2 Kings 7:3-10

 40 Days of Witness
WE ARE NOT DOING RIGHT (day of good news)
Great Commission Church

2 Kings 7:3-10
Intro: In today’s text, God inserts an amusing story that shows His sovereign power to offset the judgment that sin brings on a people. The Samaritans are desperately suffering from a severe famine from God and a merciless, military siege by the Syrian army.

The key human figures in this passage are four lepers, consigned to live outside the city walls. Even though they are basically oblivious to the maneuvers of the Syrian army against the Samaritan people, their reasoning has remained intact. Their bodies have failed them, but their minds are still sharp. God records for us what the four lepers say to each other. We should note that they were able to carry on a normal conversation, presumably in a reasonable tone of voice and volume. 

No longer having to shout their shame, they calmly reason out their situation. And their logic is impeccable. 

We have three options, all of which will likely end in our deaths: (1) go into the city, but starve to death because the famine is there (2) stay where we are and starve to death (3) surrender to the occupying army and pray they don’t kill us on the spot.

Only one of those options seemed to give them any hope. Only one included the possibility of not dying – the third option of surrendering to the invading army. 

2 Kings 7:5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. 

What they found confused them. Undoubtedly, they had been preparing their speech to the Syrian military officers to plead their case. How nervous must they have been? Did their rotting flesh tremble with fear on the way?

Yet, when they arrived at the enemy’s camp it was deserted. How could this be? Why had they disappeared? In short, a rumor.

When the lepers reach the edge of the Syrian camp, they discover the enemy has gone. God caused them to hear yet another unseen army (cf. 2 Kgs 6:17), which led them to retreat without taking their possessions.

2 Kings 7:8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.

Not believing their good fortune, the lepers filled their own stomachs and pockets and even hid some of their treasure so that they could retrieve it later. They plunder the Syrian army’s camp like a great four-man leprous special forces platoon.

They largely enjoy themselves. It’s a spontaneous party! But gradually their sense of duty to their fellow Samaritans convicted them. 

2 Kings 7:9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”

They reasoned that if they failed to report the situation, others would discover in the morning that the enemy had fled and they would be punished for not announcing the situation to the starving population. 

Rather than suffer as criminals they preferred to be treated as heroes. They decided to return to proclaim their good news.

My Friend, I stand in Judgment now, and feel that you're to blame somehow.
On earth, I walked with you day by day, and never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory, but never did you tell the story.

My knowledge then was very dim; you could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together on the earth, you never told me of the second birth,
And now I stand this day condemned, because you failed to mention Him.

You taught me many things, that's true, I called you "friend" and trusted you,
But I learn now that it's too late, you could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night, and yet you showed me not the Light.

You let me live, and love, and die, you knew I'd never live on high.
Yes, I called you a "friend" in life, and trusted you through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to the end, I cannot, now, call you "My Friend."

It is wrong for us to know and receive that most unbelievable stroke of good fortune, and hoard it for ourselves.

An indictment of the church that is asleep in the light of God’s goodness:
•    We are actively wrong. (“we are not doing right”)
•    This is the time of grace. (“this is a day of good news”)
•    We are keeping the greatest gift to ourselves. (“we remain silent”)

2 Kings 7:10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” 

YSPISW: Are you reading too much into the words “good news?” 

Are you taking the “good news” idea from the NT and forcing it on this OT passage just because it uses the same words? Shouldn’t we look to the NT to teach us the gospel? In this OT story, doesn’t “good news” also mean “glad tidings?”

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Can we find the gospel of Jesus Christ in the OT?

Triumph of the Messiah over evil

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Justification by faith

Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Substitutionary atonement

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Sovereignty of God in redemption

Jonah 2:9 …Salvation is of the LORD.

Promise of sanctification through a new covenant

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 

Resurrection and eternal judgment of sinners

Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Is the OT just too large to find anything specific about Jesus? Is it too obscure? Are we able to find descriptions of Jesus there?

Consider the following list of attributes:
•    As a baby, he escaped the decree of a king and avoided certain death
•    He lived in Egypt as a child but later returned to his homeland
•    He was known by his followers to be both humble and strong
•    He was tempted while in the wilderness
•    He was attested by God through signs and wonders
•    He worked a miracle at the sea
•    He miraculously fed thousands of people with bread
•    He spoke God’s word and taught God’s law from a mountain
•    He was the mediator between God and his people
This clear, concise description of Jesus preceded him by thousands of years. How could the ancient author have described Jesus so accurately? The answer? This isn’t a description of Jesus at all. 

This list describes Moses. Strikingly similar to Jesus, wouldn’t you say? There’s more. 

Here is another profile:

•    His name, when translated from Hebrew, means “God saves”
•    He descended from a man named Joseph
•    He had a humble, obscure beginning but rose to a place of honor
•    He was anointed by God
•    He was filled with God’s Spirit
•    He led and shepherded his people
•    He did for God’s people what Moses could not do
•    He delivered God’s people from the enemies of God
•    He promised rest and provided it
This appears to be another succinct, ancient description of Jesus, but like the first, it isn’t describing Jesus. This is the Old Testament description of Joshua. 
•    He was the special object of his father’s love
•    He was underestimated and discounted by his own family
•    He had the ability to resist a temptation
•    He fed bread to people to relieve their hunger
•    He accurately foretold the future
•    He was sold by someone he trusted for pieces of silver
•    He was stripped of his robe and delivered to Gentiles
•    He stood before rulers in the assembly
•    He was falsely accused
•    His own people did not recognize him

Once again, this ancient list of attributes sounds like Jesus, even though it describes Joseph from the Old Testament.  




•    He was a descendant of Abraham and of the tribe of Judah
•    He was born in the town of Bethlehem
•    He burst onto the scene from an unlikely social position
•    He was anointed by God to lead his people
•    He was both shepherd and king
•    He amazed the elders as a young man
•    He spent time in the wilderness
•    He had no place to lay his head
•    His popularity angered the leaders of the time
•    He was betrayed by those he served
•    He trusted God in the face of adversity
This is also an ancient record describing someone other than Jesus (even though it sounds a lot like Him). This time, it’s an Old Testament description of King David.
•    His name, when translated from Hebrew, means “God is salvation”
•    His ministry started at the Jordan River
•    He received the Spirit of his Father
•    He was surrounded by more disciples than his predecessor
•    He was attested by God with miracles, signs, and wonders
•    He raised a woman’s adult son from the grave
•    He fed many people with just a few loaves and had more to spare
•    He healed a leper
•    He gave sight to the blind
•    He fed the hungry
•    He was betrayed for money
Although it sounds like Jesus, this time we’re describing the Old Testament prophet Elisha.
•    He preached repentance to Gentiles
•    He knew that salvation belongs to the Lord
•    He slept on a boat during a storm
•    He acted and the power of God calmed the storm
•    He chose to sacrifice himself for others
•    He spent three days in darkness, given up for dead
•    After three days, he escaped death and taught for forty days
This final description also sounds like Jesus of Nazareth, but it’s the Old Testament prophet Jonah.

YSPISW: What point are you making with all this evidence from the OT about the presence of the gospel and the predictive profiles that point to Jesus?

Answer: Because of the kindness and grace of God, sinners have never been without the good news! 

It’s always been the day of salvation. Therefore, we are still under mandate to tell all the other beggars where we have found bread.