2 Kings 8:1–9:13 Acts 16:16-40 Psalm 143:1-12 Proverbs 17:26
Cause Me to Hear Thy Lovingkindness in the Morning
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. – Psalm 143:8
The phrase “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning” reminded me of strawberry fields. The summer before I entered high school, my siblings and I worked, along with many other kids, picking strawberries in the strawberry fields in Washington state. Every morning before daybreak, a bus came by our house to pick us up and returned us in the afternoon. It was hard work bending over and filling those flats full of strawberries. After the strawberries were picked, we moved on to the raspberry fields.
It was my very first job and it was hard work. I made $242.00 that year picking fruit and spent every bit of it on clothes for school. I came away with a great appreciation for those that work or ever have worked in such an environment especially the migrant workers that worked in adjacent fields and were housed in meager temporary shelter while all of us children returned to our homes.
After that summer, I despised the smell and taste of strawberries. But then one day about 30 years later – I suddenly wanted a strawberry again.
Teach Me to Do Thy Will
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. – Psalm 143:10
Let Them Come Themselves and Fetch Us Out
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. – Acts 16:35-40
Because Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison openly, having done no crime, when the magistrates told the keeper to set them free, Paul and Silas refused to go. They said no, let them release us themselves.
The Man of God is Come Hither
And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die. And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover. And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead. – 2 Kings 8:7-15
To Punish the Just is Not Good
Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity. – Proverbs 17:26