Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hazael's disception

Continuing in chapter eight of 2 Kings, verse 7, the king of Syria asked his servant Hazael to go to the prophet Elisha.  The king was sick and he asked his servant to ask Elisha if he would ever recover.

Hazael did as he was told.  Elisha said that the king would recover from his grave illness, but the Lord told him that the king would die.  Elisha wept, for he knew the evils that the king had done to the people of Israel.

Elisha then told him that the Lord showed him that Hazael would soon be the king of Syria.

Hazael went to his king and told him that Elisha said he would recover.  He was pleased with this answer.  However, the next day the servant murdered the king and Hazael then became the new king.

It was done just as the Lord had said would happen.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

How much trust do you have in the source? Who else needs to be in the conversation?

In chapter 8 from the book of 2 Kings, Elisha told the woman, who had a son who had been raised by him from the bowels of death, to go and leave with her household, for there was a famine the Lord had commanded that would last for seven long years.

Seven years later, she returned and asked the king for her land to be returned to her.  The king asked his servant to recall the great deeds Elisha the prophet had done, including what he had done with the woman's son.  Upon hearing from the servant about the truth behind the woman's son being restored back to life, he gave all the lands back to the woman, including all that her fields produced during the seven-year famine.

What I find interesting about this short passage was that the king didn't just assume the woman was telling the truth.  This could have been someone with a devious mind who just wanted her land.  Because the king trusted in his servant, who was also a man of God, to tell him the truth, he trusted what he had heard.

How many times have we assumed something to be true, maybe because a single institution or even the government put out a report on it.  In August 2015, a reporter wrote an obscure article, where he found government data classifying the best and worst places to live in the United States.  The reporter named the county that I'm currently living in, Red Lake County in Northwestern Minnesota, as the "ugliest" in America.  He received a fair amount of heat for it and was even welcomed to visit by the members of our community.  He did.  He was completely blown away by the hospitality.  So much so that a year later he moved his family here.

And has been here ever since.

Be mindful of the source.  Do they have motives for saying what they're saying?  If you want an example, look at the ongoing debate of global warming (i.e. climate change).  Again, trust the source.  Who benefits from it?

And remember, just because a government report says something doesn't mean it's true.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The missing Syrians

In the seventh chapter of 2 Kings, starting at the third verse, we find four lepers at the entrance of a city, where there was a great famine.

Since they were destined to die, they too wanted to enter the city where others were dying.

They arrived at a Syrian camp.  They expected it to be full, but no one was there.  They then heard the sound of chariots, under the awesome power of the Lord, and they fled.  They ate food and drank at the empty camp.  They even took the vast amounts of gold, silver, and clothing.

But they felt they were doing something wrong.  So they went back to the city and told what they had found.  The king of the city thought this was a trap, to lure them out so they could be ambushed.  So he had two horsemen "go and see" for themselves.

They searched.  And found no sign of the Syrians.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The doom and gloom offensiveness of social media

A month or so ago, I was listening to a sermon and the pastor regaled, over and over again, how our society was in such dire turmoil--there was a certain candidate to the highest court in the United States who was being put through the ringer, just to give you an idea as to what I'm talking about.

Although, as I looked among the pews, I saw no such doom and gloom.  At work, at home, at the store, no sign of any doom and gloom.

Now, I know what you're going to say.  "But you were in church.  Obviously everyone is going to get along there."

Although that may be true, if you jumped on any social media platform or 24/7 news media outlet, you saw it.  Doom and gloom.  A constant stream of people being offensive and cruel.  Yet day in, day out, I have witnessed people being good and kind to each other.

If you read any portion of the Holy Bible, you will see your fair share of doom and gloom, people doing bad things.  Yet God, our Heavenly Father, was there to show people the way to Him.  Even when he sent his Son Jesus to earth, there was much turmoil--especially His final hours when he was nailed to the Cross.  And there were no social media or news media outlets as we do nowadays.

Take a break from the constant offensiveness spewing from social media and the news outlets, and pick up the Bible.  You'll be amazed at what you read.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Elisha is in danger

Starting at the 24th verse of chapter 6, in the book of 2 Kings, there was a great famine in Samaria.  The king of Israel heard a woman cry out to him, asking for help.  She told him that a woman came to her, asking to eat her son.  In exchange, they would eat the woman's son the next day.  But when that day came, the woman had hid her son.

The king was devastated by this.  He then sent a messenger to behead Elisha.

But Elisha knew what was coming, thanks to the Lord, and told the elders to not open the door to the messenger.  Unfortunately they were too late.  The messenger confronted Elisha, asking why he should wait on the Lord.

Elisha told him that the Lord will provide food for them the next day.  And it was done.  Food arrived at the gates of Samaria.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chariots of fire

In the book of 2 Kings, chapter 6, the king of Syria was warring against Israel.  He advised his servants that they will make camp at a certain place.

Armed with this knowledge, he sent word to the king of Israel about the camp and to avoid the place.  The king of Syria found out and was troubled by this.  He too wanted a man of God and went to seize Elisha.

The servant was told by Elisha to not be afraid, for an army of horses and chariots will surround the city where they resided.

And it was done as was the will of the Lord, for the raids by Syria did not come again.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A servant's greed

Starting at verse 20, chapter 5, in the book of 2 Kings, Elisha's servant Gehazi discovered that the Syrian army commander, whom Elisha had healed from leprosy, had went away without Elisha taking his gifts.

The servant lied to Naaman, telling him that two prophets had arrived and would like some of the gifts he offered Elisha.  Naaman did without question, for he was pleased to part with the gifts in exchange for healing his leprosy.

The servant hid the gifts and lied to Elisha about where he had gone.

But Elisha knew what he had done, and because of it Naaman's leprosy was upon him and his children.  Forever.