlwind to Heaven by the chariots of the Lord and he passed on a double portion of his spirit to the Prophet Elisha. After Elisha had received the mantle of the prophetic ministry upon his life, several of Prophets who were apart of the School of the Prophets in that region began to question if the Lord had truly called him as the Senior Prophet to Israel. The Prophets of that area made several requests to Elisha to allow them to go out and search for the wear about of where the Prophet Elijah was because they had not truly believed he was gone. However, after several requests, the Prophet Elisha granted their request so that they would realize that Elijah had gone up into Heaven and Elisha was now the Senior Prophet appointed by the Lord. When we come to 2 Kings 2:19-22, “the men of the city said to Elisha that the city was pleasant, but the water was bad and the ground was barren”.
Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.”
And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke (2 Kings 2:19-22).
There are consequences to our sins
When we consider what cause the water to beg bad and the barrenness in land, the cause of what happened was from the previous actions of men that brought a generational curse on the water and its land. In Joshua 6:26, the Lord had told Joshua after they had conquered the city of Jericho that the man who rebuild the city of Jericho would do so by laying the foundation with the life of his firstborn being taken and the gates of the city would result in the loss of life of his youngest son. When we read in the Amplified Bible version of 1 Kings 16:34 a man name Hiel who was a Bethelite rebuild the city of Jericho and the prophecy of the death of his two sons had came to pass. What these two passages of scripture tells us that when we disobey the word of the Lord which God has spoken to us, yes He is a forgiving God but there can still be consequences that can still impact us and even our children. The conditions of the water cause the life of animals and women to have miscarriages not being able to be fruitful and their land being filled with no productivity. When you look at the conditions of what has been happening in the cities of Flint and Detroit Michigan and other cities in our country, what we are seeing our the consequences of our sin as a country from us turning our back on our God and rebelling against His word.
And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, inhabiting of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad and the locality causes miscarriage and barrenness [in all animals] 2 Kings 2:19 AMP version.
A New Bowl represents A New Life in Christ
To address the issues of the bad water and the barrenness of the land, the Prophet Elisha commanded the men of the city to bring him a new bowl and to put salt in it. What the new bowl represents to you and me is that our old life is dead in Christ and we have a new life in Him. We experience this new life in Jesus by repenting of our sins and making the important decision to stop living for ourselves, for the devil and the world. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Apostle Paul stated that to the church of Corinth “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. The message of salvation or the new birth that the Apostle Paul speaks about here represents the salt that would be placed into the new bowl that the Prophet Elisha would use to bring healing to the waters. For us to be able to bring healing and change to other people, it must first begin with us in our hearts. The healing and change that we want to see in our communities, our cities and our nation must first begin in our conduct, our conversation and our commitment to God. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus spoke to the multitudes and told them that “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (NKJV)”. There are real people in this world, who have real problems and they need to know there is a real God who cares for them. However, for that revelation to be made known to them, we must embrace the truth, that evidence of us having a change life is by us first having a change heart in Christ.
The Source of the Water
When we read the second portion of Matthew 5:13, Jesus said “if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (NKJV)”. If we do not allow the gospel of Jesus Christ to bring change in our lives then we will not be able to bring life changing results to the symptoms of our land. We may make a decision to attend church on Sunday from time to time but if we have not decided to be the church then our witness and walk in the Lord will be good for nothing and trampled under the feet of men. Some of the problems like broken families, the foreclosures of homes, and high unemployment rate are not the source of the water but they are the symptoms of our land. The failure and closures of many small businesses, the attack against God ordained marriages and the family structure are the symptoms of our land. However, for us to bring healing to the source of our water we must live as the salt of the earth and get the salt out of the shaker. In the Amplified Bible Version of Matthew 5:13, the writer of the translation stated “that salt is the symbol of God’s purifying power”. According to the MacArthur Bible Commentary, “salt both preserves food and enhances its flavor”. By us being the salt of the earth, we should be able to help preserve and enhance the quality of people lives which can also help to usher revival and healing in the land. Also being the salt of the earth will help to produce godly character or the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), enabling us to act as a preservative in our society. Finally, by us speaking the word of the Lord and placing the salt into the source of our waters, the words which we speak should be seasoned with grace and salt which can bring conviction to the heart of the backslider to return back to God (Colossians 4:5-6). It is time for us to get the salt out of the shaker and be the salt of the earth so that God can use us to preserve people lives from the corruption of the flesh, sin and the world.