Thursday, May 15, 2008

Did God really say...???

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I'm "embedded" in the book of 2 Kings right now. My story today comes from the same chapter as yesterday's post, but with a completely different scenario. Today, my machinations have little to do with the recipient of the prophet's miracle, but focus primarily on the prophet himself. One of our favorite "Christianese" phrases (it would appear) is "God said" or "God told me." Don't misunderstand me to be suggesting that God doesn't speak to us quite clearly. My point here is really trying to figure out when that statement is true or when it's just a cop-out to avoid taking responsibility yourself. The number of times I have heard that statement said with such conviction and then heard the same person turn around and indicate something different, is nauseating enough without the added fact that they make God appear schizophrenic.

So that I don't do all the work for you, I suggest you read 2 Kings 4: 8-31. Are you done yet? If so, then join me as we pick up the story in verse 32 (If you tried to cheat by not reading the preceding verses, you'll lose the essence of the story). Elisha arrives at the home of the wealthy shunamite woman, and his servant Gehazi, who has preceded him there, quickly informs him that the "staff-on-the-face" thing didn't work. Then Elisha goes into the room where he is alone with the dead child. First thing he does is he prays! Then it gets "weird." He " on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm." (Vs. 35) Did it make you uncomfortable to read that? If it didn't, then you're not living in the real world. With constant allegations of child molestation, "fruit-cake christians" claiming to be God, and so many other perverted things going on in our world, how can that not make you uncomfortable? The only way to not be uncomfortable in an act like that is if you've heard clearly the voice of God speaking to you.

Remember, the first thing he did when he shut himself in the room with the boy's body, was to pray. Here's the end of that story: "Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes." (Vs. 35) What!?! What if Elisha had thought to himself, "These instructions are to crazy even for me Lord. I'm afraid I can't do that. What if his mum walks in and accuses me of necrophelia? (intercourse with the dead)" Is it possible that the dead child would never have been resurrected? This is so deep, disturbing and powerful on so many levels all at once. I guess the real key is, make sure you know the voice of God to you whatever it is you feel called to do. Evidently there was no concern whatsoever for Elisha, having prayed and reassured himself that these were God's instructions. After all, the dead child came back to life only after Elisha's "strange" behavior. So, what's God saying to you today?


Hope said...

I'll admit, for sure, the first, second, third and maybe fourth time I read that passage I was extremely uncomfortable - especially because I was sexually abused as a child.

I'm pretty sure that I'd be really freaked out if someone was going to heal me using the same method I'd probably pass. What would you do if you needed the healing?

Joseph said...

Hope, thanks for your vulnerability. I want to believe that I am willing to be "a fool" for God. In other words, do and say things prompted by the Spirit that make no sense in the natural. I want to believe that! I pray He doesn't test my committment to that statement.