Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Whose Side Is God On Anyway?

You know those old stories.  Elijah's ministry was finished.  Elisha was the prophet.  Israel wouldn't listen.  God was trying to get their attention.  The Syrian army had been attacking.  Then the little Israelite slave girl tells her master about the prophet who could heal him  of his leprosy (2 Kings 5).  So Naaman, the commander of the enemy, heads off to Israel and is eventually healed.

Seriously?  God helps the guy who's in charge of attacking His people?  Seems weird.  But, hey, God does weirdly-generous, merciful things.

But then look at the next chapter.  The Syrian king is hacked off at the "spy."  Turns out there is no spy, feeding insider information from the Syrian boss-guys to the Israelites.  It's just God telling Elisha what's coming.  And that's how the Israelite army avoids one attack after the next!*   Summing up, first God gave Naaman victory over Israel.  Then God gave Naaman healing from leprosy.  But then God thwarted Naaman (or his successor) and protected Israel's armies and villages.

I think God's plans in the temporal affairs of mankind just don't jive with what we think God should be up to.

* Footnote:  Amazing, ain't it, that the Israelite king can make use of what Elisha says when it comes to strategic positioning of his army (knowing that Elisha speaks the truth) and yet blow off whatever else Elisha says.

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