Text: 2 Kings 7:3
By: Bro. Daniel Idogar
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?
In life, there are good days and there are bad days. Everyday was not meant to be the same; else it wouldn’t be practical and appreciating. Because a taste of good makes one appreciate the goodness of God and a taste of bad makes one understand the priceless nature of God. And sometimes when we find ourselves in those bad or unpleasant days, we wonder if we would ever come out of it. We wonder if the day of great things will come. We doubt if tomorrow will be better. At these times, we are afraid to move, to take just a step, to go forward. At other situations when all seems lost (for all hope is never lost), we may just wish to remain where we are, after all, what good may even come out of taking a little step when all the odds are against us? Hmmm…much more than we think!
The Day of Good Tidings
This was a day that sprung up after the great miracle Elisha’s servant experienced when God opened his eyes. He did see the armies of light that were unseen in the dark – only the eyes of one opened by God could behold such a marvellous sight. Consequently, the whole of Samaria was taken under siege by Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria. As such, great famine ensued in the land. The prices of goods, food items had sky rocked, and feeding became a serious issue even to the point cannibalism was the order of the day. Men ate men, women ate their children. How despicable! This was an unbearable scene, one to gross to behold. It was that bad. The children of Israel I could imagine were utterly confused and bitter, and they needed to hear the voice of the Lord.
2 Kings 6:25-33 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver. 26 Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” 28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”30 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body. 31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”32 But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, “Surely this calamity is from the Lord; why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
And Elisha spoke the word of the Lord in 2 Kings 7:1 1Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’
What he said was unbelievable. This was not what they anticipated because it was too good to be true. Elisha did prophesy that the prices of goods will be so cheap, cheaper than it used to be. In fact one of the King’s servants blasphemed and said “if God will make windows in heaven, will this thing be?” It is very wrong to speak against the word of the Lord, as such, the servant did suffer bitterly for it – 2 Kings 7:19-20 19 Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, “Now look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
I imagine they felt mocked by God. But they soon forgot He is the God of awesome wonders. And they just never believed that their day of good tidings was 24 hours away. Would you believe that? How close they were!
The Four Lepers
God has always placed value in little things. He believes in the potential of a little thing or person. No wonder he says “do no despise the day of little beginnings” (Zech. 4:10). And also He says in Luke 18:16 “for such as little children are the kingdom of God”. He doesn’t need the high and mighty to make known his power. No! He needs just that one unnoticed folk, that least in the kingdom of heaven, and He does what he wants. Such were these lepers. These were persons rendered unclean in their day. They couldn’t even dare enter the city. No wonder they were found at the walls of the city as recorded in our text. They were the weak, dirty, and unfit of the society.
God uses whoever he wishes to use to achieve His purpose and he takes pride in the humble. You must be ready to let yourself out, for God to come in. You must be little to be great. You must listen before you can speak; learn to teach and wait to be heard. It was obvious these men were brutally affected by the famine (I believe they must have suffered more than anyone else); that they had to resolve within themselves and say; what do we do, where do we go from here? Sometimes, we too have in one way or the other come to such cross roads where we wonder where else to go. We are so affected by the bad days of life, we have no hope of a better tomorrow, in fact, we are so sure nothing good can come out of tomorrow that we ask ourselves, what next? These lepers did something astonishing. They just had to do something drastic in such a desperate time. The Syrian camp was just beyond the city and they were well aware these people had food, livestock and every other thing one needed to survive. These people were the enemy but they had decided to go to their camp to either seek refuge or die.
Why Sit Here And Die?
These lepers resolved within themselves to do the thinkable – 2 Kings 7:4 4 If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.”
To them it was better to do something and die rather than sit and wait for death. Unlike them, we today may not have exactly the same challenge of death awaiting us. It could be a resolve to be useful, to get a job or make something out of nothing. Why sit and get nothing when you can take a step in anticipation of something? Why sit and ignore the gospel, instead of gracing an opportunity many never had. Why say “I am old now, I cannot be useful in the society, in the church or in your academic pursuit”. Make a move and be a laughing stock, yes, instead of being idle and still be a laughing stock. Better to be the one who tried and failed than the one who sat and failed. There is a little respect to that you know.
Yes! They decided to take an action and die (or be saved) rather than do nothing and die still – actions ad inactions. Decision is key in making a difference! No matter the hole you find yourself, only the power of decision can get you out of there. The resolve to make a move; the firm mind to say “I do”; the drive to take a risk; the ability to take a leap of faith. You must decide to be idle or be busy. You must decide to be for Christ or against Christ. You must decide to be a pain or be the change. Stop stalking others, stop staying in the shadows, stop sitting idle and move to the shores in front of you. You must make a move! They took a drastic decision of faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; who even in the advent of disappointment, were still firm in belief in God – Daniel 3:16-18 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Indeed, the four lepers moved at twilight, just about the start of the new day. They were smart. They did tread with caution. What a calculative move! When you move, when you take a decision you must be calculative. You must think and avoid every necessary hick ups and allow God to do the rest.
And God did go before them with a miracle of sound, in such a way that the feet of four leprous men became as wild and loud as those of a great army – 2 Kings 7:6 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” God still works miracles today at His will. He can change any situation to fit for His glory.
I must commend these four men on the strength of their unity. They spoke among themselves before they did anything. And most interestingly, they’ll follow just as they agreed. Unity is power! They came to a consensus on what they wanted to do.
I can imagine them holding hands as they crossed over to enemy borders. Fear is less when none comes first! How strong is our unity in the church? Leaders, do you consult one another before making a move? How strong is your unity in the home? Fathers, husbands, do you take decisions in neglect of your families or your wives? They never left each other. All little ministries in the church must have a unified voice. We must be able to meet as one, strategize as one and execute as one.
Great Men, Good Conscience
A great man must have a good conscience. You cannot be successful or influential if your conscience does not work. These four lepers had a good conscience. They thought it wise to spread the good news to those who are suffering in the city; to the King’s household. But hey! These were unclean people and they could have rightly been thrown when they came to deliver the news to the King’s household, for what good could even come out of such persons? Yet, they received them and the news they brought. When God favours you, no one cares who or what you have been but rather who you are. No wonder in God’s eyes the past is blotted out, only the present he demands. Don’t be a cast away because of your past. Don’t be discouraged by what you were.
Again, these men were truthful. They could have easily told a little white lie for their own selfish benefits but they did not. They spoke nothing but the truth. What noble men were they? And who says the truth doesn’t pay! Are you a noble man? Can you speak the truth when it matters most?
I believe in the word of God. It’s a divine mandate to whoever can adhere to it – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Life is not just all about chances or luck, a good life is a favoured life. Your life can be favoured divinely still and your days of famine can be over – it’s just a bad day, it’s going to end. God can still make your sound a voice to be heard. But you must act, you have to move, even when the stakes are high. You must put an action to the gospel you have heard, else, you remain a spiritual leper and die one. We must move for the day of glad tidings is as close as it can get, so, why sit there and die? 2 Corinthians 6:2 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
God bless you all in Jesus name. Amen!