Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Danger Among the Hungry

Currently I’m in the middle of seeking God to clarify and confirm some stuff for me.  I’ve intentionally made it a point to read the bible (and other stuff…blogs and such) a lot more throughout the day than I normally would.  That’s not to say that I don’t have an intentional daily quite time or that I don’t periodically pick up the bible and read at different points of the day, but lately I’m reading as much as I can.

So yesterday I was reading in 2 Kings 9 (which btw, if you want some exciting bible reading…read Kings…CA-RA-ZYYY).  As I read v. 1 -13 God showed me something that I’d never seen before.  If you’re not familiar with the story of Jehu, here’s the jist…

During this time Joram was king of Israel and Ahaziah was king of Judah.  Essentially both kings were bad guys and the time had come to “oust” them (for lack of a better term).  So God commanded Elisha to anoint one of the commanders of the Israelite army, Jehu.  So Elisha sent a man, from among the prophets under him, to anoint Jehu as king over Israel.  

What caught me differently were Elisha’s instructions in v. 3.  He instructed the young prophet to:

“Say to him [Jehu], ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you to be the king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run for your life!”

At first all I could think was, “Why would he have to run for his life?!!  The news he was bringing was good news.”  But then God interjected.

During that time, prophets were commonly received as crazy and often times killed.  And to be quite honest, the word the young prophet brought from the Lord, as viewed by men, was an act of treason.  There was already a king of Israel and for Jehu to be king the current one would need to go.  Elisha knew that the word that the young prophet would bring, most likely, would not have been received well by those in the company of Jehu.  Elisha knew that delivering that word carried with it a danger and that was the reason that Elisha instructed the prophet as he did.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes (probably more often than not) delivering the word of God is dangerous.  Sometime the Good News isn’t received as Good News, but as offensive (which ftr, it is.  The Good News offends every bit of pride that our flesh holds on to).  BUT, that is not to deter us from delivering it.  The young prophet still went.

So even though it was dangerous, the young prophet delivered the Lord’s word as God directed.  And what happened?  There was rejoicing.  When people heard the news they celebrated.

After the prophet ran off, Jehu tried to hide the message from his fellow officers, but they insisted on knowing what the message was.  Eventually, Jehu relented and told his fellow officers that he had been anointed king over Israel.  After telling them, “they quickly spread out their cloaks on the bare steps and blew the ram’s horn, shouting, “Jehu is king!”

Here’s the other truth that God revealed.  Even though bringing God’s word is dangerous and some will take offense to it, there are those that are starving for it.  Those that want to hear it and will rejoice upon hearing it.  We are all called to be Christ’s witnesses and when we ignore the voice of God, we are starving people of what God desperately wants them to hear.  Our responsibility is to listen for the voice of God and act on it.