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Keeping It All To Ourselves (2 Kings 7:1-11)

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These lepers, outcasts from their society, had the ethical wherewithall to share their findings of food and other provisions with those that had rejected them. There is certainly some parallel with the grand provision we have been promised and given in Christ. Dare we keep it to ourselves?

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Introduction -

What would you do if you all of a sudden recieved a fortune in money? Would you keep it all to yourself? Would you share it? Would you donate some of it? What would you do?
Four men in the ran into a situation in which they had to answer this question. And I think this question and how they answered it has some lessons for us, today!
Review background of situation found in
2 Kings 6:24–33 CSB
Some time later, King Ben-hadad of Aram brought all his military units together and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. So there was a severe famine in Samaria, and they continued the siege against it until a donkey’s head sold for thirty-four ounces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for two ounces of silver. As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, “My lord the king, help!” He answered, “If the Lord doesn’t help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor or the winepress?” Then the king asked her, “What’s the matter?” She said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him today. Then we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.” When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his clothes. Then, as he was passing by on the wall, the people saw that there was sackcloth under his clothes next to his skin. He announced, “May God punish me and do so severely if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.” Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger got to him, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this murderer has sent someone to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door to keep him out. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” While Elisha was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him. Then he said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

Text: 2 Kings 7:1-11

Main Idea - God’s Provision is So Great We Simply Cannot Keep it to Ourselves!

1. Promised Relief (vs. 1-2)

2 Kings 7:1–2 CSB
Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: ‘About this time tomorrow at Samaria’s gate, six quarts of fine flour will sell for a half ounce of silver and twelve quarts of barley will sell for a half ounce of silver.’ ” Then the captain, the king’s right-hand man, responded to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?” Elisha announced, “You will in fact see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.”
2 kings
As you can imagine, these were welcome words for the elders and the king to hear. The famine was a severe as they come, and the hope of relief was...
Prices returned to normal and because of the excessive prices they had been experiencing. But that was all about to change. They would once again have the staples of life that they had been without. They would not be forced to eat the unclean donkey head or cook with animal dung. And the prophet said this would happen overnight.
They doubted God. Remember what the king’s captain said? “Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?” In other words, “There is no way God can or will do this!”
Elisha assured him that in fact this will happen in a glorious dramatic way! Unfortunately for the captain, he would see it but not benefit from it because of his blatent disbelief!
They doubted God. Remember what the king’s captain said? “Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?” In other words, “
In verse 20, you can see how the captain, the king’s right hand man, met his demise...
2 Kings 7:20 CSB
This is what happened to him: the people trampled him in the city gate, and he died.
2 Kings
The king of Israel, Joram and his captain, were not nice men and they certainly were not men of faith. Having said this, however, I think I would have been tempted to have a lack of faith as well. When things are hard, faith can be hard to come by!
Ladies and gentlemen, I do not think we can comprehend as well fed Americans, what their suffering must have been like...
Their suffering was because they had turned their back on God and God said this kind of thing would happen. As gross and disgusting as it was, God gave them over to their own ways and the ramifications of sin took over. Remember, sin brings forth death!
Leviticus 26:29 CSB
You will eat the flesh of your sons; you will eat the flesh of your daughters.
Deuteronomy 28:52 ESV
“They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the Lord your God has given you.
Deuteronomy 28:52–57 CSB
They will besiege you within all your city gates until your high and fortified walls, that you trust in, come down throughout your land. They will besiege you within all your city gates throughout the land the Lord your God has given you. “You will eat your offspring, the flesh of your sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you. The most sensitive and refined man among you will look grudgingly at his brother, the wife he embraces, and the rest of his children, refusing to share with any of them his children’s flesh that he will eat because he has nothing left during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you in all your towns. The most sensitive and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her refinement and sensitivity, will begrudge the husband she embraces, her son, and her daughter, the afterbirth that comes out from between her legs and the children she bears, because she will secretly eat them for lack of anything else during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you within your city gates.
deut
Israel’s rebellion against God brought forth this kind of degradation. This is not God’s fault, this is the natural outgrowth of life given to rebellion against our God.
But our God is a compassionate God who graciously offers relief from our sin! Elisha promised relief from their physical starvation! God promises relief for our insatiable spiritual hunger! And there is nothing that satisfies that hunger, there is nothing that brings relief to the longing of our hearts, than Jesus...
“Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”Augustine of Hippo (354–430), in Confessions.
But I hope you realize the spiritual starvation you endured or even now are enduring. For those of us who are in Christ, this morning, we were so hungry for truth...
It wasn’t until I understood the gospel that my soul was satiated.
When I first understood the gospel…That I was in trouble with a holy God because I had sinned against Him over and over. I broke His commandments over and over. And when I came to the realization of the cost of breaking His commands was eternal prison in Hell, I was terrified! But then I heard the good news of relief. Relief from my eternal death sentence...
I am so grateful God sent someone to me to give me the hope of relief. Someone who shared the hope of the gospel...
Listen, the prophets of old had a job to do, they were commissioned to warn of impending judgment. They were to let people know there was one and only one place relief could be found from the wrath of God and that was though God Himself. “Turn to God and enjoy relief from His wrath!” Elisha was no different. He spoke the truth and what he said came to fruition. Hope was found in his words. Whether his words were believed or not was not His responsibility. His job was to bring hope to the hopeless! His job was to offer relief to a people who desperately needed it!
Friends, we have a responsibility to be like Elisha. We need to bring the message of hope to a spiritually starving world...
The question for you is, are you? Are you not just living the gospel, but are people hearing the gospel from your lips?
Romans 10:14–17 CSB
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
God’s Provision is So Great We Simply Cannot Keep it to Ourselves!

