This morning I was reading 2 Kings 4-7 and something unusual caught my eyes. In chapter 5 the text speaks of a certain Naaman, a commander of the army of the king of Syria. The pagan king of Syria “was leaning” on Naaman’s arm.
Chapter 7, on the other hand, speaks about another commander, the captain on whose hand the king of Israel leaned.
Both of these military figures are faced with difficult situations, and they are also confronted by the Word of God. One is a leper (Naaman), and the other is facing famine and a siege. For both the only hope is Elisha, the man of God who speaks the Word of God.
What makes this juxtaposition of characters somewhat shocking (and really a rebuke to Israel and its people) is that the foreigner, the one on whom the pagan king of Syria leaned, believed the Word, obeyed it, and lived, while the Israelite captain did not believe the Word of God spoken through Elisha and died in unbelief.
A fairly long passage is dedicated in the Bible to the foreigner Naaman who believed and was healed. By contrast, the unbelieving Israelite captain (serving an unbelieving king – Joram son of Ahab) has a sad end, repeated twice in chapter 7 (vv. 17 and 20): … and the people trampled him in the gate, so he died, as the man of God had said…
There are many trials and exceptional situations in a man’s life. Help us LORD to believe you and your Word in a world and culture of unbelief.
Healing and life is only in a life of FAITH!
As we were studying and discussing Jesus’ demand to love our enemies I ran into a problem. I could not find any enemies. I considered it out of the question that there were enemies out there who were enemies because I hated them, so I tried to think if there were some who hated me. And I could not find any. I am not aware of any people that hate me and that consider themselves my “enemies.” There may be some (?), I just don’t know who they are.
This morning, however, I read a short note on Hillary Clinton and the issue of faith in the Democratic camp (see here). It pointed me to an editorial in Christianity Today titled ” “Hating Hillary: Getting to the bottom of a cultural trend that has seeped into the church.” You can find the editorial here.