Responding differently… and seeing results…



2 Kings 6:15 When an attendant of (the prophet Elisha) rose early in the morning and went out, an army (from the nation of Aramea) with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, “Alas, master! What shall we do?” 16 He replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” 17 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. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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. 21 When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, “Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” 22 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.” 23 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.

If you’ve been reading along in 2 Kings you know that Elisha is something of a grouch. He deals harshly with people, doesn’t like children – a basic grumpy pants. So when God strikes the Arameans with blindness one would expect Elisha to put them all to the sword. But that’s not what happens here. Instead Elisha leads them to Samaria (a region in Isreal) and feeds them instead of killing them. Wow!

First, this is an act of mercy which I would not expect of Elisha – even if God is the one directing Elisha. Secondly, it’s a very practical/diplomatic move. A people spared their lives are indebted to the Israelites, thus bringing to an end animosity and bloodshed. This is a win/win. Elisha thinks outside the box, turning to mercy and compassion rather than violence as a solution to the problem. And it works.

This morning I’m wondering where the Lord may be inviting me to respond differently to a difficult situation. Where am I doing the same things over and over expecting a different result? Heavenly Father, give me wisdom to see new possibilities to old problems. Get my mind outside of the boxes I’ve created for myself. Amen.

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