每日诗歌: In His Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo-rGzx2OZk)
2 King 4 [Read]
2 King 5 [Read]
John 4:1-30 [Read]
Where do we encounter God? Maybe I should rephrase the question. Where does God want us to encounter him? We may certainly encounter him in a worship service, a fellowship gathering, a counseling session, or in our devotional time. Basically, we may encounter him anywhere anytime. But in today’s readings, people encounter God under specific circumstances.
Have you ever wondered why people who feared God have to go through so much trouble? The poor widow came to Elisha: “you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves” (2Ki 4:1). A God-fearing man died, probably prematurely judging from having two young boys, and the surviving family was so poor that they only had one bottle of oil (4:2). Now, she was in danger of losing her two boys to her creditor. Is that how a God-fearer supposed to live and die?
The woman of Shunem was well off (2Ki 4:8), and she was hospitable to the man of God (4:10). For that, she was given a son after being barren for life (4:14). Then, he died young. In those days, to be without a child for life may be painful. However, it must have been infinitely more excruciating to be given a child for some years and then lose him. Not even Elisha was in on what God had in mind: “the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why” (4:27). Is that how God rewards those who treat his servant well? Even the man of God was speechless.
The Samaritan woman came out to the well to draw water (John 4:7). Why did she come out at noon when sun was scorching? It probably had something to do with her background (4:18), and even the Samaritans despised her. She had to come out when no one was around, and no wonder she was so desperate for the living water (4:15). But she knew one thing: the God of Jews supposedly had abandoned this place (4:20). Samaria was deserted in people’s eyes, and God was not supposed to show up here.
However, “he must go though Samaria” (4:4). In his sovereign plan, Jesus must show up to the people abandoned by God. The “must” is not just because of geographical location, but it carries a spiritual nuance just as “the Son of man must be lifted up” (3:14). Often time, God chooses to let us encounter him in total desperation, in excruciating pain, or in the abandoned Samaria. But one thing for sure, he must show up in time. His time, though.
Keep on reading,