Elisha and the Syrians part 2: the Blindness

This next part is funny. Story continued from verse 18 of 2Kings 6.

When the Syrians started coming down towards Elisha, he prayed to Jehovah: “Please, strike this nation with blindness.” So Jehovah struck the Syrians with blindness.

Then Elisha said to the (blinded) Syrians, who couldn’t of course recognize him, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and let me conduct you to the man you look for.”  Basically telling them “You’re in the wrong place. I’ll show you where Elisha is, just follow me.”

Then he took them to Samaria. As soon as they reached Samaria, Elisha prayed again and said “O Jehovah, open the eyes of these that they may see.” Immediately Jehovah opened their eyes, and they got to see; and here they were in the middle of Samaria.

From verse 21: ‘The king of Israel now said to Elisha as soon as he saw them: “Shall I strike them down, shall I strike them down, my father?” But he said: “You must not strike them down. Are those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow the ones that you are striking down? Set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink and go to their lord.”‘

So the king of Israel didn’t strike down the Syrians, he spread a great feast for them, and they ate it then left.

‘And not once did the marauding bands of the Syrians come again into the land of Israel.’

This was a peaceful ending for all involved. What was particularly striking for me was the blindness Jehovah put upon the people who wanted to get Elisha. We can pray to God and ask for anything.

As Jesus later said, Ask anything in my name and you will receive, (as long as it’s in Jehovah’s will.)

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Quick thought today

Proverbs 28:23″He that is reproving a man will afterward find more favour than he that is flattering with his tongue.”

You don’t necessarily only have to say good things to have friends. Although it is usually good to put even negative things in a nice way, here we see that just flattering someone isn’t going to make them like you or whatever your intention was. You won’t find favour in the long run.

Hopefully I’ll be back quite soon to finish the story about the Syrians. They go blind. For a while.

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A cool story about Elisha and the Syrians

I was reading last night and came across this story. The Bible is full of cool stories, but you can find them all one by one by starting at the beginning and going through. I haven’t done this yet, instead reading my favourite parts (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the books of Kings and Samuel) a few times 😀

So I am in 2 Kings at the moment, and chapter six has a cool story about Elisha the prophet.

What was happening was the king of Syria wanted a war against Israel, but Elisha kept telling Israel’s king where the Syrians were camping. When the king of Syria heard about this of course he wanted to get rid of Elisha.  “You men go and see where he is, that I may send and take him,” the Syrian king commands.

The report is made to him that Elisha is in Do’than.

“Immediately he sent horses and war chariots and a heavy military force there; and they proceeded to come by night and to close in upon the city.”

When Elisha’s attendant got up early the next morning, he saw the army with all their horses and war chariots surrounding the city. He says to Elisha “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

Elisha replies “Do not be afraid, for there are more who are with us than those who are with them.”

Elisha didn’t have a big army with more horses and war chariots than the Syrians, capable of crushing them. He wasn’t an army leader or anything like that. From the stories, I gather he was mostly a solitary man. So what’s this he’s talking about? Where’s the army?

The attendant can’t see an army. Elisha prays “O Jehovah, open his eyes, please, that he may see.”  Then, “Immediately, Jehovah opened the attendant’s eyes, so that he saw; and, look! the mountainous region was full of horses and war chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Isn’t that awesome? Jehovah’s limitless ability to protect his people. Not many people today see chariots of fire, that I know of, but Jehovah’s power is the same. Just pray to him for help, strength, courage, anything you need, in Jesus’ name, and you will have it – if it is in God’s will. So it is a nice thing to add to prayers “if it be your will, Jehovah.”

As Jesus prayed before being impaled “not my will, but yours.”

Some of us will die for our faith. These special people have a special reward. Not only did they remain faithful until death, they died because they were faithful. It’s different.

These ones, in the Bible described as “executed with the axe” rule as kings.

Anyway. The rest of the story about Elisha and the Syrians is awesome too, but I’ll post it later. See you later, then 🙂

– Tarina, Paradise Artist

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Big storehouses full of grain and the man who forgot God

Luke 12

v16,17. With that he spoke an illustration to them, saying: “The land of a certain rich man produced well. Consequently he began reasoning within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, now that I have nowhere to gather my crops?’

There was not in itself anything wrong with land producing well. The rich man’s question was a relevant one. Where would he put all his grain if there was too much for the storehouses?
But think again. Did he really need that much grain? The storehouses were his. He could have been content when they were full. But what did he actually do?

v18,19. So he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my storehouses and build bigger ones, and there I will gather all my grain and all my good things; and I will say to my soul: “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.”’

He had plenty. He went out of his way to keep all the surplus grain for himself. He now was not going to work anymore. Life was going to be so easy. It would be like one long party. But life is not like that.

v20,21. But God said to him, ‘Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your soul from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?’ So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

His greed got the better of him. He forgot about God and became obsessed with his “stuff,” his possessions, his riches, his material things. So it didn’t last. He d-i-e-d….

Well, this was another of Jesus’ illustrations and as always there is an important lesson here – we today don’t have storehouses but we can imagine the modern equivalent. Say, saving far more money than necessary, or having two houses, or three. Certain things are not necessary for life, and they can entice you to forget God and the important things.

And it does not lead to happiness.

Sooooo, uh yeah. That’s my scripture for today. I always used to laugh at the last part – “SO IT GOES with the man…” but really it’s not that funny. It’s true. 🙂

-Tarina, Paradise Artist

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Sparrows

Wow, I haven’t been keeping up with my daily posts! Maybe I should change it to weekly. Anyway. I thought I needed a ‘voice’ for this blog, a more personal kind of thing, so here I’m trying! I called myself Paradise Artist when I began this blog, but I’m also called Tarina. And reading last night I just happened to flip open to this one about sparrows.

I like this one but hadn’t thought about it for some time. I was reading it in Mark but am now quoting from Matthew because – it’s the same story and I haven’t memorised where it is in Mark.

So anyway. Matthew chapter 10.

v.29 “Do not two sparrows sell for a coin of small value? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.”

I like here that Jehovah God cares about the sparrows. They are so small and insignificant and plentiful, but God notices when one of them dies.

v.30, 31 “But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Therefore have no fear: you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Even finer detail here! God knows how many hairs there are on our heads. He even knows the names of all the stars in the universe. So we do not need to be afraid or feel forgotten or worthless. Jehovah cares for us. He knows us. He loves us. More than many sparrows.

Jesus’ illustrations are so simple and beautiful and make such sense.

– Tarina, Paradise Artist

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Freedom

Romans 8:21 “…creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Beautiful scripture, I love it.

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Do you have Love?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

v1: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a sounding [piece of] brass or a clashing cymbal.

v2: And if I have the gift of prophesying and am acquainted with all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to transplant mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

v3: And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not profited at all.

 
This is how important it is to have love. Feelings and motives really matter. All the ‘good works’ in these verses don’t mean anything at all if we don’t do them with Loving Intentions.Jesus died for us because he loved us, not so he could brag about his good deed! Let us have Love for one another. The world will be a happier place.

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