Saturday, April 02, 2016

DJD402 - Serving Your Enemy

Read More Daily Jesus

Matthew 5:44

Starting Question:

Have you ever prayed for an enemy? Have you ever loved one?

Serving Your Enemy

The northern riders, darkly robed, came at dusk—when they came. Without warning or pattern to the attacks, they would gallop gracefully through town grabbing any child within reach.

They always came when they needed more. But only they knew when that need arose. The townspeople waited each day in fear that today the riders would return. As quickly as the torrent of riders rushed in one end of town, they would flow out the other, followed only by tears of mothers and shaking fists of fathers.

She had been one of those children. Taken—playing in the street. Now she served as the personal slave of the commander’s wife. The commander who led the raiding parties. The commander who planned attacks on her parents and their people.

Yet, she did her best to serve. She wanted to please her mistress, to follow instructions and to love her new family. Yes, love. It was the way of her people. The people of the one true God. Only one word was required to define their indescribable God—love.

While she had no choice about leaving her mother and father, she did have the choice of whether or not she would leave her God. And she chose to love. She chose to hold onto her people by holding doggedly to their God—and living the way He required. She would serve willingly and love generously. Never could she have imagined the reward it would bring her.

The glimpse we are given in scripture of this little girl is fleeting. She is unnamed. But her master is well known, for he was the leader of all the armies of Aram. He too may have been left unnamed, had he not encountered the love of this young slave girl. Because of her, he became part of the narrative of the Israelites—her people—as a blazing testimony of the power and love of her God.

His name was Naaman. His story can be found in the fifth chapter of 2 Kings. It is a story of numerous amazing things—not just the miracle healing often told as a children’s story. There is much more in this brief chapter of Scripture. The character of God is revealed. And the character of His true followers is demonstrated through the slave girl, through God’s Prophet Elisha and ultimately through the healed Commander of Aram’s armies—Naaman.

All because of the love of one small girl who, hearing that her captor had leprosy and believing she had a God who was able to heal, said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3).

Having lived in the house of Naaman for some time, the slave girl would have known of his military genius. His king had high admiration for Naaman. As did, unbeknownst to him, his slave girl’s God. This foreign God—the Israelite God—demonstrated His inclusive nature, in the life of Naaman, when “through him the Lord had given Aram great victories” (vs 1). Only later, would Naaman realise how very involved the true God was in his life.

Thousands of years later, Jesus would say, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44). Could it have been the presence of this little slave girl—her prayers and her love—that brought the hand of God and His military blessings to Naaman?

** Continued in Confessing Brokenness tomorrow **

Reflection Question:
What blessings could you bring your enemies by making them your friend? How would it also bless you?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?

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