By Amanda Farbstein
June 22, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
2 Kings 3:1-4:17
Today’s passages share a common theme: suffering. And yet the nature of suffering differs in each of the stories: a man born lame, Paul being stoned, David bemoaning the unjust, murderous pursuit by Saul, and the Shunammite woman painfully longing for a child.
Illness, persecution, unjust violence, unfulfilled dreams. Certainly not archaic subjects. While God does heal the lame man, keep Paul from death, rescue David from Saul, and bring the Shunammite woman a child, not everyone experiences the same form of earthly deliverance. But these stories reveal that God sees and cares about all forms of our suffering.
David confidently declares at the end of his Psalm: “I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” But is he wrong? George Floyd is dead. There are needy COVID and cancer patients dying in the hospitals. What do we do when we aren’t seeing this reality in our present?
We remember that Jesus Himself was killed unjustly and left needy on the cross. And that it wasn’t the last word. Not only has He launched His Kingdom now through His death and resurrection, but He has promised a judgement to come when all will be made right. When we live in the “not yet” of the Kingdom of God, we remember that he sees, cares, and empathizes with our pain. And we hold fast to the hope that His Kingdom will finally be on earth as it is in heaven.
I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
— Psalm 140:6
Prayer to start with: Dear Lord, I pray that as we suffer in our various ways now, that You would deliver us, strengthen us with hope and joy, and embolden us to serve faithfully, trusting that all will be made right. Help us participate in building Your Kingdom now until we see You and it in full glory.