OT Fire Starters – Day 141: 2 Kings 8-9
READ: 2 Kings 8-9
THINK: Are you a proponent of peace? A lot of people today claim to want peace. Political peace, military peace, environmental peace. They talk about it with passion and purpose, but do most people really understand what it means to experience peace? Peace is not just the absence of conflict, nor is it simply a matter of unity among people. True peace begins in people’s hearts as they enter a right relationship with God, and as they fulfill the purpose for which He created them. This can’t happen as long as people refuse to acknowledge God’s leadership in their lives. Perfect peace is not possible for a person as long as he or she honors anything above God or looks to anyone or anything other than God for satisfaction, purpose, power and guidance.
RESPOND: What do Elisha’s instructions to the Shunammite woman about the impending famine reveal about the link between people’s faithfulness and God’s provision? (See 8:2 note.) Why did Elisha weep during his encounter with Hazael? (See 8:11-12 note.) What does this indicate about Elisha’s relationship with God and his heart for the people? How is Elisha’s attitude an example for godly leaders today? (See 8:11-12 note.) Why did Hazael feel justified in killing the king, and what does this confirm about Hazael’s character as described by Elisha (8:12-15)? Though Judah’s King Jehoram was evil, why did God spare the nation? (See 8:19 note.) What does this indicate about God’s promises? What prophecy would God fulfill through Jehu? (See 9:7 and 9:8 notes.) Why couldn’t there be peace in Israel at that time (9:22)? What was significant about Joram being killed “on the field that belonged to Naboth”? (See 9:25 note.) What does this reveal about how a person’s sin can affect a family if things don’t change?
PRAY: Pray for people you know who are facing extreme troubles and hardships, particularly if their difficulties are a result of resisting or running from God. Pray that they reach a point where they have nowhere to turn but to Him.
ACT: Think of a situation or crisis in which people are experiencing hardship, disaster, persecution or injustice. Is there anything you can do to help? Perhaps you could contribute time, goods or even finances to a worthy cause. Or maybe God is directing you to get involved by raising awareness or encouraging those who work in this situation. Whatever you do, continue to pray for God’s goodness to be revealed in the lives of those affected.