Saturday, May 26, 2012

Print Page The Four Lepers - 2 Kings 6:24-7:20

I find the historical account of the 4 lepers in 2 Kings interesting. There were 4 men who were not allowed into the city of Samaria because of their disease (Leviticus 13:46). Webster's 1828 dictionary describes leprosy in this manner.
A foul cutaneous disease, appearing in dry, white, thin, scurfy scabs, attended with violent itching. It sometimes covers the whole body, rarely the face.
You can find descriptions of it in the Bible in Exodus 4:6, Leviticus 13, Numbers 12:10 and 2 Samuel 3:29. Even if these lepers entered the city there was a famine taking place because of the siege by Syria so they would just die of starvation (2 Kings 6:24-25). It was so bad people resorted to eating their own children (2 Kings 6:28-29). If they just stayed outside the city they would die of their disease. So they decided to go to the Syrians to see if they would help. They thought even if they were killed by the Syrians they are no worse off.

To their surprise no one was at the Syrian camp. Instead there was just tents, horses, silver, gold and raiment. For God in his divine power caused the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and horses and they fled for their lives thinking Israel hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to come help them. The lepers filled their bellies with food and took the silver and gold. They rejoiced in their good tidings but thought it well to tell those in the city lest mischief would come upon them (2 Kings 7:9). They ran back to the city and told the porter and the message made it to the king. The king was cautious so he sent out men with the 5 remaining horses in the city. The men found the story from the lepers to be true and they found all the riches left by the Syrians. The famine was over and fine flour sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel just as God had Elisha prophecied (2 Kings 7:1).

How great is our God who can conquer nations and famine without our help. God used 4 outcasts to notify a locked up city, who were eating each other literally, that God had already saved them. If God can use outcasts like that to bring salvation to others he can use us to bring a even greater news of salvation to others. The salvation of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15).

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