Sometimes a good question can change things for the better. It was so with four lepers who lived in Israel. Times were as bad as it gets because Samaria was besieged by an enemy who was starving the Israelites to death. Four lepers sat outside the city walls in similar circumstances, and one of them asked a startling question, “Why stay here until we die?” (2 Kings 7:3). He reasoned with his companions that if they tried to get into the city there was nothing but famine awaiting them, and if they continued to stay where they were, they would also die. He therefore boldly suggested that the four of them march headlong into the camp of the Arameans and see what happens. The very worst they could do would be kill them, and that was inevitable anyway if they stayed with the status quo. It was a bold move especially coming from such unlikely characters. Somehow they came to the conclusion it was time to do something. It was time to try something. It was time to act. Never mind that it was dangerous and they might be killed. They were determined to try.
Did the lepers know they would be successful? Did they have the certainty of not being harmed? Did they have the assurance they would be better off? Absolutely not! They did, however, know they had to try—and that is what they did. As evening fell, they got up and ventured toward the enemy camp. However, as they walked, God did one of the most incredible things, “for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army” (2 Kings 7:5-6). When the lepers arrived at the camp, it was completely deserted because the enemy had fled thinking a great army was attacking them. God had amplified the steps of four lepers to sound like a mighty approaching army.
God intervened on the behalf of four lepers. He didn’t tell them what he was going to do. God still does this when we step out in faith. Our resources are limited, and we ourselves are limited, but God is never limited. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is too difficult for God.
When the lepers reached the camp, they found food, drink, clothes, money and lots of it. They ate to their hearts’ content and then dressed themselves royally. After that they began to hide the treasures they found, and incidentally this is what most of us do with affluence—we pile it up. They continued to hoard the treasures until one of the lepers, probably the same one who asked the first question, came to another conclusion. He said, "We're not doing right.” The lepers concluded: “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves” (2 Kings 7:9). It is amazing that these four lepers determined that they needed to get off dead center and venture out to the enemy camp. It is also incredible that these same men, after experiencing prosperity and instant affluence, were able to conclude that they were doing no good by not sharing what they had discovered. What they discovered is what some Christians seem never to discover. The excitement of knowing Jesus is sharing him (our greatest treasure) with others who don’t know him.
“Today is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.” This message of Jesus is too good to keep bottled up inside of our souls. Jesus belongs to all the nations for all time. The prophet Haggai calls “Jesus the desired of all the nations” (Hag 2:7). What the world really wants is Jesus. This is a day for sharing him with our world.