While betrayal is clearly a really bad thing (duh), its opposite quality—loyalty—is usually rewarded and praised by God (yay). But the people of 2 Kings need to go through trials of faith and difficulty to remain loyal—the Shunnamite woman whom Elisha helps would be a good example. She's clearly one of the most courageous characters in the book. Also, different kinds of loyalty are demanded from different people. Naaman can still bow down in the temple in Aram when he needs to, for example. The expectations for the way kings and prophets show their loyalty are different.
Questions About Loyalty
- What forms does loyalty take in 2 Kings? Do the prophets and the virtuous kings of 2 Kings have different ways of expressing their loyalty? If so, what are they?
- In what ways does God repay people who remain loyal to him in this book?
- What do you make of the exception God makes for Naaman, allowing him to bow down in a strange temple when he's forced to? What does this say about God's more merciful nature, in addition to his flexibility?
- What kind of sacrifices do the book's heroes and heroines need to make to retain their loyalty to God or to righteous kings and prophets? What are the costs as well as the rewards of loyalty?