In the days of Elisha, Jerusalem was under siege. No one was going out and nothing was coming in. Food was scarce, and people were dying.
As you can imagine, things were bad for the common person, but for the poor it was even worse. Then there was the leper. Lepers were literal outcasts – couldn’t live in the city, had to declare “unclean” everywhere they went, separate from family.
During this siege, four lepers are sitting near the city gates, starving like everyone else. They come to a realization. No matter what happens they will die – starve here, starve there, starve anywhere. Why not head over to the enemy camp, and see if we can elicit some pity and get some food? Worse case scenario..we die a quick and dirty death.
When the arrive at the camp they discover it deserted. God frightened the enemy away. They abandoned camp the night before.
These lepers have gone from outcast to king. They move from tent to tent enjoying the first ever progressive dinner. They take gold, silver, clothing. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
They are blessed.
Making retirement plans – Will you build a beach house or mountain villa? – they have another epiphany. These are very deep thinking and astute lepers.
2 Kings 7:9-11
9…“This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”
10So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. “We went out to the Aramean camp,” they said, “and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there wasn’t a single person around!” 11Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.
They are a blessing.
This week we are focusing on how generosity flows from an attitude of kindness. From the beginning, God designed for blessing to beget blessing. We are generous/kind because God has been generous/kind to us.
Though the lepers motivation wasn’t completely pure (self-preservation), they shared their blessing with the palace, which then shared it with the people. Out of their generosity flowed salvation. The nation of Israel was saved from starvation because of the generosity of 4 men.
When you are generous, you open the door for God’s salvation to flow. Will you be a blessing? Will you be generous?
This week we are asking the every person in the church to give something away. As you give, as you are generous, ask God to open the door to salvation.
What thing(s) have you or will you give this week?