Key Word:- FIGHT
Title:- How To Eat Your Enemies
2 Kings 6:28,29
Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son".
Guidance is such a confusing issue for the Christian. The old search committee interview joke goes like this- the committee ask the prospective Pastor, “Do you like children?” to which he replies, “I love them, but I can never eat more than one!” Now before you slam today's little devotional shut with a loud offended bang!, look at our text again and tell me just how such a horror, can be dutifully dealt with? For that is what it is, it is sheer horror!
Robert Benigni's intriguing film, 'La Vita è bella': 'Life is Beautiful', 1997, is about an Italian Jew's use of humour to help his small child survive the Nazi death camps. This kind of use of humour in the context of overt horror is the nearest thing I have found to so terrifyingly display the grotesqueness of such a horror! Look at today's verses again. Just look at the cocktail of terror, the despicable and devilish desperation which must have been shaken together so consistently and violently, that the bubbles of personal survival took two mothers way over the brink of outrage! Lest we judge this to be simply ancient horror, or deep jungled tribal eating habits, let's remember that it was today in 1972, that 14 'civilised' survivors of a plane crash in the Argentine Andes owned up the to the fact that they had eaten human flesh to survive. The Bible is outrageously blunt. God then, is outrageously blunt. Let me then be, outrageously blunt!
Ben Hadad king of Samaria was employing a well used and effective method of war against the people of God called 'siege'. The results of such siege warfare are seen in our verse today and that is the resultant destruction of the very thin cords of civilisation that stop each of us, from devouring one another. We must therefore be very careful and also be very aware of all the manifold consequences of war, before we so called civilised nations take ourselves to arms. Winston Churchill was correct when he said, to “Jaw, jaw, is always better than to war, war!” This terrible verse can be applied to us in three ways today:
First, let us be aware of the righteousness of our cause before removing our sword from its sheath in either retribution or protection. This applies to us individually as well as nationally. There is a time for war friends, but let us approach it gingerly and fearfully, for its consequences are manifestly terrible. Be careful today, before you start that argument, bring up that issue and grab that particular dog by its insolent little ears. Be careful and be prepared for the consequences.
Secondly, let us be aware of the terrible propensity that still lies within the heart of the old man, the flesh, the sinful nature. It is still in darkness and it is still a monster which the removal of laws through desperate war will assuredly unleash. Let us be aware with what devilish fires we are playing with here, when so called 'civilisation' is removed from any single one of us.
Thirdly, let us labour to do good. Let us follow the example of Elisha earlier in this passage and of Christ in the gospels, when He tells us to feed, clothe and bless our enemies.
“Love our enemies!?” These are hard words in the best of circumstances and virtually impossible in the worst. Let us never the less pursue such commands to love, knowing that when such love does not propitiate the aggressor, that it is then the responsibility of right government to unsheathe its sword and go about its terrible and righteous killing work. May we always tremble at all the horrific consequences that come with such unsheathing of the sword of war.
Listen:- So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria. So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria! Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel. 2 Kings 6:17-23
Pray: - Lord, teach me how to build the city of God in the middle of my enemies, with food in my pocket, good will on my lips, a trowel in my left hand and my sword in my right. O Lord for grace, truth, wisdom and strength I truly pray to You today, in Jesus name, amen.