Today's Lectionary Text
2 Kings 3:4-20
Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder, who used to deliver to the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs, and the wool of one hundred thousand rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. As he went he sent word to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you go with me to battle against Moab?” He answered, “I will; I am with you, my people are your people, my horses are your horses.” Then he asked, “By which way shall we march?” Jehoram answered, “By the way of the wilderness of Edom.”
So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out; and when they had made a roundabout march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that were with them. Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! The Lord has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” Then one of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah, is here.” Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to your father’s prophets or to your mother’s.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is the Lord who has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab.” Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I have regard for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would give you neither a look nor a glance. But get me a musician.” And then, while the musician was playing, the power of the Lord came on him. And he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I will make this wadi full of pools.’ For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall see neither wind nor rain, but the wadi shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your animals.’ This is only a trifle in the sight of the Lord, for he will also hand Moab over to you. You shall conquer every fortified city and every choice city; every good tree you shall fell, all springs of water you shall stop up, and every good piece of land you shall ruin with stones.” The next day, about the time of the morning offering, suddenly water began to flow from the direction of Edom, until the country was filled with water.
Elisha had to be feeling pressure. Elijah warned inheriting a double portion of his spirit wouldn’t be easy, and he was right. Three armies camped without water. Three kings so desperate for God’s guidance that rather than summon the prophet to them, they have come to him to seek his help. A king does not do that. But here are three, doing just that.
Elisha’s response isn’t unusual for prophets, and it’s one which resonates with our hearts today. “But get me a musician.” And then, while the musician was playing, the power of the Lord came over him. (verse 15)
Music touches our hearts and souls, connects us to one another, and connects us with God in ways that words alone simply can’t. It is a part of our entire lives. Parents sing babies lullabies to comfort them. As children we learn the letters of the alphabet and we learn about our relationship with God in song.
Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.
You didn’t read that, you sang it in your head, didn’t you? Music can connect us to camps, to teams, to relationships, to our wedding day. At the end of life, music connects us to memories when other parts of our brains are failing.
In our faith journey, there is music which connects us to worship in times and places past, music which will bring joy to our hearts, and some music we may almost always bring tears to our eyes as we sing. As the people called Methodists, we are blessed with the prolific poetry and song writing of Charles Wesley. His words still speak to us, and we continue to add to them. Thanks to modern technology, we don’t have to seek out a musician if we want to find inspiration in music; it may be as close as our smart phone. But the power of God to speak to us and to inspire us in song is just as real today.
Rev. Michael Turner
Auburn and Topeka Grace UMCs
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God, we give you thanks for your gift of music, and for all those who use their gifts to serve you by bringing music to our world. Hear us when we worship and praise you in song, and open our hearts and minds to hear when you speak to us through music. Amen.
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