A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International
Week of October 4-8, 2021
Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ ”
So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?”
2 Kings 7:1-3
The prophet prophesies prosperity, and he sets a time when this will occur. He says prosperity will be coming and one sign will be that there will be trade in the gate of Samaria. Already someone who doubts voices his opinion. He happens to be a servant of the king. His voice carries weight.
Four lepers overhear both conversations. One speaks of prosperity, the other of continued poverty. This poverty has plagued them all their lives. They have an opportunity to overcome the circumstances or succumb to the same old thing. What choice they make will affect not only themselves, but the future of the people in the entire town of Samaria.
How often do we make choices to succumb to the familiar circumstances or overcome them?
If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:
Rx: Matthew 8:17 ~ He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:
October 4: 1 Kings 7, Ephesians 4, Ezekiel 37, Psalms 87-88
October 5: 1 Kings 8, Ephesians 5, Ezekiel 38, Psalms 89
October 6: 1 Kings 9, Ephesians 6, Ezekiel 39, Psalms 90
October 7: 1 Kings 10, Philippians 1, Ezekiel 40, Psalms 91
October 8: 1 Kings 10, Philippians 2, Ezekiel 41, Psalms 92-93
October 9: 1 Kings 10, Philippians 3, Ezekiel 42, Psalms 94
October 10: 1 Kings 11, Philippians 4, Ezekiel 43, Psalms 95-96
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.
2 Kings 7:3-5
Their choice not to die by sitting there and waiting for death has made them the targets for a miracle. The men decided not to sit and let death overtake them, but to take a chance that there might be mercy on the other side of the gate.
Many times we are faced with decisions that require that we move. God opens a door: perhaps it a change of job, or a promotion that we have longed for. We know that we are unhappy in our present condition, but there is a certain security in the familiar. These lepers felt the pangs of hunger so badly that they decided to present themselves to their enemies and take a chance that they might find mercy on the other side of the gate.
Many times we refuse to move because we cannot envision mercy on the other side of the open door. When God is moving there is always mercy. His mercy endures forever.
And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
2 Kings 7:5-9
Guess what? There was mercy on the other side of the open door. God had performed a miracle in uprooting the enemies of His people. Had He not told them that no enemy would be able to stand before them all the days of their lives? He was speaking about enemies seen and unseen. Starvation and hunger are unseen enemies. So in the middle of the night God caused the Syrians to abandon camp, leaving all their possessions.
The wealth of the sinner is truly stored and held for the use of the righteous. When we serve the Lord God we will always obtain mercy. These men chose life by deciding not to wait for death to overtake them. They decided not to succumb. So after they had eaten and divided enough for themselves, they felt mercy to share the good news with the King’s household. Though they were lepers and not permitted among the general populace, they felt now a new boldness to enter into the land of the living. They felt that the one thing that had prohibited them from being a part of society was gone.
In the past their leprosy defined them, and they had been beggars. Now they were men of wealth and power, leprosy being only a coincidence. Their leprosy was all but forgotten in light of the wealth that they had found. All the years they sat begging waiting for death to overtake them were all but forgotten in an instant. God turned it around in one day.
So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside.
So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.’ ”
2 Kings 7:10-12
They pass on a good report. They are the ones who have received the miracle of wealth and the victory over their enemies. They have been in the atmosphere of God’s miracle working power. This power always causes those who receive the miracle to follow through on the plan of God.
These men where chosen by God to receive the first of the miracle because they were willing to take a risk to get a change in their way of life. How many times do we have opportunities to advance and overtake our enemies and shrink back in fear?
Many is the time that we have thought about stepping out and witnessing, offering to pray for someone, or doing some kind deed, only to talk ourselves out of it. The fear usually is that the new thing that we are thinking of doing will place us at a point of no return or give us a new identity. This is exactly what God wants. He wants us to step into the miracle realm with Him never to return to the old ways.
The good news these lepers have is met with skepticism on the part of the King. In desperate times God will use whoever is willing.
And one of his servants answered and said, “Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see.” Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.” And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.
2 Kings 7:13-16
The news of the miracle is met with unbelief, but the spirit of faith is quite contagious anyway. One of the servants of the King makes the suggestion that it would be wise to investigate the claim of the lepers by sending some chariots out to investigate.
Even though there is much doubt in the atmosphere, there is a small light deposited in the heart of the servant. Perhaps he is remembering the words of the prophet, or he has come to the same point of decision that the lepers came to. He has decided not to sit there until he dies, either. He decides that it is worth the risk for them to find out what the truth is.
Faith always leads in the direction of truth. So they find that what the lepers have said is true. The word of the Lord has come to pass. The word of the Lord always causes us to overcome the obstacle rather than succumb to the inevitable. We triumph in Christ because we hold fast to our faith. This is the power that overcomes the world and all its temporary things… even our faith.