The big Bible study is underway. I was so excited to participate with Catholic Mutt and the rest of the ladies. If you want to join...head over to her blog and see if you can still get in on this! It's gonna be great.
Here's my first offering to the group discussion. Thought it would make a good blog post too.
I went to a meeting at church this week and the reflection we did at the beginning was on 2 Kings 5:1-14. This is the story of Naaman being cured of leprosy by dipping in the Jordan River seven times at the command of the prophet Elisha. In the story, Naaman almost misses out on receiving his healing. Elisha doesn’t come out of his house to greet Naaman or even to see him at all, instead he sends a message via his servant giving Naaman instructions to go dip in the river. Naaman, at one point says “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not…the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?”
We have such a tendency as humans to want to be shown deference and be recognized for the wonderfully special people we are. Naaman was no different. He had an idea of how he would be healed (saved) from his disease.
So on to the connection with Matthew Chapter 1...
Do you think the Israelites, the chosen people of God, had any ideas of how God would send a Messiah? I think they had (and continue to have) very distinct ideas about how the LORD should save them and set them free. I certainly don’t think they expected their salvation to come to them in the form of a tiny baby, born in a stable to a carpenter and his young bride.
We’ll see more about it in the next chapter, but really I think the Jews were so surprised by this turn of events, they were probably all like, “Ummm, God? Not how that whole Messiah thing is supposed to go down.” They had a preference, an opinion, for sure their own ideas about how God should “save His people from their sins.”
It is so like God to surprise us; to come to us in a way so unexpected. I really took from this chapter that I need to get out of God’s way, stop telling Him how to help me, stop telling Him how to save me and just accept His plans for my life. Of course, easier said than done.