2 Kings 7:1–15
As a result of a prolonged siege by the Aramean army, conditions in the city of Samaria were horrific. A donkey’s head (not a delicacy) was selling for over 2 pounds of silver, more than $750 today (2 Kings 6:25). If you couldn’t afford that, you could get a cup of dove’s dung for about $45. And we thought we were struggling with inflation.
It was in this context God’s prophet Elisha promised Israel’s king that within 24 hours flour and grain would be so plentiful he could get 6 quarts for just half an ounce of silver.
Imagine if this Sunday morning your preacher announced gas would be $0.25 a gallon by Monday afternoon. Of course you would be skeptical. But this was essentially what Elisha told the king and his servants. God can and will accomplish what we think is impossible. However, our doubts may prevent us from experiencing God’s blessings. This was the case with the king’s right-hand man. Elisha prophesied this man would not benefit from God’s provision because of his doubt.
These four lepers are among my favorite characters in the Bible. They knew their options were limited, so they decided they had nothing to lose if they went into the Aramean camp and surrendered.
As a result of their step of faith, these men were the first to learn of God’s miraculous provision. The Lord caused the Arameans to hear the sound of a huge army advancing, so they turned and fled, leaving all their food stores behind. The four diseased men ate and drank and plundered one tent after another.
Isn’t it amazing how we often have to hit rock bottom before we see God’s activity in our lives? As someone has said, we will never understand God is all we need until we reach the point God is all we have. God may be ready to bless us, but we stubbornly keep trying to do things in our strength.
The four diseased men said, “Today is a day of good news.” In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the word for good news is “euangelion,” from which we get our word evangelism. The four men had good news to share with the people who were starving to death. So they returned to Samaria and proclaimed the good news to the gatekeeper, who then reported it to the king’s household.
Like Christians today there was nothing the people did to earn their salvation. Therefore, like these people, nothing should stop us from sharing it.
Have you experienced God’s salvation? Are you keeping silent about it? If we choose to stay silent, then “what we’re doing is not right.”
We are responsible to share the good news. We are not responsible for how someone responds to it. Sometimes the gospel really does seem too good to be true. We are saved by grace and not by our works (Eph. 2:8–9), and for many people that just seems too easy.
When the king of Israel heard the good news, he was skeptical. He thought it must be a trap. Nevertheless, when he investigated further, he found everything was just as the four men said. Skepticism in itself is not bad. At least two of Jesus’ disciples expressed skepticism about Jesus.
Yet both Nathanael and Thomas came to the same conclusion — Jesus was Savior and Lord. When we search for God with all our heart, we will find Him (Jer. 29:13).