This Day is a Day of Good Tidings

Sermon delivered on June 2nd, 2024
Sunday Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: 2 Kings 7:1-11

 

The story we are about to read took place around 850 years before the Lord Jesus Christ came into this earth. Samaria, the capital city of the kingdom of Israel, is under siege. The Syrians, their enemy had surrounded the city of Samaria and cutoff all the supplies resulting a great famine in the city. The famine was so bad that women were killing and boiling and eating their own children.

 

2 Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. 2: Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. 3: And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4: If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. 5: And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. 6: For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. 7: Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. 8: And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it. 9: Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household. 10: So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. 11:  And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.

 

Introduction

I heard of a story that took place many years ago, a family was traveling in Oklahoma when an armed robber took over their car and held them hostage as they drove around over the countryside.

 

Finally, they stopped at a small gasoline station out in the country. The husband saw his chance and he grabbed the armed robber and prevailed. He then begged the gasoline station owner to call the sheriff. “Please,” he cried, “Please, call the police.”

 

The owner got his own gun and told all of them to leave. “I dont want any trouble around here,” he said. “All of you, just leave.” So, the frightened family drove away with their captor.

 

In the passage we read, the prophet Elisha makes a promise in …

1 Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

At the height of the famine, Elisha prophesies that the famine will finally end. He foretells that God Himself will bring deliverance and there will be plenty of food in the city. But no one believed him. One of the kings officers with his disbelief speaks up and said, “Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” No one could believe how this famine they were having would come to an end.

 

Then something completely unexpected will take place in verse 3. We read of four lepers outside of the city sitting at the gate of Samaria. These are men that society has driven out. They are outcast. They are forgotten and unwanted segment of society but now, they are in a situation where they are between a starving city where people are dying and a camp of enemy that would destroy them. 

 

In this story we will see how God chose these lepers to be the ones who found out how He would end the famine, how He would turn a severe famine to abundance of food. A message of hope came from a most unlikely source. I want us to look at these four lepers and see what lessons we can learn from them.

 

I – The Lepers Dilemma

1 Kings 7:3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4: If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

The lepers said to one another, If we just sit here at the gate we will starve to death.  If we go into the city, we will starve to death too. So, lets go out to the camp of the enemy who besieged the city and see what happens. After all, what do we have to lose, we are going to die anyway.”

 

2 Kings 7:5a And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians …

The four lepers sitting at the gate outside the city were ready to die. They were in desperate situation. It was do something or starved to death. So, they risked their lives and went into the enemys camp. Instead of sitting at the gate and die, they decided to get up and find food. They are not going to die sitting idle. They maybe leper, an outcast of society, but they are wise.

 

II – The Lepers Discovery

2 Kings 7:5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.

 

When they came to the camp of the Syrians, they discovered it was abandoned. The army had fled in the night. Why? What happened to the enemy?

2 Kings 7:6 For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. 7: Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. 8: And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.

The Lord Himself scared the enemy away. They have taken off and left all their tents, their horses, their donkeys, their clothes, their treasures and their food. The Syrian army had fled for their life but nobody knew it, no one in the city of Samaria knew it, except these four men.

 

Here are four lepers who are starving to death, but they wisely decided to go into the enemys camp and risk their lives than to sit at the gate and starve to death. Imagine how surprised they were when they arrived in the Syrian camp. They discovered that all the soldiers gone, and all the food and treasures of the Syrian army left for their taking. Food and treasures lay everywhere. The four men stuffed themselves. They were literally rescued from certain death!

 

What a picture of redemption! These lepers were in desperate condition but have been delivered from sure death. They were brought out of death into life. We who are born again by the Spirit of God have been delivered from sure and deserved death when by the grace of God, we found the Bread of Life and the unsearchable riches of Christ.

 

Oh, what joy it is to know and experience forgiveness and salvation. There is joy and delight in knowing that we are on our way to Heaven. There is joy and delight in knowing that we have passed from death into life. I pray that we would never lose the joy of our salvation. May we never get tired of rejoicing in our salvation.

 

May we join Davids declaration in …

Psalm 13:5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6: I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

 

III – The Lepers Decision

The four lepers were overjoyed from an unexpected deliverance from sure death. They were thrilled over the food and the treasures that they have discovered. As they were enjoying the food and gathering the spoil of silver and gold and clothe suddenly, they remembered the starving people in the city and their conscience starts to bother them and said to one another …

2 Kings 7:9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace …

 

This is not right! This is a day of good tidings; this is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.” They suddenly realized that it is morally wrong for them to feed their faces with abundant food while others are starving to death. Here they have an abundance of food and treasure. They have discovered the source of food, a short distance away from starving people who are ignorant of the source. So, they said to one another in …

2 Kings 7:9 … now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.

They wisely decide to go and share the good news.

 

2 Kings 7:10 So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them …

These fours lepers have a message of hope and life and they could not be silent.

 

A message of hope came from a most unlikely source. I love how God goes out of His way to show us in His word that He can use anybody. And He uses ordinary people. It is not necessarily by the strong, the powerful, the rich, the intelligent, the wise that He accomplishes His works. Who is it that God uses here? Four lepers! The outcasts of society! Lepers whose names were not even mentioned and yet were used by God to bring the good news that saved the starving people.

 

Just ordinary people

God uses ordinary people

He chooses people just like me and you

Who are willing to do as He commands

 

God uses people that will give Him all

No matter how small your all may seem to you

Because little becomes much

As you place it in the Masters hand.

 

God uses the weak, and the foolish, the outcast, and the unnamed to bring good news of great joy to many. So let that be an encourage to every born again believer here this morning. I thank God we have people at Grace & Truth this morning who are actively engaged in the work of spreading the good news. But I pray the God would raise up more laborers that would lift up their eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).

 

Closing Exhortations

I hope you all see the application. This story has so much to say to you and me this morning.

 

As we close, lets go back to the story about the armed robber. After being told to leave, the frightened family drove away with their captor. The next day the husband and wife and their two children were found murdered. Their bodies had been thrown into an abandoned well.

 

Their killer was finally brought to trial and convicted. Later the state tried the station owner and convicted him for his failure to notify authorities and perhaps to save the family's life.

 

One writer says, Sometimes silence is golden, but sometimes silence is just plain yellow.” To be silent when we have something lifesaving is a crime. The owner of the station could have saved the familys life. But he was convicted for his silence. He was convicted for his failure to notify the authorities. To be silent when we have something that could save lives is a crime. It is a blatant sin.

James  4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

Brothers and sisters, we have found the Bread of Life. We have found the unsearchable riches of Christ. You and I who are born again have a message of hope and life. We have been delivered fro spiritual starvation and death. But there are people who are spiritually starving just 100 feet away from us. There may be people in our lives and may be in our very homes who are spiritually starving. The source is here, and we know it, but they dont. If they sit in ignorance of the source, they will spiritually starve to death.

 

We cannot delay any longer for people around us are dying of spiritual starvation. We cannot be silent anymore. This day is a day of good tidings, and may we not hold our peace. May we not be silent anymore.  For the love of God and love of men lets do all we can to get the good news out. Spread the Word!

 

AMEN!