4 Lepers - 2 Kings 7
For the next few days I want to focus on a passage from the Bible that my friend Danny Baggett (pastor, Oceanway A/G in Jax. Fl.) share with us in presbytery the other day.
You can read about this story in 2 Kings 6 and 7. Ben-Hadad king of Aram had mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Samaria. The town of Samaria was under extreme famine. There was no food, no help and no hope. I liken this passage to the current economic conditions of our world today. People are hurting, even in our own city - people are going hungry. Life isn't as good as we use to define it and our future is changing everyday.
The king of Israel was beside himself. He was told of two women who the day before had eaten one of their sons with the promise that the next day they would eat the other womans son. But that woman backed out of this nightmare and hid her son so he wouldn't be eaten. Whether out of grief or anger, the king declared that this was all God's fault and that Elisha, (#1 man of God) was going to be beheaded for it.
Before we go any farther let's examine a few things? Who was laying siege to Samaria? God or the king of Aram? The king of course. So one might ask, "Why did God allow it?" Jesus said it Himself that it was going to rain on the just and unjust. If we think that we are exempt from what the rest of this world has or can experience - we are wrong. There is nothing that keeps us from having to experience life's troubles whether they be personal or global.
Taking it out on the man of God sure wasn't a good idea. But that is something that people still practice today! If they don't like what God is doing or allowing to happen, shoot the messenger! I am thankful that Elisha was running in fear away from the King, but instead faced him down.
So what could have changed this situation? It isn't what I read but what I don't read in the passage that impresses me. Every time that Israel would get into trouble that would pray and fast. They would repent and worship God. There is no mention of this - in fact the very action of trying to have Elisha beheaded leads me to believe that there was no Godly leadership available to lead the people out of this crisis.
Using natural skills to solve supernatural problems never, ever works. When the problem is bigger than you - go get a bigger solution! His name is Jesus and He is the answer to our economic and cultural woes we face today.