Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Anonymous Hero

My Bible reading plan had directed me back to 2 Kings & 2 Chronicles for a bit, before now returning me to Isaiah. I was completely amazed this morning when I heard Mom reading to my brother this morning from a chapter in the same two-chapter portion of 2 Kings. (They are reading sequentially, but I'm on a chronological plan. We even started our reading plans at different times.) Pretty fantastic. Anyway, as soon as I read 2 Kings 17 (verses 24-41 in particular), I knew I had to share it with you. Here are my notes on this amazing chapter that I don't recall ever reading before.

In 2 Kings 17, Israel is defeated by Assyria, and are sent into exile. Other nations come into their land -or, should I say, the land the LORD gave them. Anyway, these nations come in and God sends lions in on them, and some of the land's new inhabitants are killed by them. The remaining inhabitants are terrified, of course, and speak to the king of Assyria who had sent them to inhabit the vacant cities. So he commands one of Israel's exiled priests to come back to the land, and "teach them the custom of the god of the land." So this priest comes in and is basically a Jewish missionary to these people. And they learn to fear the LORD, but they still serve their other gods. (Kind of like Israel, but God required more of Israel because they were His chosen people and because of the covenant He had made with them.)

But I just thought it was incredibly interesting that there was this missionary of a Jewish priest. I thought about what it must've been like for him. I'm sure his expectation in life (his plan) was to live in the land of Israel all his life, minister to the people, and that would be that. His parents might have even told him that when he was a very young boy, being of the Levitic priesthood. But God had different plans for this unnamed priest. The nation of Israel was exiled out of the land, and he left. He left the land he'd known. Then, just as he's getting used to a new way of life, and probably learning to minister to these exiled people, he gets summoned by the king of Assyria. How weird would that be? You've gotta know that wasn't an everyday occurence for a Jewish priest. "Oh, the king wants me to come? Man, yesterday he called Zedechorash; the day before it was Abahinabash. I've got a whole lotta work to do. Can't you just get Jecohabasha to go instead?" I bet he was pretty curious as to what in the world he was being summoned for. At least he didn't have to wonder if it was for that parking ticket! So anyway, he finds out he's being ordered to return to the homeland--that had to be a load of emotions! When he gets there, he discovers all these people with strange customs who are scared of him and who keep saying something about lions. And he's ordered to teach them about His God.
~Well, what would your mindset be?~

"Oh, no way--I'm getting outta here, and I'm getting out fast! Where's a camel?"


"This is great! I can be a novelty. Wonder how much I'll get paid each week?..."


"Well, God, they need you--that's obvious! And I'll teach them about you. Just please give me the strength and soften their hearts. I'm going to need it!"

So he teaches them, and they seem really excited; they even say that they want to worship God. But he begins to realize that they aren't letting go of their other gods. And as the years pass, nothing changes. In fact, nothing changes even slightly. The day comes when the man, now old, dies, finding no change in these people he's lived among and served. They aren't any more faithful than they were before.

But the thing is, even though he may not seem successful in our results-oriented culture, he was more successful than a lot of the people I've been reading about. Why? Because he was faithful in every sense of the word. What a challenge to us all. No matter what the results of our lives look like, I hope that our lives are faithful.


  • At 4/21/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Gods girl said…

    This is a great post. Keep it up!!

  • At 4/22/2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Leila said…

    Katie - awesome! Yeah...I don't remember that part either...isn't God's Word amazing that, though we study it our whole lives, it is always new yet never-changing? A bit like its Author :)

  • At 4/30/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger manonfire73 said…

    This is cool! I'm in the same passage of Scripture. By the way, this is Ian F. Check my blog out on this site. I'm manonfire73. Keep up the encouragement!


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