Four young men, all were bachelors ate together one blessed night; the food the prepared.After about two hours, they were all showing serious signs of stomach upset. They were all in queue to visit the toilet. It was more serious in one person among these four young men. He could no longer sit or stand, while throwing up seriously. I believe the medical practitioners will probably diagnose the cause, but it was late in the night and where the young men reside does not give them the privilege of accessibility to the hospital. It took God’s intervention to survive that night. None of them died. Subsequent investigation revealed a lot of things of which one of these was food poisoning. One of the raw materials used in cooking had exceeded expiring date even though it was a dried material. No one knew the degree of pathogenic organism and their possible implication but the young men were spared; they all survived this by mercy.
In 2 Kings 4:38, Prophet Elisha was in Gilgal during the famine period. May be he was training or giving prophetic counsels to the sons of the prophet. After some moment, they needed to eat; a servant was instructed handle this obligation. Unfortunately, one of the men (unidentified) but I suppose one of the sons of the prophet or one of the servants gathered “Wild Vine”, this he gathered and minced them into the pot of pottage. When the food was served, it produced melody of death in their mouth and stomach. They cried out; thank God the master was there. A single zealous, careless and ignorant effort of an individual would have wiped out the generation of the sons of prophet. Can you imagine, how popular the news headline would have been?
The prevalent situation or the privileged situation may aid serious activities to produce a solution so urgently, however, this may harvest hidden and forbidden errors (wild vine) that may be mixed with Godly and credible concepts, family principles, organization ethnics and progress, fellowship administrations, business strategies, church operations and way of life that when such is executed it will produce poisons, death inflicting dose to those intended to be kept healthy and alive.
There have been many pronouncements of death to many vibrant sons and daughters of God, fellowship, organization and churches because of the “wild vine” potent error, carelessness and ignorance shoved into the necessary diet of the people. This death in the pot may be bought or adopted principle or practice introduced into the way of life in an organization, home, fellowship or institution. This potent error may at the moment seem harmless but in the subsequent future will manifest their calamities.
Actually, there are errors and mistakes made from genuine intentions but their consequences are not mild or will not understand the situation with anyone, they will inflict in full fledge the possible consequences. It is important that the physical and spiritual services render by parent at home, pastor and church leadership, teachers and trainers, circular and spiritual leaders must ensure healthy life giving diet. Every assumption must be wisely dealt with when feeding men and women, else a potent life threatening issues may be encouraged and this could waste generation of people with great potentials. It could be pathetic that some mistakes made may not be identified or aware of the moment they are made, but only come to recognition when the consequences begin operations.
Errors are made from disobedience, ignorance, carelessness and some time from legitimate activities. Errors find their way into a family, organization, fellowship, ministry and gift through disobedience to relevant instructions, rules and regulation, counsel and principle. Ignorance, as it is in this passage is one of the potent source of error and the degree of a man’s ignorance in whatever knowledge that is relevant to his/ her potential is proportional to the quality and quantity of errors. “My people perish because they lack knowledge”. Negligence of details and appropriate concern for an issue or matter will attract errors. It is very possible for enemy to sow wrong seed (tares) while sleeping. Error is very possible when human credible consciousness is muted, when a man can easily and freely neglect duties, detailed instructions, rules and regulations. When lesser or no value is placed on highly treasured moments, properties, issue and asset; then errors are easily be imported into such life. Errors may be harvested as a result of over confidence, superstition belief and assumption, thus preventing or cross-checking what we allow or disallow matters. Quality of what is permitted into our knowledge, principle of operations, doctrine or way of life may have errors. It is however unfortunate that errors and mistakes can be made while engaging in legitimately activities.
It is possible to engage in legitimate endeavors, operating ministry, busy with gifts and talents but still harvest “wild vine”- errors. Like that man in our passage, he was zealously busy with sense of responsibility on the need to feed the sons of the prophet in conference, just busy seeking for solution, been in emergency situation and constrain like in the time of scarcity. He needed to make some sacrifice; he left others listening and learning in the conference of the prophet to minister to them but this sincere and sacrificial effort of his to meet legitimate need and carry out instruction had a seed of error in it. “Death” consequences were not in sympathy with the sacrificial effort. There are moments when emotion is given precedence over reasoning and following detailed instructions or tradition takes priority over revelation. The moment of impatient and blunt zeal gives room to haste to even a legitimate course to produce solution, intervene in a matter, activate gifts, talent and abilities and sentimentally jump into actions and begin to harvest potent errors. Although zeal could be a wonderful strength but the moment it stray off God’s guidance, it is liable to been manipulated into errors. Thanks to God’s mercy the master was there!
Actually, Elisha never scolded anyone in this case probably because of the urgency of the situation but he could have done that shortly after the situation, no action of such was recorded. The most important lesson was:
1. The presence of the “Master” in the minor and major gathering in the home, church, organization and institution. That was the first prime neutralizer of possible errors.
2. The men (sons of the prophets) did not keep quiet; they cried out immediately.
3. There was an instruction given which had wisdom and actions packed into it.
In conclusion, everyone that minister either in circular or spiritual sphere, parents or guardian, rendering a service, must be careful of mixture in their pots if we intend safe lives. We must be careful of the mixture we put into our pots, where we draw our counsels, teachings, preaching, concepts, principles and practices. I believe that versatility is actually good, but one must not forget that letters have the potential of giving death and only the spirit of God that gives life. Every old and modern wise sayings, principles, philosophies, practices and tradition must be properly edited by the Holy spirit. It will be relevant we make use of them when and if necessary, else a wild vine may be mixed with gospel and produce wild gospel(Another Gospel). May God have mercy on us!