But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. – 2 Kings 13:23
As Elisha neared death, Aram continued to oppress Israel and reduced Israel’s army to almost nothing to prevent them from retaliating. The king went to the prophet for advice, who told him to take arrows and beat the ground. The king beat the ground thrice with the arrows, so the prophet told him that he’d defeat Aram only three times instead of complete victory had he done it more that thrice. Elisha died, and Hazael, king of Aram, never relented from oppressing Israel all through the king’s reign; however, the LORD loved and cared for his people and gave Israel victory over Hazael’s son, Ben-Hadad, thrice as prophesied.
We see to this day that the enemies of Israel want her dead and gone. The Iranians are renown for their statements of hatred toward Israel in that they want to annihilate Israel and push her into the sea until she is no more. The problem for Israel’s enemies is that the LORD promised on oath to give the land of Canaan to the patriarchs and their descendants forever. Because the LORD is faithful and never retreats from his promises, he has, is, and will continue to uphold, defend, and have compassion for the chosen people of Israel. He didn’t allow ancient Israel’s enemies from destroying her, and he is not about to let her modern enemies do so either. Sure, there will be death and loss across Israel as was foretold by the ancient prophets, but the LORD always has a remnant for which he returns, those who truly love him! Keep an eye on the Middle East and watch Israel defeat her enemies as the mighty hand of the LORD provides for them. He is loving, gracious, compassionate, and concerned for Israel.
The beauty of the situation is that the LORD is both God of the Jew and the Gentile, and he has and is calling sheep not of the fold of Israel into the flock. Jesus prophesied such and continues to fulfill this mission, for salvation comes first to the Jew and then the Gentile. Fortunately, Jesus tore down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile and created one new mankind in him through his sacrifice and resurrection. Because we know that the LORD is faithful to Israel and is the same forever, we can be reassured that he is loving, gracious, compassionate, and concerned for us as well. He is Creator and wants all mankind to come to repentance and be a part of his royal family. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! Once you do, you’ll never want to go back to the evil ways of sin. Trust in the LORD and serve him faithfully.
Father, may your name rise above all others and be glorified more than all! You are the righteous King who sits in heaven with earth as your footstool. You rule and reign in the affairs of men whether they like it or not. When I read this passage today, I could feel your love for Samaria and Israel despite their continual rejection of you under the various kings who caused them to sin against you through idolatry and other violations of your Law and word. Nevertheless, your love for them, as promised to the patriarchs, was evident them and is still so today. As we reflect back upon the 6-day War of 1967, we see that your mighty hand provided victory over six of Israel’s enemies as they fought them on all fronts from all sides! You demonstrated not only your love and care for them but also showed the world that you are still supreme! May your will be carried out in the world to its completion. Thank you for loving me and caring for me as much as you do for your chosen people of Israel. I trust in you for everything. May your will be done in my life too, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.