Saturday 13 June 2015

Bible Book:
2 Kings

“So he prepared for them a great feast” (v. 23)

2 Kings 6:8-23 Saturday 13 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 23


It seems that Elisha is a trusted prophet who hands outpunishment and restoration in equal measure. Just before today'spassage we can read about the way he admonished his servant fortaking goods from Naaman after Elisha had healed him (2Kings 6:19-27). Elisha's treatment of his servant is severe,just as it seems to be with the armies of Aram, the differencebeing that he seems to be ultimately saving life albeit in a ratherconvoluted way. It reads as though Elisha is playing tricks withthe enemy without disclosing his real intentions.

Elisha, frequently referred to as "the man of God" (eg v. 10),can see the impending battle looming between the Israelites andtheir enemies, the Aramaeans. Fearing the worst outcome hedeliberately blinds the Israelite enemy in order to lead them tosafety and when their sight is returned to them, Elisha encouragesthe King of Israel to feed his enemy well and from that day on, weare told, raids on Israel ceased.

Long before Jesus's teaching on loving your enemy and beinggentle with those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-45), we have this story of a manof God calling on God to save and protect all people, regardless ofthe nature of the relationship between them. Clearly the level ofhate between the Israelites and the Aramaeans is intense, but it isan action that takes the pressure off rather than words.

Earlier this week we noted how bread hasbecome a life-giving symbol for us. In today's passage food arrivesfor the Arameans, which marks the beginning of peacefulrelationships between them and the Israelites. It heals the gapthat had grown between these two ethnically different groups andbrings them life and hope.

To Ponder

  • Sharing bread and wine together is a sacred activity. There issomething in today's passage that suggests all food can be sacred.Reflect on how you appreciate food wherever you find it … in thesupermarket or the farmers' market, in fast food outlets orrestaurants, at home or with friends, or even discarded in thestreet or refuse bin. Consider ways in which you can suggest thatall food is sacred and comes from God by the way you lead yourlife.
  • You may like to hold in prayer today all those who are brokenbecause they have no food or who cannot eat whatever reason,praying that in tomorrow's world, through our actions, there willbe bread for all.
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