“WHAT NATION’S RIVER IS BETTER?”

"WHAT NATION’S RIVER IS BETTER?"

WHAT NATION’S RIVER IS BETTER?

2 KINGS 5:1-14

I like watching the Olympics when they come around because of the way they celebrate the international community.  As the opening ceremonies commence and the games begin, viewers get to meet athletes from all around the world.  We often learn about places we didn’t know about as the back stories of participants are shared and we discover that there are beautiful and unique areas all over the globe. 

As I have gotten older, however, the downside for the Olympics is the medal count.  This is where the media keeps track of how many gold, silver, or bronze medals each country has won. The implication is that the nations with the most medals are the better ones.  There seems to be a bit of an attitude of “my country is better than your country” as one nation racks up medals over another. 

While it appears to simply be a part of the competitive nature of the games, the medal count does not take into account the disparity of resources that allows for certain countries to have so many medals.  It does not give a true picture since it does not show the gap in training facilities, the gap in good coaches, the gap in wealthy sponsors.  To me, this air of superiority the medal count creates runs completely counter to the spirit of the Olympics which hopes to make for international goodwill. 

This air of superiority can be found in the Bible as well.  In the Book of Second Kings we meet a general from Aram, a country which we know today as Syria.  The general has a hard time humbling himself in order to be cured of his leprosy.   In his desperation, he takes the advice of a servant girl and goes to see the prophet of the tiny country of Israel.  When he is told to wash in the Jordan river, however, it is almost too much.  The rivers of his country are much mightier!  How could he stoop so low?  But his servants remind him it is such an easy thing, why not give it a try?  The general finally relents and ends up being healed.  

Do we ever have a hard time humbling ourselves because we think we come from a better place than someone else?  Does our pride ever get in the way of potential for healing and growth because we don’t want to admit we might need help? 

-Pastor Erik Goehner

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