Good day 🙂 Today I read 2 Kings 5, 6, 7, and Mark 4.
In Kings I read about a commander, named Naaman who had a skin disease, for the army of Aram. They were fighting Israel and had kidnapped a little girl. She was made to be the servant of Naaman’s wife. The little girl said she wished Naaman would go and see the prophet living in Samaria so he could be cured. She must have been talking about Elisha. Funny that she wanted to help him since she had been taken from her home by his army??? Anyway, the king of Aram (his name is not mentioned) sends Naaman to the king of Israel to be healed, the king tears his clothes because he says he cannot heal him. Elisha hears (through the grapevine or from God, it doesn’t say how he hears) that the king has torn his clothes and tells the king to send Naaman to him. Elisha tells Naaman to dip in the Jordan seven times. Naaman throws a fit, he wanted some big production to happen for his healing, but his buddies convince him to at least give it a try. So he does it, dips into the Jordan seven times, and his skin is healed. Naaman tries to give Elisha a gift but Elisha refuses. So Naaman left, but Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, goes to Gehazi and takes the gift for himself. I’m bummed about Gehazi doing this because I liked the guy. Anyway, Elisha knows what he did and tells him the skin disease that Naaman had will come on him and his children forever. It says when Gehazi left Elisha, he had the skin disease.
There is a story about an ax head that is borrowed and falls into the river, Elisha makes it float so it can be retrieved. Wonder why this story is here for us to read? To show us Elisha was a helpful dude?
Then another story about the fight with Aram, they must be winning because Samaria is running out of food. It is pretty cool because a servant of Elisha is afraid. Oh I gotta mention it doesn’t say who this new servant is, but it must be the person to take Gehazi’s job. Anyway Elisha prays that the LORD would open the servant’s eyes. It says in 6:17, “The LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” This is similar to what Elisha saw when he watched Elijah being taken! How cool!!! Elisha prays that the Aram army be made blind, Elisha leads them into the city of Samaria then prays for their eyes to be opened. I imagine they freaked out when they saw they were in the city of Samaria and figured they would be killed. But instead they are given food and water to eat then sent home. It says the soldiers of Aram did not come anymore into the land of Israel. This act caused peace for a while. 🙂 Reminds me of Proverbs 25:21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. 22 Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
The next verse starts with “Later,…” and it gives the name of the king of Aram, Ben-Hadad. I am pretty sure this is a new king from the previous unmentioned king because it says he gathered his army and attacked Samaria. This is a pretty interesting story too., and this is the pouring burning coals on their heads part, and the reward part. 🙂 Because God gets involved, 7:6 says, “The Lord (big L small ord this time??? Thinking this is a typo in my bible???) had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army. They had said to each other, ‘The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!'” So they run away and leave all of their stuff. The sound they heard must have been the army the servant was allowed to see. Pretty cool. So the Israelites gathered all of the supplies and food and their shortage ended. Elisha had predicted this food scare would end by the next day and one officer said, after hearing Elisha, 7:2, “Even if the LORD opened windows in the sky, that couldn’t happen.” Elisha told him that it will but that he will never see it. It is like when someone said ‘Even God could not sink the Titanic.” and we know what happened there. Same with this guy. He was sent to guard the gate but the people stampeded to get to the goods and they trampled him to death. Yeek. I love this story because it is another example of how God can take care of an impossible situation when we can’t see a solution. I guess all of the stories I read today teach that. Trusting God in those impossible situations is faith. Not trusting God, or saying something is impossible for God, results in us missing the blessing. If Naaman never dipped into the water, he’d never been healed. If the king killed all those Arameans instead of feeling them God may have never let them hear the chariots and run away scared.
Trusting in God and in his way of doing things is mentioned again and again in the bible. I could say it is the main message. People mess it up all the time, and we read how this has happened from the beginning of time! Ugh. I suppose that is why we are told to trust God over and over. Because we are so quick to forget it.
LORD, thank you for these stories that show again and again how you can be trusted. Forgive me for chosing my own way, or for thinking things are too impossible for you to handle. I don’t want to live outside of your plan. I love this Psalm of David, ‘Psalm 25:4 Lord, tell me your ways. Show me how to live.’ I want this to be my prayer to you too. Thank you, Amen.