The spoils of War

I was struck today, reading in 2 Kings Chapter 6 of the compassion shown to an entire army. The Arameans, blinded by God in response to Elisha’s request after they had surrounded him, are lead into captivity and almost certain death in Samaria. However, when Elisha presents them to the king of Israel, he suggests that rather than execute them, the king show’s mercy, and feeds them. The entire army is duly fed at a banquet and then released. The Arameans, who before this been acting like terrorists, engaging in a guerilla type war with Israel, never took up arms against Israel again.

You can read the story yourself in 2 Kings Chapter 6 from verse 8 to 23.

Now the thought that occurs to me is this: how do we treat those who have taken up a contrary position to ourselves? Had Israel killed the men it held, surely then the Arameans would have had a reason for continued aggression. Instead, treating them fairly, defused the situation and prevented further terrorist attacks.

So we are left with a question. How should we treat the wives of ISIS? I’m not going to present an answer, that would be foolish. I’ll simply state that questions of what happens after a victory are not new and have been addressed in various forms in the bible. In the case study we have looked at today, compassion was a powerful tool.

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