Cough It Out

2 Kings 4:35 – Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

Hello readers, new blog today from 2 Kings 4. 2 Kings 4 contains the story of the Shunammite woman, a virtuous and wise woman who was called great by God in the Bible. But in this blog, we will look at the son of the Shunammite woman. This woman was childless for a long time, but God blessed her faithfulness and reverence for Him with a son. She finally got a son, but then her son died. Elisha was the prophet of God at this time, he was the mouthpiece for God, people went to him for the word of the Lord, he was a man of God. It was Elisha who had told the woman that she would have a son, and it was Elisha she went to when her son died, and through Elisha her son was raised from the dead. God is the God of the living. It is Easter time, a pagan holiday yes, but we can still worship the true God at this time, and remember the Lord Jesus Christ who died but then rose from the dead.

What I want to focus on today is when the Bible says that the child sneezed seven times. Before the child opened his eyes, and as part of the child being revived from the dead… he sneezed seven times. What do these sneezes mean? Well today, we will see that just like this child sneezed, so we who are dead in sins, who would live, have some sneezing to do. When you sneeze, it’s quite a dramatic event, it is your body trying to expel junk and rubbish from your lungs. Our airways are crucial to our life, it was God’s breath which breathed into man life in the beginning, and what made man become a living soul. This is both practically and spiritually true. We need clean air to live and stay healthy, and we need God’s pure word breathed into our hearts and minds to give life to us. When some irritant, or particle, or something gets in your lungs… your body reacts to get it out by sneezing. Likewise, we need to get rubbish out our lives, only then will our eyes be opened and we can live again. And rubbish has a way of getting in, and we can be like this child, so bogged down that we are dead. Seven times, it wasn’t just once, but repeatedly this child sneezed, and he coughed it out. Seven is the number of perfection and completion, seven times Namaan dipped in the river Jordan, and only then was he cleansed of his leprosy. And we need to make sure sin is dealt with in our lives once and for all. Through Jesus Christ it will be.

There’s a lot of junk that gets in our airways. Sin clutters our airways… lust, pride, the lies of the devil. We need to breathe to live, and when we breathe we take in air. Without oxygen we cannot live, but once the breath stops, we are dead. No breath… no life. In this story is the picture of the gospel. The woman laid her dead son on Elisha’s bed, Elisha was the man of God, he spoke the word of God, and she knew that as life had come from God, so God also was the only one who could raise her son from the dead. She committed her son to God’s trust, God had given, God can take away… and God can give life again. We have to make our bed with Jesus Christ, placing our faith in him, committing our souls and spirits to his trust. Elisha laid himself upon the child and it’s a picture of Jesus Christ, we need to get our life from him, without him there is no life, we need his life, which he freely gives to any who want it.

To live, sneezing is part of us coming back to life, indeed, to us finding our life. God is Holy. Sin is against God. Anything that is not of faith is sin. There’s a wide variety of things we need to cough out. We need to get rubbish out our lives, out our airways. In the New Testament we read that it was Paul’s handkerchiefs that they would bring to cast out evil spirits… this may seem unusual, but it’s not. Acts 19:11,12 – And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. This is teaching us that not only does getting garbage out our lives help us, it helps others also. Paul got a lot of rubbish out his life, he was a Christian killer before Jesus Christ turned his life around. That’s pretty bad? However, the Bible says in Revelation 12 that they overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Our life is a living testimony, and a life made alive by Jesus Christ, a life cleansed of sin, a life forgiven, a life where rubbish has been sneezed out, has a powerful effect on others.

We all have stuff clogging our airways, irritating our fellowship with God, stuff that’s so serious that we indeed can be killed by it. Spiritually man was killed in the beginning, sin had serious consequences, and sin in our own lives practically and ultimately can be and will be terminal for us. Sin can clog us, false spirits can irritate our airways, false doctrine, false gospels, lies of the devil, our lust, our desires, our pride, our deceitful hearts. We read in Revelation 12 that the dragon cast a flood out his mouth to carry away the woman by reason of the flood. And Satan has flooded this world with his lies, with his web of deceit. So effective has his flooding been many have been taken under, many Christians lie dead, vanquished by the enemy. We live in this world, and none of us get through unscathed, we through much tribulation must enter the kingdom of God. So we all can get clogged, blocked, and full of rubbish, but we all have the ability through the power of God to cough it out. We need to get to Jesus Christ, and through his word and the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to start sneezing the garbage out. When Israel went into the promised land they were tricked into making a bad league with the Gibeonites. That really weighed them down, imagine trying to serve God, and now you’re lumped with a tribe that was so wicked in their deeds and beliefs that God wanted them destroyed? Don’t let Satan sandbag and entangle and choke your life out.

There’s something very simple to learn this Easter. God can raise us from the dead. He raised his Son from the dead, and because Jesus rose from the dead, we all can rise in him. The son of the Shunammite woman lived again, and part of that was sneezing seven times. Cough it out. Just cough it out. We need to get stuff out our lives. If you are saved, you will know it’s not even a work we do, it’s a work God does in our lives. Sneezing is automatic response our body has, and God will give us the grace both to will to and to get right with him. If you want to be alive and walk with God by faith, sin will need to go. Be ye holy, for I am holy, God says. The marks of a Holy Spirit led believer is first of all, holiness. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, Jesus said. It can be hard to get things out. Recently I’ve been sick, and when we are sick, coughing can be a very strenuous and painful exercise. But it’s worth it, you feel so much better when you sneeze it out. We need clear airways, a pure heart towards God, sin dealt with under the blood of Jesus Christ. Before the child died, he said… my head, my head! That is our plight, when we sin, spiritually our plight gets worse and worse. It eats away, it separates us from Jesus Christ, and because life is in him, we are separated from life itself. Without Jesus Christ all there is is death. But through his word, and his grace which accompanies his word, we can sneeze it out, and live again. Just cough it out!

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