June 15 – Today’s Readings – 2Kings 7-9 and Proverbs 15
2 Kings 7:8-9 reads, “The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, ‘we’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.”
The account of the siege of Jerusalem is horrific, fascinating and miraculous – all in the same story. Dreadful because of the suffering and terror that severe famine involved in those days – fascinating because of the spiritual dynamic still evident in the midst of this man-made disaster – and miraculous because of the divine intervention of God at the hand of a Prophet.
I’ve heard it said that before any of us have an encounter with the Lord, we are all rather like the four lepers at the gate of the city. Lepers because of the sinful nature that consumes us – lepers because we are desperate enough to step out of our security zone and by faith receive God’s provision. When we do so, we discover more blessing than we ever dreamed possible and we begin to “enjoy the spoils” of a born-again life. Then we come to the realization that the overwhelming provision of God is not only given to meet our own needs but is ample enough to meet everyone’s need – so we begin tell our friends about our newfound life and let them enjoy “the spoils” too.
What would have happened if the lepers had not gone back to tell the rest of the city that they had been set free by God? The doomed citizens would not have known the good news of deliverance and would have continued on, unnecessarily locked up in a dying city.
Herein lies a serious problem. Some “lepers” meet Jesus and enjoy the blessings of forgiveness, peace, joy, right standing with God, deliverance from deadly habits…etc. – but they never do go back to share their discovery with those who are starving for God and captive to an enemy who has been defeated and has fled before the voice of the Lord. The good news of their freedom is just down the road – the road of repentance, grace and hope – but without a messenger to tell them, they are still dead men.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:1,4-5)
Lepers we were – but God has brought us from death to life – from under the hand of the enemy and into His marvelous blessing.
1. Tell of an instance where you were able to share words of life and freedom with another “leper”.
2. Tell of another example from Scripture where great deliverance was brought by God and then shared with others.