Starvation to Salvation
2 Kings 7:9 (NLT) — 9 Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.” Four men with debilitating leprosy face an unimaginable decision, to slowly starve to death outside a dying city or beg for their lives from a foreign enemy seeking to destroy their people. In 2 Kings chapters 6 and 7, a captivating narrative unfolds, opening with this very dilemma of dire consequences. The Kingdom of Aram besieged Samaria. Besieging was a military tactic in which an army would surround a city and not allow anyone to come in or out. Inevitably this would result in the city surrendering or dying of hunger within their walls as no food or supplies would ever make it inside the town. 2 Kings 6 tells us conditions were so bad that people found donkey's head a suitable meal. So, where does this leave our four men with leprosy? On that day, because of leprosy's contagious condition, those that carried the ailment were bound to live a life on the outskirts of the city. Those with leprosy would beg from people entering and leaving the city; the problem was no one was entering or leaving. This meant that our four men with leprosy were slowly starving to death. The day came when they could take no more! They said to one another, 2 Kings 7:4 (NLT) 4 "We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much, the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway." And so the four men with leprosy started their walk to the enemy's camp, but as they were walking, God had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, and believing Egypt and other nations were coming to defend Syria, they retreated in haste. Unaware of all of this is our four lepers. They approach the enemy's camp, and to their surprise, there were no sounds of an army at standby. As they drew closer, there was no soldier in sight. But what there was, was plenty of was the surplus left behind by the retreating forces. Among the surplusses was loads of food, literally enough to feed an army. As you would expect, these four men with leprosy start stuffing their faces! They were a few short days away from expiring, but now they are eating to their full! Do you remember what that was like when you went from empty and hungry to full of God's love? Do you remember the day when Christ saved your soul and sent the enemy running in retreat, leaving in its wake everything that was stolen from you? What a glorious day it was! But please stop and think about this for just a moment. What a tragedy it is for us to be stuffing our faces with the goodness of God when right over the horizon is a city dying of starvation within arms reach of salvation. Think about our four men with leprosy. The bible says that as they were stuffing their faces, it came on them that they had to go back and let their city know that the enemy had been defeated and that there were freedom and salvation. When they went back to embrace their dying town of the good news, the people came running out into their redemption. Are we in the same manner embracing our city? Are we sharing the story that the enemy has been defeated and there is freedom? Could you imagine if the four men with leprosy never returned to tell their town? An entire city would have died of starvation within arm’s reach of salvation. Church, we cannot allow that to happen. We have to go back and let it be known that just over the horizon, there is freedom.