Monday, November 02, 2009

Who was this man Elisha? Part 6

Not long after that, the King of Aram lays seige to Samaria. There's a famine. Elisha delivers the Word of the Lord. He tells the disbelieving officer, "You'll see it but you won't eat it." Then we don't hear about him for a bit.

The famine goes on so long that mothers in Samaria are threatening to eat their children. Sorry. I wasn't expecting that part. One lady even goes to the king. But the king replies, if God isn't helping you, what do you expect me to do? When he hears the woman's story (which I won't repeat) he tears his robes. He wears sackcloth under his robes. He blames Elisha. He's ready to kill Elisha, the man of God, saying "May God deal with me if I DON'T kill Elisha." I'm rushing through this. Go back and read it. It's worth pondering a little longer...The king, his role and responsibilty. His accountability to God. Elisha, the man of God, his role, responsibility and accountability to God and the position the king finds himself in. It seems that the king is at his wit's end trying to do the right thing, trying to be responsible to God, trying not to blame God so let's blame Elisha. Let's kill him. Maybe then God will do something. No. Maybe not . . .

From 2 Kings 6:24-33 (NIV):

In the meantime, Elisha is sitting in his house, and the elders are sitting with him. The king (who's ready to kill Elisha) sends a messenger ahead. Before he even gets there, Elisha says to the elders, "Don't you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? [Remember the other rumor? One king is told what the other king was thinking in his bedroom because Elisha tells them. Again, Elisha knows.]

Elisha continues, "Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master's footsteps behind him?" There's something rather nonchalant and funny about this. People leaning against a door is going to keep the king away if he wants someone dead? But the king doesn't follow the messenger to kill Elisha. He sends a different message not the original message that Elisha "heard".

"33 While he [Elisha] was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. And the king said, "This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?" Apparently as upset and confused as the king was, the king didn't give up on the prophet..

In 2 Kings 7 the story continues. God with Elisha come to the rescue. The Word of the Lord that Elisha delivered concerning the officer comes to pass.

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