These were no ordinary prophets, they were rigorously schooled in the prophetic. How come trained prophets under the calibre of Elijah and Elisha still had no discernment between the precious and the profane?

Is this a picture of what will happen to the end-time Church?

2 Kings 4:38-41 (NKJV) - Elisha Purifies the Pot of Stew

"And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were. Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.

So he said, “Then bring some flour.” And he put it into the pot, and said, “Serve it to the people, that they may eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot."


The text says that they "...found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were."

Whatever their schooling (though I'm not sure how someone is "schooled" to be given a gift & calling by God; that's His sovereign work, not man's effort), they simply lacked the ability to discern that certain wild plants might be toxic. They were prophets, not survivalists or boy scouts.

If there's any spiritual aspect to be found in their naïve error, then the closest match would be the mistake of Joshua and the rest of the Israelite leadership when the disguised Gibeonites approached them. From Joshua chapter 9,

3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, 5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” [...] 14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. 15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.

Failing to ask for God's guidance in making any decision -- even the most simple one, like whether to gather up a certain type of wild gourd -- is probably one of the most frequent mistakes a believer can make. Yet He delights to supply us His wisdom whenever we have the sense to ask (James 1:5).


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