I love the story of the four lepers in 2 Kings 7. There was a famine in Samaria. The lepers were dependent upon the generosity of others for their sustenance. You can imagine during famine that there was not much generosity being passed around so one of the lepers made a statement. "Why stay here till we die?" So they went into the city, and when they arrived Syrians who had occupied Samaria fled for fear of a large army approaching the city. Seeing the city abandoned the lepers went from tent to tent consuming everything in sight: eating and drinking, taking the gold and silver to hide it for themselves. What one of the lepers said next is what I love the most about this story.
2 Kings 7:9 (NLT) "This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren't sharing it with anyone!
As the church we can find ourselves responding in the same three ways as the four lepers.
- We find ourselves sitting outside the city gates waiting for the next miracle.
- Or church becomes all about us. Someone once said to me that their church was for believers. In other words it's all about me: I want my style of worship, my style of preaching and me being fed. We become consumers just like the lepers.
- Or we realize that we have Good News and begin to share it. In the parable of The Lost Coin, The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son we see the heart of God. He is distracted by lost things. I heard a pastor tell a story of his autistic son who got lost while his family was on vacation. He didn't stop and say, "Well, I still have three other children." He immediately went into a passionate search for his lost son.
Listen to the words of the lepers one more time.
“This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone!"
In the last days there will be wars and rumors of wars. According to what I see on the news we may be closer than we think to the return of Jesus.
May the church not get caught outside the city gates waiting for the next miracle or consuming what God has provided for ourselves. I pray that we recommit ourselves to sharing the Good News to those who need to hear it.