OK, it is possible to find backing in Scripture for just about anything and it is also possible to find a text that seems to advise the direct opposite of another text. That is why time and place and situation, in short, context matters. It’s why we need to be careful of rolling out a “one size fits all” approach to matters such as healing for example: sometimes what is taught as a process from one part of Scripture is not all that there is to be said on the matter. The same is true of some truths and scriptural insights which have wrongly been turned “one size fits all” doctrine binding for all for all time, though unalterable doctrines do exist that are not conditional on any changes in time, place or circumstance.
Whatever, I woke up at about 5.00 am feeling I had slept very well indeed, with the stories of Elisha going round in my mind, for no reason that I could think of, so got up and read some of them. My attention seemed to be drawn to a part of 2 Kingd 6 where some of the enemies of Israel have been delivered miraculously by the prophet into the king of Israel’s hands:
“My Father, Elisha, should I kill them? Should I kill them?”
“Of course not!” Elisha replied. “Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master.”
Sometimes it comes around that you are in a place of power over those who have treated you wrongly. Elisha didn’t always behave in a way that we would think of adopting as being the right way when he was in a place of power over those who wronged him, but there is something about the behaviour advised in this particular incident that is echoed with approval in other parts of Scripture.
If it happens to you this very day, that those who wronged you are, for want of a better phrase, “at your mercy,” remember this story… remember Joseph….remember Jesus….the Jesus whose life is in you.
It is strange how often it happens that God gives opportunity to put a truth into practice soon after He has alerted our attention to it. It would not surprise me if some of us find ourselves in a situation very soon where we are given opportunity to put something of this into practice… me included.
Yes, this very morning I found myself in this position – I was dreading meeting a certain person for whom I was to organise the funeral of a relative – tossed and turned all night worrying about it and prayed this morning – asking God how to cope with the meeting. I felt the Lord draw my attention to a Jay outside my window – and as I noticed the beauty of this little creature I heard the words in my spirit “Be Beautiful” – ….Ok, Lord, you’re the boss!