Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Monday, April 04, 2016

DJD404 - Revenge vs Respect

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Scripture: 

1 Corinthians 13:2

Starting Question:

Have you ever known that you could help someone and yet you were not asked to help? How did that make you feel?

Revenge vs Respect

** Continued from Confessing Brokenness yesterday **

As Naaman and his military parade rushed through the outer towns of Israel, mothers hurried their little ones indoors. Men hid in the shadows of thatched roofs and watched the shimmering chariots, bedecked soldiers and a fluttering white flag held high by the lead horseman. The Armenians made a bee-line for Israel’s capital. Surely the Israelite people wondered, What is the meaning of this most unusual, broad daylight display? What kind of trick is this?

Arriving at the lodging place of the king of Israel, Naaman’s men were met by the royal guard. They waved the truce flag high and presented the letter from the king of Aram. It was addressed to the king of Israel and was hastily delivered.

When God’s king opened the letter, it read, “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”  Israel’s king tore his clothes—an unthinkable act for God’s leader—and declared, “This man sends me a leper to heal! Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.”

Not for a second did Israel’s king consider this an opportunity to represent his God and demonstrate His power. The king, in his moment of distress could only see this letter as a fight waiting to happen—clearly the king of Aram was taunting him.

Luckily, someone in the royal court heard the content of the letter and ran to prophet Elisha’s house to tell the prophet all that was happening in the King’s palace.

A messenger showed up with a message for the king from Elisha—the prophet of Israel’s God. The servant given the task of reading the message to the king must have trembled as he read it aloud. It was a rebuke from the prophet, followed by a solution: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.”

Elisha saw the situation for what it was—an opportunity to represent the Almighty God to an honest man seeking healing. The king rejoiced, consoling himself that any revenge from Aram would now be directed at Elisha rather than himself.

But, in the end, it was respect rather than revenge that was directed toward God’s prophet. Respect from leaders in both countries. For there was, indeed, a true prophet in Israel.

** Continued in Facing Yourself tomorrow **

Reflection Question:
Just like the king of Israel, We have a letter from God written by not just one, but many prophets and people of God. When you read it, what impact does it have on your plans and purposes?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?