Sunday, December 27, 2009

113: You Eat My Kids, I'll Eat Yours

2 Kings 6-8
This woman said to me, "Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we'll eat my son." So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, "Give up your son so we may eat him," but she had hidden him. - 2 Kings 6:28-29

Elisha is with some men when they are cutting down trees. One man accidentally drops his axehead in the water. Elisha uses his godly powers to make the axehead float and the man retrieves the axe.

The Arameans decide to go to war with Israel. Whenever they try to secretly set up a camp they fail because Elisha reports where they are. He obviously has some sort of godly radar. The Arameans somehow know about Elisha and send men after him (apparently Elisha didn't see that coming). Elisha then uses his powers to strike all the men blind.

While they are blind he tells the men that he will lead them to who they are looking for. Elisha ends up leading them directly into an Israeli city. Instead of killing them they treat them to a feast and send them home. The Arameans then stop attacking Israel. A happy ending?

A happy ending until "some time later". The Arameans lay siege to Samaria (a city in Israel) and all the people are starving (so much for that treaty). One day the king is walking through the city and a woman cries out for help. He asks what he can do for her and she tells him that she made a deal that was not honored. She had made a deal to eat her son with another woman, and the next day they would eat the other woman's son. Unfortunately, the other woman's son was nowhere to be found at mealtime. She broke the golden rule of cannibalism: don't eat your relatives first (unless you don't like them).

The king is so upset when he hears this that he tells his servants to kill Elisha (the king is blaming Elisha for this cannibalism). Elisha locks the door to the chamber he's in and tells the king that the next day there will be food enough for everyone to eat.

Nobody believes him, but sure enough. The next day the Arameans think they are being attacked (God's doing of course) and flee. The Israelites go and plunder their camp and have all the food they could possibly desire. The king is standing by the gate when the people find out about the food and he is trampled by the rush of people, killing him.

Nothing very exciting happens in chapter 8. Zombie boy's mom gets her land back (I'm not sure why she lost it in the first place). Ben-Hadad, king of the Arameans is killed by his servant. And Judah goes through a couple more kings.

*News*
An evangelical church welcomes gay members. In other news: Hell freezes over.

Pastor Mark Tidd had this to say about the decision:
Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice, it's not that we don't acknowledge the reality of sin. It's not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.
I definitely agree that being gay isn't bad, but to say it's not a sin is to say the bible doesn't say it's a sin. Which I'm not sure is accurate. It seems to me like if you only keep the rules in the bible you like and get rid of the rest then there's no reason for the bible to exist at all. Not that I think this is a bad thing, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

(via The Examiner)

3 comments:

  1. It seems to me like if you only keep the rules in the bible you like and get rid of the rest then there's no reason for the bible to exist at all.

    You haven't gotten to the New Testament yet. Once you get there, you'll see that Christians are directed to keep all of the laws of the OT, are directed to keep some of the laws of the OT and throw others out, and are directed to throw out ALL of the OT and have their own set of laws. Sometimes all three of these directives come within the very same book.

    By one reading of the NT, justifying acceptance of gays into the Christian community is actually less problematic than justifying the wearing of clothing made from different kinds of fabrics, or allowing children to disrespect their parents without stoning them. Conservative Christians don't hold to that reading, of course, but the fact that the NT pretty much directs the reading to pick and choose which "laws" from the Bible are "God's Laws" and which laws are "Man's Laws" is why you can even have a conservative/liberal split in the religion in the first place.

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  2. Have you heard of the book, "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs ? He is a non-religious, and certainly non-practicing Jew, that thought it would be a neat idea to try. He tries to follow the rules as literally as possible. You can imagine the results. It's a humourous book.

    www. ajjacobs.com/books/ yolb.asp

    As Jer suggested above, Christians are indeed told to keep all, keep some, throw out all and have their own. Which all the more suggests why the bible has to be seen as one of several valueable texts of literature to be studied, not followed or accepted as an authority without critical analysis.

    For Christ's sake! There are 4 different versions of the same story in the NT, and they tell different things! And there are more versions! What can you expect if you try to get authoritative 'anything' from a committee?

    Ethical living does not come from reading and rule-following.

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  3. Yeah, I've actually been meaning to read that, it sounds like it would be good. There are certainly a few Old Testament rules that I wouldn't have the will power (or the urge) to follow for a year.

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