This week’s Haftarah portion is taken from 2 Kings 7:1-20. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers looks at the perilous times that prevailed during the siege of Samaria, and the importance of maintaining the right perspective.
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Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion - 2 Kings 7:1-20
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L. Myers
Perspective changes everything! Perspective is a funny thing! Perspective is not really something static at least from the human perspective. Our perspective may be subject to change over time as we grow older, gain more experience, or if the situation demands it. How do we gain perspective on anything anyhow? What influences our perspective and what causes our perspective to change? These questions have a bearing on our identity, our security, our sanity, and actions. Many times, we change our perspective on perspective because several factors shape and influence us. Knowledge informs it, experience confirms it, culture influences it, and circumstances factor into it. With this being said, let’s look at the haftorah portion of II Kings 6:24-7:20. A long story with a simple message. Trust in the Word of Adonai! This story is historical, within this powerful narrative we find a problem, a solution, a rescue, and a moral to the story at the end. There are four parts of the story that teach us how to trust in the Word of Adonai.
The problem we find in II Kings 6 is it begins with the siege of Samaria, Israel’s capital city, and a tragic famine within her gates. Just like us today, food and fuel prices had skyrocketed to the point that people were spending a fortune to eat and to eat against the Biblical standard. This narrative is not only an example of how bad things had gotten but also a fulfillment of a solemn warning from the Word of YHVH. Long before, during the time of Moses, HaShem had warned His people that this day would come if they disregarded His Word: Deut. 28:52-53 says, “They will besiege all your towns until your high, fortified walls, in which you trusted, collapse everywhere in your land, which Adonai your Yah gave you. Then, because of the severity of the siege and distress that your enemies are inflicting on you, you will eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom Adonai your Yah has given you.” What YHVH had said in His Word was exactly what was now happening. Why? Because YHVH’s people had disregarded the Word of HaShem. The same is true today! We can blame the political system, Congress, Senate, administration, left or right wingers but the truth be told—YHVH’s people have disregarded His Word! When that occurs there is a reckoning that must take place. We can blame the devil, we can also blame YHVH but Samaria’s trouble, USA trouble, the world’s trouble is indeed punishment or discipline from YHVH. It is a result of deliberate disobedience that was not from YHVH, but from generations of leaders who disregarded the Word of Adonai.
Whenever we find ourselves suffering the consequences of our own selfishness, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Our world is full of sin and brokenness. Yes, not every disease or difficulty that we face is the result of our own wandering from YHVH’s Word. However, some are, so it is worth considering whether our current hardship is a wake-up call from YHVH, sounding the alarm that comes from disregarding His Word.
The solution is that we heed YHVH’s Word. In II Kings 7:1, Elisha said, “Hear the Word of Adonai,” and by that he meant not merely to hear it, but also to heed it, which means to live accordingly. Heeding YHVH’s Word is the way out of this mess we are now experiencing. Heeding YHVH’s Word is fundamental to our halachah. We study His Word and we obey it to our fullest. It is our foundation on a rock rather than on shifting sands.
In II Kings 7:1-2, Elisha the prophet gave this message, “Elisha answered, “Listen to the Word of Adonai. Here is what Adonai says: “Tomorrow, by this time, six quarts of fine flour will sell for only a shekel and half a bushel of barley for a shekel at the gate to Shomron. The servant on whose arm the king was leaning answered the man of Yah: “Why, this couldn’t happen even if Adonai made windows in heaven!” Elisha answered, “All right, you yourself will see it with your own eyes; but you won’t eat any of it!” However, the king’s right-hand man would not believe the Word of Adonai, so Elisha warned him of the consequences of his disbelief. One way or another, we all will learn to trust in the Word of Adonai. Don’t wait too late!
There are two paths we choose; one way is to go with what we think is our own way, but which is in fact walking in the counsel of the wicked, this leads to death. The other is to delight in the Word of Adonai, and to meditate on it day and night. That way leads to flourishing, like a tree planted by the river. Choose wisely, choose to trust in the Word of YHVH!
The rescue is found in II Kings 7:13-16 and describes how YHVH kept His Word and came to Israel’s rescue once more. It happened in two phases: first with four lepers, and then the entire city of Samaria. In II Kings 7:3-4, the four lepers came to their senses and decided that going over to the enemy camp would be their best chance for survival. When they did however, they found the enemy camp deserted. What we see here is that YHVH often accomplishes the impossible with the most improbable characters. The enemy had fled in fear of what they believed was a surprise attack by the Mitsrayim (Egyptians) but instead was only the Metsora’im (lepers). YHVH is so great! The lepers feasted and plundered the camp but then felt convicted and decided to share the good news. The apostate king still would not believe but his servants went to look for themselves. By the next morning, the whole city had gone out to feast and gather the spoils of yet another victory that had been won by Adonai.
The problem within this position is that Israel, as well as us, disregarded YHVH’s Word. The solution was to heed the Word of Adonai and let YHVH rescue His people.
Now, we come to the moral of the story. In II Kings 7:16-20, there is a message that the narrator hammers home: to trust in the Word of Adonai. What we see repeated four times is to drive home the moral of the story, which is to trust in the Word of Adonai. The world tells us all week long what really matters. What will last forever, according to this secular world, is the name I make for myself, the degrees that I earn, the deals I make, the riches I gather, the experiences I accumulate, and the followers I get. Then every Sabbath we assemble together to remember that the only thing that stands forever is the Word of YHVH! Sabbath reboots our operating system, clears all the trash that we have gathered during the week. We are rebooted to trust in the Word of Adonai.
As followers, we are easily misled by man’s twisted misinterpretation of YHVH’s Word. We live in a world where people used to trust the Word of Adonai, but have wearied of it because of a parade of false teachers. We need to believe His Word again, the true Word of YHVH. In Ps. 40, King David says that he trusted in the Word of Adonai. As a result, King David sang a new song!
Don’t be like the foolish king who disregarded YHVH’s promises, only to see his people literally destroying their future. Don’t follow down his path with the scoffers who blame Adonai for the tragedies of their own making. Rather, follow in David’s firm footsteps. Trust in the Word of Adonai and wait patiently for Him, He will set your feet upon the rock and you will sing a new song!
Shalom Aleichem Mishpocha
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