Yesterday’s post marked the end of the book of 2 Kings so I thought this would be a good time to “eddy out” and reflect on 2 Kings and the tumultuous times it describes. As I have prayed and reflected on the book of 2 Kings I have been trying to think of a water analogy that captures the series of Kings and the dysfunctional relationship between God and the Israelites during this time.
The best analogy I have been able to come up with is a beach. Beaches are places where water meets the land either at the ocean or at a lake, like Lake Michigan where I live. I think in some ways the “meeting” place between us and God is like this. In a spiritual sense we look out upon the vast ocean of God’s kingdom and the spiritual realm from the “spiritual land” where our soul dwells — our bodies. When we seek and pursue God we are “getting in the water” so to speak. Sometimes we are only confident enough to dip our toes in the water,and other times, when our faith has grown strong enough, we have the confidence to rush into the waves.
I have seen days when Lake Michigan has hardly a ripple or a wave. The meeting place between the land and the water is a peaceful and tranquil place. On a warm late summer day one could easily wade out into the warm water and enjoy it’s refreshing coolness. Then there are other days where the beach is a wild and scary place where it would seem that the rip currents would drown us if we entered the water. In my journey as a Christian I have experienced God as both tranquil waters and raucous waves. The challenge is maintaining the same posture toward God in all kinds of “seas”.
During the time of 2 Kings the “meeting place” between God and the people was a stormy and tumultuous place. The people erected all sorts of “artificial structures” similar to jetties and sea walls, in the form of idols and altars, to try to control the raw fury of a jealous God. God sent many “lifeguards”, his prophets, to help the people navigate what they perceived as dangerous waters that threatened to drown them. Many of the lifeguards were “drowned” trying to rescue the very people they were trying to save.
The Israelites were ill-served by the leadership of most of their kings. These kings were not leading by following and most failed the “Meribah Test” miserably. What they really needed was a savior who could walk on water and teach them how to do it too, but alas His time was many years down the road for them. The Israelites will have to continue their “swimming lessons” for some time before they are given the choice of being a sailor or finding a savior.
Prayer: God thank You for sending Jesus to teach us how to swim and navigate the turbulent spiritual waters so that we can leave the beach — with His help — and walk on water.