What if you knew the person in front of you would someday slaughter innocent people? What if you were told that someday you would show no regard for anyone’s life? Are you angry or disappointed with God because He allows evil people to do vile things? Today’s passage reveals a great deal about God and humanity.
2 Kings is not chronological. The Bible’s purpose is not to record history; instead it declares God’s power and personality. Continually making His mercy and presence known, God intentionally reveals His character through the events recorded in scripture. Just as Jesus never changes (Hebrews 13:8), mankind as a group does not either. God warns against sin, predicts punishment, disciplines sinners, and yet people continue to refuse to acknowledge Him.
Today’s events happened between the stories in 2 Kings 4:37 and 2 Kings 5: 27. It occurred after Elisha raised the woman’s son from the dead, but before Gehazi had leprosy. A king would not spend time with lepers. Also the woman’s husband, alive in 2 Kings 4, must have died by the end of this story or he would have been the one talking with the king.
If you feel a sense of hopeless or insignificance this story is for you. If you are a problem solver, a take the bull by the horns, and a don’t wait, but act now kind of person like me; then this story may step on your toes. It certainly did mine.
The Arameans tried to defeat Israel; however, Jehovah fought on the side of Israel. Therefore, they didn’t have a chance of winning, because God continually works miracles.
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chronicles 20:6 NIV)
A good work ethic is a product of diligent effort. The prophets who meet with Elisha had a good work ethic. They did not expect Elisha to feed or shelter them through miracles. Christians with an entitlement attitude expect God to grant them their desires and wishes simply by praying. We are saved by grace, but that doesn’t mean we do not have labor to pay our bills.
God knows our hearts better than we do (Psalms 44:21). Often our reaction to circumstances reveals things we thought were hidden.
In this passage I see reflections of my old self and the person I want to be. There are so many examples of human nature, biblical love, and God’s character. I decided to color code them.
I love testimonies of people who receive an unexpected bill and then discover someone has slipped an envelope with the exact amount under their door while they were praying. I know people who, after praying for their resources to last until the next pay check, found a sack of groceries with an anonymous note in the back seat of their car. It is true God provides.
When something happens in your life do you immediately think call mom, twitter, or text a friend? When you need advice do you call your spouse, google, or go to Facebook? When you want prayer do you email the prayer chain or do you pray? If God isn’t your first contact, you can learn a lot from the Shunammite mother.
Often our kindness has unexpected rewards. Today’s passage tells a simple story reinforcing the biblical principle “Treat others the way you want to be treated”.