The respite that the Israelites gained from the kindness they showed to the Arameans didn’t last long. Once again, the king of Aram led another assault on Samaria, the capital of Israel, laying siege to it. No food was coming into the city as a result, and things got so bad, one woman complained to the king about a horrid agreement she had made with another woman. She cooked her own baby and they ate it, and they agreed to cook and eat the other woman’s baby the next day. But the second woman hid her child, and so the first woman brought the case before the king, asking for justice.
What did King Joram do? He placed blame on God and the prophet Elisha, saying,
May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today. (6:31)
He then went in search of Elisha to kill him. When he found him, he told Elisha,
This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer? (6:33)
In other words, “Elisha, I’m out of patience, and low on faith. Why should I follow God any longer when things are going so badly?”
Yet one wonders what Joram was doing long before this? Had he sought Elisha’s advice before? Had he sought the word of the Lord before this? In all probability, he hadn’t. Instead, he had tried to handle his problems his own way, and in his own wisdom. Now that he realized that he couldn’t handle things, he still didn’t seek God. Rather, he tried to place blame on God once again for his bad decisions. (You remember he did this before when he led an attack with Jehoshaphat on Moab in chapter 3 of II Kings).
When Elisha told Joram God would take care of the situation, Joram apparently took his word for it, but one of his officers had also apparently run out of faith, and muttered to the king his doubts concerning Elisha’s words.
So Elisha basically told him, “You will see God’s deliverance, but you will not get to enjoy the benefits of it.” (7:2)
God did deliver the people, and while Joram’s officer stood at the gate watching the people rush out of the city, he got trampled and died.
What can we learn from this? How much faith do we have when things aren’t going well? Do we just give up? Not only on the situation, but on God? Or do we keep trusting him, even though we can’t see how he could possibly deliver us?
It’s easy to believe in God when things are going well. Do we continue to believe in him when things are not?
Lord, sometimes my situations seem impossible, and I can’t see how things can get better. But Lord, help me to continue to trust you. Help me to seek your face at all times, instead of relying on my own wisdom and strength. Lead me Lord. Direct my steps, and make them firm. And let me rejoice in your deliverance. In Jesus name, amen.