Meditations by John Dean

Monday, October 22, 2012


(2Kings 8:5-6 KJV) And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.  

And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now. 

Our text is a classic example of how God restores things that were lost. The woman in our text not only had to face the untimely death of her husband, but she also had to face a severe famine in the land. Her only choice seemed to be that of leaving her home and spending the seven years of famine in the land of the Philistines.

When the famine was over and she returned home she discovered that her home and farm had been confiscated by the king. She not only faced the bad news of losing her home, but her son died as well.

However, Elisha the prophet came along and raised her son from the dead. When the king heard about this miracle he gave the boy’s mother the opportunity to plead her case before him concerning the loss of her home. Upon hearing this story he was so moved with compassion that he ordered her home and land be restored to her. He also ordered that all the rent and profits that had been collected on her property be given back to her from the time she left until she returned.

There are two types of restoration. The first type of restoration is when something is restored that was lost such as in the case of our text. The second type of restoration is when something is renewed. Both types of restoration give cause for rejoicing.

While I was stationed in Pennsylvania in 1952 I developed a great friendship with another young man from Pittsburgh. He invited me home one weekend to meet his parents. Upon arriving in Pittsburg I immediately formed an opinion of the city that would last for the next forty-three years. The city was totally black and dirty as a result of all the coal mines and steel mills. It had to be one of the unhealthiest cities to live in in America.

However, forty-three years later I had the opportunity to go back to Pittsburgh and minister. I must admit I dreaded going back and seeing what I had remembered to be an awful city. To my surprise the city that I remembered being the dirtiest city in America had been completely restored and was now one of the most beautiful cities in America.

I am sure that the Lord once looked at me in the same way that I looked at Pittsburgh. I have no doubt that my life was as black from the dirt below (Satan’s domain) as Pittsburgh was from the coal dust below…the coal mines.

However, under the careful hands of the city government, Pittsburgh was restored to a beauty that would forever wow its visitors and make its residents proud. My life was also restored by the carful hands of my Heavenly Father. I am sure those who knew me when I was “black with sin” are also wowed by the change in my life as I was wowed by the change in Pittsburgh after forty-three years.

I thank You that there are no hopeless cases. You have a way of cleaning us up to be a testimony of Your grace and love. Help us also Lord to be a restorer of those who have wounded us and in our sight are as black as Pittsburgh once was in my sight.

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