Today’s Scripture reading contains the story of four lepers with nothing left to lose. On the surface, the passage doesn’t seem to have anything to do with evangelism, but I think there is a valid application here.
And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. 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. 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.
Men Without Hope
These four lepers were outcasts from their Jewish neighbors. But the Jews were under seige by the Syrians. The Jews hiding behind the walls of Jerusalem were being starved out. The lepers decided they had nothing to lose. If they stayed where they were, they would die. If they went inside the walls, they would starve with the rest of the Jews. Maybe if they surrendered, the Syrians would be merciful to them. If not, they wouldn’t be any worse off than hey were already.
A Surprising Discovery
When these men went to surrender themselves to their enemies, they found that the camp was empty. God had worked a miracle and the Syrians were gone. Obvously, they left in a hurry, because all their food, clothes and riches behind. The lepers’ first reaction was to fill their bellies with food and their pockets with gold. They enjoyed the blessing of God’s deliverance.
A Realization of Wrongdoing
After a while, it dawned on these men tht they were not doing right. “We do not well,” they said, “this is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace.” They realized that it just wasn’t right to keep this kind of a blessing to themselves. There was a multitude, scared and starving, inside the city walls. Those folks needed to hear the good news of God’s deliverance, too. So these men set aside the selfish enjoyment of the spoils and went to tell their needy neighbors the good news.
What About You?
- Have you received the good news of God’s deliverance?
- Are you too busy enjoying your own salvation to share the good news with your needy neighbors?
- Are you holding your peace in a day of glad tidings?