2. Unlikely Recipients (vs. 3-4)

Promised Relief

2. Unlikely Recipients (vs. 3-4)

2 Kings 7:3–4 CSB
Now four men with a skin disease were at the entrance to the city gate. They said to each other, “Why just sit here until we die? If we say, ‘Let’s go into the city,’ we will die there because the famine is in the city, but if we sit here, we will also die. So now, come on. Let’s surrender to the Arameans’ camp. If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die.”
2 Kings
Jewish lepers? Why Jewish lepers?
They were ostracized from their community...
They were stained with the physical ramifications of a sin cursed world.
They were the rejects that were potentially harmful to their own people.
And these Jewish men are facing a poignant reality…Death!
And the sad and pessimistic conclusion they are reaching is whether they sit where they are at, go into the famine riddled city, death, from their perspective, is inevitable. The only chance they believed they might have is to go into the enemy camp. If the Arameans kill them, oh well! They were going to die anyway. But, perhaps they might take them in they will at least have some food. Honestly, I don’t think there chances were very good (especially because they suffered from leprosy). But hey? What did they have to lose? Nothing! They were lepers for Pete’s sake! And leprosy was not a nice disease!

3. Unbelievable Provision (vs. 5-8)

LEPROSY Generic term applied to a variety of skin disorders from psoriasis to true leprosy. Its symptoms ranged from white patches on the skin to running sores to the loss of digits on the fingers and toes.
For the Hebrews it was a dreaded malady which rendered its victims ceremonially unclean—that is, unfit to worship God (). Anyone who came in contact with a leper was also considered unclean. Therefore, lepers were isolated from the rest of the community so that the members of the community could maintain their status as worshipers. Other physical disorders or the flow of certain bodily fluids also rendered one unclean (; ). Even houses and garments could have “leprosy” and, thus, be unclean ().
Chad Brand et al., eds., “Leprosy,” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1025.
And these four men, suffering from this dreadful disease, were an unlikely group to find the answer to God’s promise! And it would be these four men taking a risk, a gamble that would pay off far greater than they could have ever imagine.
I can’t help but see some interesting spiritual parallels.
Lepers were sick and waiting to die. In a sense, they were the walking dead. We are sin sick and spiritually the walking dead.
God orchestrated these four Lepers to be preserved and saved from their circumstance. God offers the opportunity for us to be saved and delivered from our sin filled circumstances.
They understood there situation and realized they had nothing to loose and everything to gain and so they took a chance. Ladies and Gentlemen, because of the gospel, for us, what do we have to lose? What do we stand to gain? Shouldn’t we be willing to take risks for the Lord?
The fact is, these men were about to stumble into the find of a lifetime! They would not have been able to make-up what they were about to discover. The most unlikely group of men would find what would restore their nation!
And so it is with us. God has not offered you salvation because you have done something to impress Him or because you are super cool or because of your stunning good looks. We are all sick with sin and in desperate need of a cleansing only He can give. We are the most unlikely of people to receive His favor and yet He doesn’t just give it begrudgingly, He lavishes it on us. Not because we deserve it, but because of His GREAT mercy!
Remember...
Mark 2:17 CSB
When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
God’s Provision is So Great We Simply Cannot Keep it to Ourselves!
Promised Relief
Unlikely Recipients
2.

