4 Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. 5 The LORD provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes as they had before. 2 Kings 13:4-5 (NIV)
I think this is incredibly unfair to someone who will remain nameless! Israel is in trouble and the king calls out to God. God listens and sends a deliverer.
If you’ve read through the Old Testament you’re aware there are many lists of names. Many on the list have no claim to fame besides having had a father and children. Yet this deliverer, who saved an entire nation, doesn’t even get his (or her) name mentioned. Would it have killed the recorder of this narrative at least to tell us the name?
Even the most “humble” among us wants to get a little recognition when we do something for God. Oh sure, it’s all for His glory but at least let people know what we did so we have a chance to show how humble we really are.
The deliverer is not the hero of this story, God is. He was merely an instrument of God’s power. The important thing is that Israel was delivered by God’s grace, not who was used to do it or how it was done.
How easy it is to be proud of our measly efforts when God uses us for His work. How prone we are to be disappointed when we aren’t noticed as much as we think we deserve. Someone, and I can’t remember who (seems appropriate in this case, I’m sure he won’t complain), said, “The way you can tell what kind of servant you are is by the way you react when you’re treated like one.” That convicts me.
(Page 2 of this story is every bit as unfair. Look at “Why Bother?“)