Monday, June 17, 2019
I have spent many hours in the waiting rooms of hospitals with the families of patients having surgery. I have shared their anxiety over the outcome. I have experienced the tension as the nurse reports that the doctor will be out shortly. I have looked into the face of the doctor to see if I can tell if the news is good or bad as he approaches us. Their training makes it difficult to know what they have to say until they begin to speak. After waiting for several hours, we are hoping for good news of healing and restoration. It has been an emotional journey filled with doubts and questions, and now the time has come to hear the news. When the news is good, there is a shared sigh of relief and a spoken word of praise from all of us. When the news is bad, there is a shared gasp of concern and a barrage of questions to be answered.
Consider the analogy of these situations to the situation in which the Israelites found themselves in 2 Kings 7. The city has come under siege by the Arameans, and the people are starving. Their situation is so pathetic that they have turned to cannibalism, eating their own children. But Elisha announces that God is going to deliver them.
2 Kings 7:9 “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
Then this happens:
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’ – the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans 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 Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there – not a sound of anyone – only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.
Imagine a doctor completing a serious surgery successfully, and then going directly to the doctor’s lounge to brag about his accomplishment to his colleagues rather than going to the waiting family with the good news.
Now imagine a person who has met Jesus and been rescued from the consequences of their sin and been given the gift of eternal life keeping that news to themselves. Yet that is exactly what happens far too often. We have discovered that the enemy no longer lays siege to our lives, the spiritual famine has been lifted, and the former encampment of the enemy is now filled with the blessings of God for our taking. Yet we keep it to ourselves. Let’s go at once and share this good news so that the city is filled with the joy of salvation and all can share in the rescue the Lord has provided from the siege of sin.