Four Lessons From Four Lepers: All Five Parts
From Our Director, Ray Mensah
In 2 Kings 6-7, we read about a famine in the besieged city of Samaria. It became so bad that women ate their own babies. The king of Israel appealed to the prophet Elisha, who said,
“Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
An officer of the king said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates
of the heavens, could this happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha. “But you will not eat any of it!”
Meanwhile, four lepers sitting outside the gate decided to go to the surrounding armies of the Arameans to surrender. They knew if they stayed where they were, they would die. Perhaps their enemies would have mercy on them.
When they got to the camp, they were amazed to learn that the Arameans had fled! The lepers plundered the camp, but soon realized, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.” They entered the city and told the king’s officials what they had found. When the king heard this, he sent out messengers to find out what had happened. When they confirmed the news to the king, the people in the city plundered the camp of the
Aramean army. The officer to whom Elisha had spoken was standing at the gate and was trampled and killed, so the word that Elisha had spoken was fulfilled.
Lessons One: Based on 2 Kings 6-7
Four lepers outside the besieged city of Samaria decided to go to the enemy’s camp. They reasoned that if they went into the famine-stricken city, they would die of hunger. If they went to the camp, they might get killed, but their lives might be spared and they might get food. They couldn’t just sit. They had to do something!
It is so easy to sit. Many churches today are sitting - 95% are just sitting.
The lepers decided they were going to do something. Although they didn’t know what action to take, they knew God could do great things. Similarly, Nehemiah took action to repair the temple. He said, “I cannot sit while the walls of Jerusalem are broken.”
David saw Goliath and proclaimed, “Can this uncircumcised Philistine defy the armies of God? I have to do something!”
God is calling His people with the little we have. It may not be much. Some may have much, some may have little, but everybody has something. We can’t do all things, but we can do something. Many times we do nothing when God is calling us to do something. Everybody has a gift. How are you using your gift? We can’t just sit - we have to act!
Lesson Two: Based on 2 Kings 6-7
Those outcast lepers could have been killed by going to the enemy’s came. They took a risk, and God used their risk and their faith. They learned that the enemy’s camp had been deserted. God had worked victory for His people.
God is looking for risk takers - people who are faithful, available and teachable. The Bible is full of risk-takers.
Noah took the risk to obey God and build an ark. Abraham left his family’s house to go “to the land that I [God] will show you.” It didn’t make sense. It was foolishness to the world, but by faith Abraham obeyed.
There are three types of takers in the world: Undertakers, caretakers and risk takers. Undertakers make things go down. They take what they have and bury it, like the man in the parable of the talents who buried his portion while the others doubled theirs. Undertakers don’t use the gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities the Lord gives them.
Caretakers settle to maintain the status quo. Some are in school, others have a job. They have what they need and are complacent. Though there is no safe place in the world, they don’t want to risk anything.
Risk takers are like the missionaries of old, who would pack their belongings in coffins as they moved from their home countries to where God had called them. They suffered, and their blood has fertilized the soil in Africa. Yet the beneficiaries of their sacrifice don’t want to do anything. I heard of a young man named Samuel Alexander Bill who was in Bible school when someone came forward with the news that a tribe in Nigeria was asking for a missionary. That young man responded and went. He was 23. He looked so young that they thought he was a teenager. They said, “We asked for someone to come, and you sent us a little boy. “
Samuel Bill ended up staying on the field for 53 years, where he and his wife raised their family. This man risked everything for Jesus.
What are you willing to risk for Him?
Lesson Three: Based on 2 Kings 6-7
The lepers enjoyed what the plunder they found, but knew they couldn’t keep it to themselves. They had a sense of responsibility, just like the church today, to share the Good News.
“..They said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This is the day of good news. If we are silent and wait till the morning light, punishment will overtake us...’ (verse 9 ESV)
Statistics show that 98% of all Christians don’t have this sense of responsibility, even though they are washed in the blood of Jesus. Only 2% of Christians share their faith regularly and 51% don’t even know there is a Great Commission.
Our God is waking up His church with a purpose. Don’t keep the Good News to yourself. I pray the church in Africa would wake up and take the Great Commission seriously. I pray that God would stir people to pray and fast. I pray that Africa would start a worldwide movement. We have so much responsibility!
There is a storm coming. It is huge, it is vicious, it is a monster. Many Christians don’t believe that hell is real, but whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, it is coming. The Bible says that one day the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first. We’ve got to share this Good News. The church is the shelter from the hurricane of Hell, and we have to get people into this shelter. It’s a matter of life and death.
How can you share the good news today?
Lesson Four: Based on 2 Kings 6-7
When Elisha had predicted the siege on Samaria would lift, the officer of the king doubted his words. But sure enough, God worked victory and routed the enemy.
Without the supernatural, men only believe in what they can do. But God remains the same. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and He changes things. There are places where sin and evil happen, but everything changes when spiritual revival comes.
There are places where there are no believers, but after one person comes to Christ, the whole people group follows. In northern Ghana, we are seeing whole villages coming to Christ!
With God all things are possible. We have to have faith that God can do all things. What is impossible with man is possible with God, and faith has to arise in us.
So don’t just sit there. Don’t ignore the call to be a risk taker!
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