- A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside
- Verdun had withstood a siege of ten weeks
- Siege warfare
- A similar operation by a police or other force to compel the surrender of an armed person
- A prolonged period of misfortune
- I've been having a siege of headaches
Yesterday and this morning my Bible readings have been from 2 Kings 6 and 7. These were some rough times for Israel. Their kings were wicked and had led them astray, which caused God to allow surrounding nations to attack them in an effort to draw them back to God. This was also during Prophet Elisha's time.
At the end of Chapter 6, in verse 24, the story begins by saying, "Afterward Benhadad king of Syria gathered his whole army and went up and besieged Samaria (the Capital of Israel), 25 And a great famine came to Samaria. They besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth of a kab of dove's dung [a wild vegetable] for five shekels of silver." (Amplified Translation).
The story continues with the telling of two women who were so desperate that they made an agreement to give up their sons to each other to be boiled and eaten. One of the women calls out to the King of Israel for help because they had boiled and eaten her son the day before and the other woman had now hidden her son and wouldn't give him up to be boiled and eaten. The king rent his clothes and called for the beheadment of the Prophet Elisha, blaming him for the siege and famine, since he was a prophet of God.
The story seem unbelievable to me and sickening and it is sickening. What these two women, and maybe others were doing to just survive, is beyond my comprehension, thankfully. Well the story continues...
God reveals to the Prophet Elisha that the king has sent his messenger before him to behead Elisha. We pick this up in verse 32, "Now Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him [to behead Elisha]. But before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, See how this son of [Jezebel] a murderer is sending to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold it fast against him. Is not the sound of his master's feet [just] behind him? 33 And while Elisha was talking with them, lo, the messenger came to him [and then the king came also]. And [the relenting king] said, This evil is from the Lord! Why should I longer wait [expecting Him to withdraw His punishment? What, Elisha, can be done now]?" (Amplified Translation).
Elisha then went on to give the king a message from God. Chapter 7, verse 1, "Then Elisha said, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will sell for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria!" (Amplified Translation).
The story goes on to tell how this happened the next day, how God brought about the ending of the siege on Samaria.
There were two significant lessons in this for me today, which I took note of even in my emotional and spiritual misery.
- How sad that those two women didn't wait two more days! The one woman never gave up her son, but the one who had given her son to be boiled and eaten had to live with the knowledge that not only did she commit a horrible crime/sin, but if she had only waited 2 or 3 more days, her son would still be alive. The Bible doesn't say what happened to the woman who gave up her son, but I would have felt like killing myself in horror at what I had done, if I was that woman. I would have felt just as bad, if not worse as the other woman who had helped to eat the son.
The Lesson: Desperation at the situations in life, whether brought on by our own doing or the doings of others, is not worth committing a crime/sin (although I have to admit that I've been extremely difficult to live with this week and have been hateful and irritable with my brothers, a sin in its own right.).
- God can change things around in a day (a week, an hour, whatever time period). The siege can end at any time. One day two women were agreeing to boil and eat their sons because of the siege/famine in Samaria, but the next day, they all had all the food they wanted.
The Lesson: The siege may be the hardest thing you will ever go through, endure. Given time and at the right time, God will end the siege and turn things around. My part is to hang in there and endure to the end of the siege, even if it kills me literally.
It's interesting (and more painful than my Dad's dying, I'm sorry to say) that I'm now being tested in the exact same way and manner as I had been then. Although it is horribly painful to me emotionally, I no longer want to turn away in anger and rebellion. I just want to get through it and not verbally and emotionally "destroy" my brothers in the process. I would rather not become homeless and thankfully, due to my sister and brother-in-law offering to help with the balance I need to pay rent, my rent will get paid in August. As far as the remaining financial issues I am experiencing, as in possible loss of car, phone, electric, gas, water, etc., I hope that God will provide the means to pay these through work or whatever, but I know that no matter what happens, I have and will continue to choose God. Just as Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15, NKJV).