JUNE 16 READINGS...2 Kings 5:1-8:15
Elisha continues his ministry in the nation of Israel. In today’s reading he deals much with the enemies of Israel to the north…the king of Aram and his army. A servant of the king of Aram, a man named Naaman, had leprosy. He was told by a young Israeli girl who was taken captive and made Naaman’s wife servant about Elisha. He gains permission from the King to go to Samaria to find Elisha. Elisha tells him to go and dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed…instead of going right away he becomes indignant and heads home…but his officers talk him into doing what Elisha said, and he is healed. In his gratitude he wants to repay Elisha, but Elisha said no. Naaman was so moved by the power of God he comes to faith, and then heads home with some soil from Israel to build an altar to worship God. Elisha’s servant Gehazi is filled with greed and chased Naaman down, lied to him, and took a payment for what God had done. Elisha knew what he had done, and told him that he and his descendants would now have Naaman’s leprosy. We need to see that when God does something, including giving us instruction, we better be careful about going beyond what He says, or trying to take something for what God has done. In the New Testament Jesus called people like this “hirelings.”
Elisha continues to walk in the miraculous. We are told of the time the king of Aram sends his army to kill Elisha. The army surrounds him at Dothan, and Elisha’s servant is filled with fear. Elisha knew they were not alone and ask God to open his servants’ eyes to see that the Arameans were surrounded by the army of God in the heavens…Elisha and his servant are saved. We need to see the spiritual too…far too often all we ever see or are aware of is the physical…there is a whole realm of the spiritual that surrounds us and protects us all the time. We need to pray, “Lord, open our eyes”. Later the Arameans attacked and surrounded Samaria, captivity and famine are so bad that people were eating their children. God provides through a prophecy by Elisha. Finally, Elisha prophesies that the servant of the king of Aram, Hazael, would assassinate the king, and become king himself. This broke Elisha’s heart because he knew the horrible things Hazael would do to the people of Israel. Once again, we see that being God’s prophet was not a glamorous position…it would be so difficult to know the horror that was about to befall the people. God provided and protected Elisha though…and He will do the same for us.
Share any thoughts you have from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…2 Chronicles 21:8-20 & 2 Kings 8:23-29 & 2 Chronicles 22:1-7 & 2 Kings 9:1-10:17 & 2 Chronicles 22:8-9 & 2 Kings 10:18-31