Act Within God’s Will

Bible Book: 
2 Kings / 2 Konings
Verse (to): 

2 Kings 5

Upon reading Chapter 5 of 2 Kings it struck me that we meet here a number of people who act against custom, against expectations and yet there is one who acts according to tradition.

The slave girl acts against all expectations (verse 3). Although she is still young (verse 2), she advises her mistress about what the “commander of the army of the king of Syria” (verse 1) should do concerning his health problem (leprosy). She is often applauded as a brave witness to the God of her own nation, although her acts can also be seen as being disrespectful and making a nuisance of herself.

The commander Naaman’s visit to the king of Israel is unexpected and causes consternation (verse 7).

Elisha acts against custom when he does not even face this visitor from abroad who comes to his house (verses 10 and 11). (Even the most basic requirements of hospitality demand that you meet your visitor in person.) He repeats this ‘abnormal’ behaviour by refusing to accept Naaman’s gifts after he has been cured (verse 16). (Refusing a gift is considered unfriendly, even rude.)

Naaman’s slaves act (like the slave girl) contrary to expectations when they dare to tell their commander, who is fuming with rage, what they think he should do (verse 13).

Then there is Gehazi – the only person who acts according to custom (verse 20). He accepts a gift from the visitor. He is, however, the only one in this story who acts against God’s will.

It is often not easy to find a clear answer to the question, “What is the will of God in this situation?” It may be to act according to custom and tradition and expectations, but it may also be to act contrary to these. Either way we must be sure that it is to the honour of God. Compare Naaman’s response in verse 15: “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (NIV).
To think about (or discuss): In the light of this story in 2 Kings 5, what dangers are there in the context of the Aids pandemic to act contrary to God’s will?
N du Toit (Ds)
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