3. Unbelievable Provision (vs. 5-8)

Unbelievable Provision (vs. 5-8)
2 Kings 7:5–8 CSB
So the diseased men got up at twilight to go to the Arameans’ camp. When they came to the camp’s edge, they discovered that no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army. The Arameans had said to each other, “The king of Israel must have hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us.” So they had gotten up and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents, horses, and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had fled for their lives. When these diseased men came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent to eat and drink. Then they picked up the silver, gold, and clothing and went off and hid them. They came back and entered another tent, picked things up, and hid them.
What a twist! They are fully expecting to see the Arameans’ army and when they get to the edge of their camp, nobody’s home! How can this be? Well, I’ll tell you how this can be, it was Elisha’s prophecy coming to fruition. And it wasn’t the important people of Israel that it was first revealed to. It wasn’t the religious leaders, it wasn’t the elders! It especially wasn’t the King or his captain! It was four leprous Jewish men, banned from their community that got to experience this amazing event! The Army that was starving out the northern country of Israel/Samaria was now gone!
God had freaked them out! The Lord had cause a great delusion to come over them! The Lord chased them out! Did you know that our God doesn’t need any help with anything?
The Arameans skedaddled and they left in such a hurry that they forgot all of their supplies! They ran for their lives! It must have been quite a scene! It must have been hysterics in the barracks! But they were now gone and these four starving lepers would be hungry no more! It was now party time! Eat, drink and be merry! Their risk had paid off BIG TIME and they were now living large!
They ate, they took the riches. They ate again! They took more riches.
Like a pirate that finds the long lost treasure! Throwing the deb-looms in the air, putting the gold crowns on their heads, just having a grand old time!
They had just won the lottery and they didn’t owe anything to anybody!
Folks, I don’t want to over spiritualize this, but I know that I have been guilty of this from a salvific perspective. God has graciously brought me into His Kingdom. He has made me His adopted son! He has given me all of His riches for all eternity. Whatever he has is mine. And I live as if they are exclusively mine. God didn’t stop building His church when I came on board. The call is still going out. He is still reaching for those who will respond.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
And He has chosen you and me to be a part of the reaching out process. He doesn’t need us, but He wants to use us! And if we are too busy with reveling in what we have in Christ to the exclusion of reaching others for Christ we run the risk of being stunted in our growth in Christ.
God has called you and I to SHARE the LOVE of Jesus. There is no way around this. His disciples are to SHARE!
Are you?
His provision is unbelievable and it is not just for you! What are you doing to share it? Believe me, you will never regret it.
God’s Provision is So Great We Simply Cannot Keep it to Ourselves!
Promised Relief
Unlikely Recipients
Unlikely Recipients
Unbelievable Provision

4. Ethical Quandary (vs. 9-11)

2 Kings 7:9–11 CSB
Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, our punishment will catch up with us. So let’s go tell the king’s household.” The diseased men came and called to the city’s gatekeepers and told them, “We went to the Aramean camp and no one was there—no human sounds. There was nothing but tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents were intact.” The gatekeepers called out, and the news was reported to the king’s household.
2 Kings 7
These four unlikely men had a choice to make. Would they lavish all of these riches upon themselves or would they reach out to their brothers and sister who were in severe and desperate need and share what they had stumbled upon? Would they share God’s gracious provision with them? Remember, this is all about God’s grace. The lepers didn’t deserve what they found and certainly sinful Israel didn’t deserve this rescue. Nonetheless, God, by His grace, gave it without limitation.
But what choice would these men make? Would they keep it to themselves? After all, they had been ostracized from their community because of their illnesses. If I were them I might be tempted to say, too bad for you! You rejected me, I reject you. But they chose not to take that road.
The text tells us what they did and their motive for doing so. Look at verse 9 again.
2 Kings 7:9 CSB
Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, our punishment will catch up with us. So let’s go tell the king’s household.”
They knew what was right and what was wrong. They were convicted.
They had a sense of obligation to their brothers and sisters...
They had good news to share...
They knew their selfishness would bring eventual punishment whether it be from God or man.
So they went and told...
And so a powerful lesson for us...
As believers, we know what the Lord wants us to do especially in regard to sharing our faith. Yet less then 2% in the evangelical community do so on a regular basis.
We have an obligation to God to obey the great commission...
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And we have an obligation to our fellow humans. “How will they hear unless someone tells them?”
We have news far greater than food and riches...
Folks, God loves the World so much He sent His Son to pay all of our sin debt and if they, by faith believe on Christ an acknowldge and repent of their sin, they will be saved! You have this wonderful news to share! Are you?
Billionaire giving away money…would you tell?
God’s Provision is So Great We Simply Cannot Keep it to Ourselves!
Promised Relief
Unlikely Recipients
Unlikely Recipients
Unbelievable Provision
Ethical Quandary
Conclusion
Keith Wright said this simple and yet profound statement. “Lost people matter to God and so they matter to us.”
Do they matter to you? What steps are you taking to reach the lost.
As a church can we honestly say that we have so structure this ministry to fulfill the great commission?
Introduce “True Life” and cards.
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