Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-27; 6:8 – 7:20; 8:3-6, 8-23; 2 Chronicles 21:18
I always love the stories of the Old Testament, because I find so much practical wisdom for life and the stories about actual people, and the stories mirror my heart so vividly, as well as showing me God, my Father’s big heart!
And so He reaches out to Israel, who had gone into idolatry. God is greater than my shallow love and so through Elisha warns the king of danger and not just once! And when the king of Syria actually finds out who is telling all his secrets to the king of Israel, he sends a strong force to capture one man! Isn’t it beautiful listening to Elisha praying to God to open the young man’s eyes because like me, he says “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” What the servant is unaware of, is that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha?” And I pray for God’s perspective so often because I too like the servant, when frightened, am blind to God’s presence! Interesting that God’s way fixing a problem always seems to have a way of fixing things much more permanently than I ever could hope to!
And again, because of the king’s curiosity about Elisha’s miracles, it just happened (luckily? – not likely!) the woman who had built Elisha a room and then after the son is raised and been told to leave because of the famine, is JUST returning and needing the king’s help to get her land back! And so many times, when I am aware of God at work in my life, I experience and acknowledge His grand provision in my life! (not only get the land back but also she gets “the income from the land since she left!” Have you seen how abundantly He provides for you?
The story of Naaman is a favourite one for Sunday School, but when I reflect on it, it mirrors my heart. First he goes to the wrong person and then when He actually finds the right person, he is upset because he thought “Surely he will come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy!” Fortunately, his servant knew how to reason with him in a gentle persuasive way! Wonder if I have that ability and compassion for those around me? Can you imagine the joy of Naaman as he comes up the seventh time cleansed from a dreadful deadly disease? But be assured that sin is even more deadly, but the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses from EVERY sin! I think I feel sad that there can be people who come so close to seeing the power of God in their lives, but in the end reject the message for a little bit of wealth! I don’t think that what Gehazi exchanged for making himself a leper was really worth it!?
And then the story of the famine caused by king Ben-Hadad’s siege of Samaria! I value Elisha’s calm actions on closing the door on the “murderer” and speaking the clear truth to the king. Was it because he was like Elijah his predecessor who reminded others that it was God before whom He stood! Let the official mock Elisha, but he soon finds out that the Word of the Lord is always the truth of what will happen! The Bible states it with the words “He knows the beginning from the end!” And so as the lepers state, “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves! And so they happily share the good news with others. We too have incredibly good news that we can be set free from this world and its sin and a new life within us, by simple faith in our Lord Jesus Christ!