Hospitality for A Captive Army

When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Should I kill them, should I kill them, my father?”

Elisha replied, “Don’t kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master.”

So he prepared a big feast for them. When they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The Aramean raiders did not come into Israel’s land again.

2 Kings 6:21-23

It’s amazing to think of the lengths God went to in order to show His grace to the Arameans. After handing the Aramean army sent to capture him over to King Joram, Elisha instructs the King of Israel not to kill this invading army. Instead, he instructs the king to prepare a feast for the captured soldiers and send them back to the King of Aram in peace. This practice of hospitality to an enemy was totally counter-cultural and unexpected. At this moment, Israel was practicing what Soloman had written years before:
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you. (Prov 25:21 – 22)

The end result of this was that the Aramean raiding parties stopped visiting Israel for a while.

In our own lives, we need to think of ways to exercise hospitality and kindness toward those who most people will see as enemies. Our actions may cause them to think twice about what they are doing and reconsider their actions.

• How can you show kindness to someone who is causing you trouble today?

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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