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Sharing The Good News

Dec 14, 2011, 2:37 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 118:130)

Samaria was under siege by the Syrian army and the situation had deteriorated to the extent where the cost of a donkey’s head had quadrupled, thus becoming unaffordable for the ordinary person. Grain was five times its normal price. Yes, the siege had lasted so long; people were at their wit’s end. In order to survive, they were ready to eat anything. Two women in desperation had agreed to feed on their children alternatively. they had fed on one when the dispute erupted for the other because the mother had a change of mind. With this background, the king however believed Elisha, the man of God, had a hand in it and so he sent him a messenger.

Elisha then made a pronouncement that effective the following day market prices for grains would plummet considerably. By this he meant food will be accessible to all and a state of normalcy would be restored. He said this to the hearing of the king’s chief adviser who in turn challenged that statement. “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of heaven could this happen?” (2 Kings 7:2) Elisha rebuked him for doubting. “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it.” (2 Kings 7:3)

The effects of famine brought about by the siege did not only impact the lives of those within the city walls but those without as well. Four lepers outside the city walls had also felt the pinch. They were between the devil and the deep blue sea. In those days, it was forbidden for lepers to enter the city. If they were to venture into the Syrian army’s camp they were uncertain what their fate would be.

They decided however that whatever happens, either way death was staring them in the face. So they had to do something. “Why stay here until we die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Syrians and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” (2 Kings 7:4)

In the face of adversity, we have to weigh the odds from all angles and decide in which direction to head. Stalling could aggravate the situation; we just have to bite the bullet. It may turn out bad, it may turn out good. They had a fifty, fifty chance. So they took their courage in both hands and headed for the camp of the besieging army.

Something rather strange occurred as they approached the edge of the camp at dusk. Nothing seemed to move; there was no visible presence. The camp had been deserted except for ‘their tents, their horses, and donkeys.’ The Syrian army had fled “for the Lord had caused (them) to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another; “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptian army to attack us.” (2 Kings 7:6)

For taking such a bold step, the four lepers were pleasantly rewarded. They entered the camp, ate to their fill and even stacked away gold and silver and clothes and went and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took away some things from it and hid them.” (2 Kings 7:8)

The lepers did not just ensure that their stomachs were full; they were smart enough to make provision for the rainy days ahead. God had blessed them and they had literally walked into prosperity. To make assurance doubly sure they kept part of the booty.

Then, all of a sudden, it occurred to them it was utterly selfish to have eaten all that food and stacked away all that wealth without thinking about others. What about those who were starving in the city? “We are not doing right!” they said to themselves. “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves?”

Pricked by the guilt of selfishness, they suddenly became aware that it might turn sour if by daybreak they still had not shared the news with others. They resolved therefore: “Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” (2 Kings 7:9) A wise move that was! In your day of joy, when God meets you at your point of need; when your dawn breaks on your horizon, remember to share it with others, particularly the less fortunate.

The lepers purposed not to keep this event to themselves and for their benefit alone. Their thoughts went to those who were famished and had little or nothing left to eat during the siege. It is understandable when we hesitate sometimes about sharing bad news. It should not be so with good news. In this particular instance, the good news would have brought great relief to the hungry and put back smiles on the tired faces of many who would have almost given up on life.

As a believer you have an obligation to declare the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world; – that is your duty; because He did not come only to save sinners but to bring new life to the dead. Many are ignorant of this good news of redemption to which every man, woman and child is entitled. We are all sinners; David traced it back to when we entered this world. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) But we do not have to stay that way.

Christ offers to the weary, the wicked and the lost, the captive and humanity at large a new lease of life. He alone offers life beyond the grave, because He alone has conquered the grave. He is “the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6) that all should seek. He offers everlasting life, lived after this life. If you put your trust in Him He will never fail you.