July 4, 2010

From 2 Kings 5.7.   When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

A little background provided Ralph Klein (my Old Testament prof @ seminary) ” A little girl, taken captive from Israel, bore witness to Naaman’s wife that the prophet in Samaria could cure him.  The king of Aram sent Naaman to the king of Israel, and he brought along with him lavish presents.  The king of Israel took exception to the request for a cure, thinking that the king of Aram was picking a quarrel with him since he could not cure such an illness.”  Naaman is a Syrian general.

A couple of thoughts as I begin my study of the scripture for Sunday.

How many times have you just want to tear off your clothes in anger, frustration,and aggravation?  While I don’t put this into practice in my own life — might make church council meetings a bit awkward, I’ve begun to question how often I do over react.  How many times do I jump to conclusions?   How many times do I lose it?  When so much in our lives is spinning out of control, don’t we just grab at any old thing we think we can control?

Perhaps this is part of the word of God for me (us?).  The King knew the threat; the king knew the danger.  He thought it all rested on his shoulders.  Sometimes the more stressed I get, the more I struggle, the less I turn to others.  I focus on myself; I become oversensitive.  I think that if I just bend over more, that if I just hunker down, I can “fix it” and do more. The king couldn’t do it all; he needed the prophet; more importantly he needed God.  Don’t we all?

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