TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 7:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Then they said to each other, 'What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.' ” 2 Kings 7:9
What do you do when you have good news?
- Make very sure no one finds out.
- Write about it only in your journal.
- Email, phone, text-message and tell all your friends.
Chances are, you do the last. We all love good news – and love even more to share it with others so they can be happy with us.
Four lepers living outside Samaria didn’t have good news very often. Lately life was even worse than usual because they were starving. Their family members who usually brought them food were locked inside the gates of the city.
Standing guard outside the gates and surrounding the city walls was the army of Aram and King Ben Hadad. He wanted Samaria as his own. He was determined to stay as long as it took to capture the city. He was sure that when the Israeli people and their king got hungry enough, they’d be happy to surrender to him – just to keep from starving.
This day the lepers decided to do more than wait around to die of hunger. Since the only place there was food was in the enemy camp, they would go there. If the enemy killed them, they were as good as dead anyway. But if they soldiers had mercy on them and fed them, they’d have saved their own lives.
When they got to the enemy camp, what a surprise. The place was deserted. There were no people, only tents. Inside the tents were silver, gold, beautiful clothes and FOOD!
The lepers ate till they were full. Then they took some beautiful things and hid them. Suddenly they remembered the people in the city. They were still starving.
“This isn’t right,” they said to each other. “We have to tell the people in Samaria.” So they did. And by that night, no one in the city was hungry any more. Their lives were saved because the lepers remembered to share the good news.
We too have good news. It’s not news about food that gives us physical life. It’s news about how we can have eternal life and live forever in heaven with Jesus. Have you told someone else this good news? Don’t keep the good news to yourself. Tell your family and friends so they can accept Jesus and have eternal life too.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Jesus and the good news of how we can live forever with You. Amen.
Samaria was a city surrounded by walls. It was also built on a hilltop. The walls and the view of approaching soldiers made it a hard city to capture.
Ben Hadad, the Syrian king, tried to capture it by putting it under siege. This means his army surrounded the city walls. They blocked the city gates. No traders or farmers could enter with food. He was hoping that when all the food in the city was gone, the starving king and people would give up. Then Samaria would belong to him.
Draw a picture of a city under siege.
(And if you’re puzzling over the mystery of the deserted camp? Read the rest of the story in 2 Kings 7:10-20)