There are many lessons to be learned from stories
of Elisha. This is the 23th in a series focusing on the life of this
great prophet of God.
“And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king's household.’ So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them . . .” (2 Kings 7:8-10a)
A great famine, brought on by the fact that an enemy army had been surrounding the city for weeks, is holding Samaria in its grip. But God has prepared an escape. He “. . . Caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses — the noise of a great army . . . They arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact — their tents, their horses, and their donkeys — and they fled for their lives.” (2 Kings 7:6-7).
The trouble was, no one in Samaria knew this had
happened. When they looked out of the city, all they saw were the tents
and weapons of war!
There was, however, this small band of lepers who had been banished from the city. They took it upon themselves to enter into the enemy camp, and when they got there, they found the camp empty—deserted!
These men now had a choice to make. Either they share the news with the people in the city, or they plunder the camp and keep the riches and food for themselves. It is very understandable that they initially made the second choice. After all, they had already been thrown out of the city, and nobody wanted them anyway! Why share? So they plundered the camp, carried away some of the goods, and hid them.
But not for long. Before long, they realized how blessed they had been, how little they deserved the goods they were hiding. They thought about all those starving people within the city walls, and they were moved to compassion. “We are not doing right,” they said. “This is a day of good news, and we remain silent!” So they went and told the watchers on the wall the good news.
Friend, we, too, have discovered Good News. We, also, were starving spiritually, doomed to die the eternal death because of our sins. And though we little deserved it, we heard the Good News and embraced it. Sometimes at the cost of great personal loss! Now we, too, have a choice to make. Either we keep it to ourselves, or we share it! Sadly, many Christians today make the first choice: we keep it to ourselves! But just think of how blessed it would be for us to make the second choice: To proclaim to the world that the answer to our spiritual hunger is right there, ours for the taking! In doing so, we will personally experience the truth in the statement: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)!
Please see next Saturday’s edition of The Nugget, for Elisha, Part 24.
Love in Christ,