Todays readings… 2King 13, Ezekiel 3, 2 Corinthians 10,11
“THE MEEKNESS AND GENTLENESS OF CHRIST”
What tough and challenging lives were experienced by those who were called to serve God. This ‘feeling’ stirred our hearts as the read about the life of Elisha – and how “when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash king of Israel went down to him and wept before him” [2 Kings 13 v.14]
So often, those who are a source of spiritual strength, at least in the Bible’s record, are not appreciated, until they are about to complete their mortal life. The “king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
[2 Kings 13:v.22] ” But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob …” [v.23] Is this compassionate spirit of the LORD appreciated – today – because of the work and sacrifice of His Son?
A fundamental principle was spelt out in today’s ch. 3 in Ezekiel – the prophet is told to proclaim, ” ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house. ” [v.27]
Of course, we show whether we “hear” (today we can say, ‘read’) by how we react to God’s message. How “rebellious” toward God is today’s world! We need the spirit of Ezekiel! Can we develop a similar spirit? Let us put this alongside Paul’s spirit!
We saw today how Paul challenged the Corinthians as we read ch. 10 of his 2nd letter. ” I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ … For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ….” [v.3-5]
We meditate on how Christ himself took “every thought captive” as he endured temptation – wrestling with the ways of human thinking, sometimes – in his case – the temptation to do the ‘right’ thing the ‘wrong’ way – this was before he began his ministry. Paul faced the same challenges after being confronted by Christ outside Damascus, he “went away into Arabia.” [Gal. 1 v.17] .
In our case we must lay the foundation to overcome the various challenges which face us, often day after day, by making sure we develop “the meekness and gentleness of Christ.”