ne 9" >Oh, the depths of sin to which human beings can sink without a relationship with the One True God! And His faithfulness to keep those who belong to Him! But what about apostasy, those who serve God for a season and then walk away?
Shame, Sin, Apostasy & Cannibalism
Serving God No Matter Where You Are
Chapter 5.2-3 really amazes me and has a great message for us.
“And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.'”
Here’s a young girl who had been ripped away from her family and life as she knew it, forced to work as a slave, and yet, look at her heart attitude—one of loyalty and concern for the people under whose authority God had placed her.
Why would God allow that to happen to her in the first place? For the same reason He allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery and carried off to a foreign land—to fulfill His plans and purposes AND to bless those He uses. We need to remember that our good and His glory are always connected.
As a result of this little servant girl, Naaman would come to know the One True God.
The Joys and Sorrows of Discipling Others
ne 9" >Another passage that spoke to me was . After Naaman had gone to the Prophet and been healed, he offered Elisha gifts of silver and clothing, but Elisha had refused them. After he left, Elisha’s servant Gehazi followed him, told him that the Prophet had changed his mind, and had greedily taken the gifts.
“Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, ‘Where did you go, Gehazi?’ And he said, ‘Your servant did not go anywhere.’ Then he said to him, ‘Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you?’ …”
It is such a blessing to see those you have led to the Lord or discipled grow and walk in the truth, but by the same token, it is painful to see them walk away from the truth.
How Elisha’s heart must have been broken to see Gehazi, who had seen so many of God’s miracles, turn his back on God for monetary gain!
Chapter 6 recounts a very disturbing story. Samaria is under siege, food is so scarce that the people are starving. Verses 26-29:
“Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, ‘Help, my lord, O king!’ And he said, ‘If the LORD does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?’ Then the king said to her, ‘What is troubling you?’ And she answered, ‘This woman said to me, “Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.” So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, “Give your son, that we may eat him”; but she has hidden her son.'”
Can you imagine such a thing even under starvation conditions? The first thing that struck me was the woman’s lack of shame! She didn’t mind telling the king what they had done! But as I thought about this passage, I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that while we are shocked to think that such a thing could happen, how often we read or hear about women who allow their boyfriends to abuse or even kill their babies or children. And we hear of others who even do so themselves.
We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there is a message in this for us, too. When we read these stories we’re so tempted to get self-righteous and think: Continue reading