A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Good morning! It’s October 26th and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. The great thing about these Daily Doses of Good News is they’re very portable! So you can take the Good News anywhere- even to the auto mechanic shop- while you’re waiting for your car. (Laughs). But that’s where I am today, and we’re going to look at our text which is 2 Kings 6:8-23 and we’re going to hear how God can be in all places, too.
Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.” The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place[b] so that it was on the alert.
The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, “Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?” Then one of his officers said, “No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.” He said, “Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.” He was told, “He is in Dothan.” So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.
When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, “Alas, master! What shall we do?” He replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” Then Elisha prayed: “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When the Arameans came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, please, with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.
As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.” The Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, “Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” He answered, “No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.” So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel.
Here ends the reading.
I love how Elisha uses blindness- being given or being taken away- in this text. There are times when Elijah reveals the power of God, by asking God to remove the blindness of us. So that we can see the power of God. Then there are times when Elisha asks for God to give blindness so that the plans that they have can be thwarted. So people can be protected- the people of Israel specifically, can be protected in that. Isn’t that an interesting concept? What do we see? What do we miss? What is apparent to us and in front of us and obvious to us? What is not obvious to us, but no less real? I think that’s a great thing for us to hang on to specifically, in these times when things can feel overwhelming or hard in the world. Maybe we don’t see that there’s a whole army- invisible to our physical vision but around us nonetheless. God’s Army. God’s people protecting us, taking care of us in the midst of things.
The end of this passage is such a claim of mercy of God’s people. Even though they (the Arameans) are at the mercy of the king of Israel and they’ve been delivered into his land and he could kill him… and he asks if he should. I appreciate that he asked the person of God: ‘Should I do this? What should I do?’ He’s looking for guidance from Elisha. But at a time when he could exploit them to his advantage, he could kill them, he could get rid of them once and for all; that instead Elisha says: ‘Be merciful. Give them food and drink- a great banquet’. And that merciful act is enough to stop them from battling against the Israelite people. And if they had killed them, you know, maybe that would have started a whole war of back and forth getting revenge on one another. But the idea, if we can grasp it, and if we can ask for God’s help in it, is: Can we be merciful to even those whom we think of as our enemies? Does that deflect and remove them continuing to battle against us? By sharing God’s mercy and by acting in that way, is that even more productive in our lives?
So lots to think about today, in terms of: What are you seeing related to God? What are you missing related to God? How can you act in ways of mercy toward those around you- who you think of as enemies- in ways that God would want and in ways which seems to also, maybe, solve the problem? Take care everybody. Have a great day. Bye-bye.