Sunday, April 3, 2016

April 3 - 2 Kings 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The "company of the prophets" (verse 1) was kind of like a Bible College or Seminary for people preparing to serve and speak for God.
  • At the time, an axhead (verse 5) was an expensive tool. This young man who borrowed it might have had to go into indentured servitude to pay it off.
  • We have seen Aram (verse 8) in previous chapters. They were an enemy nation of Israel's.
  • Elijah had insight from God, and so the Israelites always knew what was coming from the Aram army. Israel's advance knowledge of Aram's military maneuvers led the king of Aram to believe there was a traitor (verse 11).
  • When the armies of Aram showed up it freaks out Elisha's servant (verse 15), but Elisha knows and reveals to his servant that God had unseen power and resources on their side.
  • When Elisha leads the army of Aram right into the hands of the Israelite's, he tells them not to kill their enemies but, instead, to "kill them with kindness" (verses 21-23).
  • In the last story (verses 24-33) we see a famine so bad in Samaria that people are resorting to paying a lot to eat a donkey head and, worse, to eating their own children. Way back in Deuteronomy 28:49-57 it was predicted that if the people rejected God's leadership and the covenant they had made with Him, mothers would end up eating their kids.
  • The King, in verses 30-33, blames God for the famine and, because Elisha represents God, he also blames Elisha.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The guy who loses the axehead is desperate, not realizing that God can help him in his bad situation. The servant of Elisha sees the armies of Aram and becomes desperate, not realizing that God can help him in his bad situation. We too typically look at the way things seem to be, at the circumstances we can see, and get desperate if they are bad. Faith says God is present, even when we can't see Him. Faith says that God is at work, even when we can't see what He is doing. We need to train ourselves to see what cannot be seen, remembering God's care for us and His power to help us, and turn to Him in our times of need.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where do you need to exercise some faith right now? In what area of your life do you feel desperate or overwhelmed? Pray and ask God to give you eyes to see what cannot be seen. Ask God to show you that He is with you, and that He is at work. While trust needs to be your foundation, you might also ask Him what He wants you to do to partner with what He is doing in your situation.