Since Yom Kippur is around the corner (starts at sundown the 27th), a post on this is appropriate.
See the information below from Hebrew Online on Yom Kippur. For some useful clips on the Yom Kippur War (1973), see this.
Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר, Day of Atonement) is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. On this day, G-d seals our fate for the coming year. The Torah commands us to spend this day fasting and praying for G-d’s forgiveness and a good year.
In Israel, this day feels very special – the businesses are closed, there are no vehicles driving in the streets and no broadcasting on the radio or TV; many people, dressed in white walk to and from synagogues, and children enjoy the empty roads by riding bicycles.
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!