Summary: They had stumbled into an absolutely abundant and overflowing blessing, but they knew that they could never keep such a thing to themselves. “We do not well” still resonates to us today – as we face a generations that needs to be reached with the Gospel o
We Do Not Well
By W. L. Vincent (Bethel Community Church, Huntsville AL. 8/14/11)
2 Kings 7:8-9 And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.
9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.
The Church of this century is faced with more challenges than ever before in its history. We are faced with every brand and variety of religiosity imaginable. Humanism, Spiritualism, atheism and every hybrid mix of religious notion you can think of. The world is starving to death for a spiritual experience. They are driven beyond the brink of sanity. Amos 8:11 speaks of a time when there will be a famine – not for bread and water, but for hearing the Word of the Lord. Our cities and neighborhoods are starving to death. Our families and friends are perishing from hunger. Not from the lack of natural food, but from a lack of the Word of God.
No matter what you are looking for you can find a religion or philosophy to fit your state of mind. We find this culture creating pressure on the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find people church shopping – looking for the right “fit” for their needs. And I realize that we need to “become all things.” But you can’t shop for a church that’s not for sale. Perhaps this may sound a little old fashioned – but in this hour more than ever we need to stand in the pulpits across America and the world and present Christ to the crowd. We need to preach him in our homes and on our jobs. We need to echo the words of the Apostle Paul – I am not ashamed of the Gospel … it is the Power of God!
The text we have read is a portion of one of the most interesting stories contained in the Bible. This Story actually begins a little earlier in 2 Kings when Ben-Hadad of Syria lays siege to the city of Samaria. You see, it was the practice of military tacticianers of that day to surround the city being attacked and close them in. This cut the city off from supplies and provision. Eventually supplies began to run low. It was basically starving them out, and as we have said: starving people do desperate things.
It was in the heart of this great famine that the King of Samaria called for the prophet of God. When you become desperate – you are not looking for an inspirational speech. You don’t need fluf, you need answers. You don’t need a pat on the back and a hand shake – you need a Word from God. You need the prophet of God. We cannot afford to simply entertain the audience – we must preach the Word. We must declare the whole council of God. Paul declared to the Ephesian church that he had not hesitated to declare unto them the whole will of God. (Acts 20:27) We cannot afford to take a lesser stance in our generation.
The Prophet of God brought the Word of the Lord. “about this time tomorrow you can buy bread for pennies in the gate of Samaria.” Of course some doubted. The king’s personal assistant said “if God opened windows in heaven, how could this be?” The Prophet said “you will see it with your eyes, but you want partake in it.” It is too easy to bankrupt the faith account of many Christians. But before we can receive the physical, we must perceive the spiritual. To the person walking by faith, his faith is more substance than substance and more evidence than evidence. (See Heb 11:1) In other words in Gods economy faith comes before physical. It is interesting that in Jesus’ only prayer request noted in scripture. Where he asked us to pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest. He first said “look upon the fields.” In other words you have to see the field. Not a desolate unyielding field. A field that is ready to harvest!
Now we come to the most interesting part of the Story. It seems that sitting outside of the city there set four leprous men. These are men that society has driven out. They are outcast – and they are between a starving city and an enemy that would destroy them. So they say to one another “why should we just set here and die?” So they decided to surrender to the Syrians. And so with this decision, they begin their journey. I have often imagined these leprous men struggling to make their way across the dessert. They certainly were a misfit bunch. Each one with own deficiencies. I have often thought that