May 26th 2009

“This Is A Day Of Good News”

“Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love urges us on. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.”
II Corinthians 4:14-15 (NLT)

There’s a great story in the Old Testament in the Second Book of Kings chapter 7 verses 3 to 9. This story takes place around 845 – 841BC. It’s a story about war and famine in and around the ancient city of Samaria, so the setting is one of fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness. The people of the city are constrained by the famine to eat unspeakable things and all hope is gone.

As the tale unfolds we find four lepers sitting just outside the city gate. They are saying to each other, “What are we doing sitting here at death’s door? If we enter the city we’ll die and if we stay here we’ll die. So let’s take our chances in the camp of the enemy forces and throw ourselves on their mercy. If they receive us we’ll live, if they kill us we’ll die. We’ve got nothing to lose.”

So, after the sun went down they got up and went to the camp of the Syrian army to surrender, but to their surprise no one was there. God had caused the Syrian army to hear the sound of horses and chariots and they thought that Israel had hired reinforcements. So they “legged it” as we say, fearing that they were outnumbered and would be defeated.
The lepers on the other hand, had a great time in this deserted camp; no doubt they gorged themselves on whatever food and drink they could find. They also looted the tents and took away gold, silver and clothing which they buried and then went back for more.

But notice the conclusion they came to in the light of all this abundance:  Then they said to one another: “We are not doing what is right. This day is a day of good news and we remain silent. Let’s go and tell everyone.”

An author called Michael Quoist posed the following question in one of his books:
“If you knew a place where the world’s greatest treasure was buried; if you knew that everyone who knew the way could go and help himself to it; and if you knew that the treasure was life and constant love and joy; could you possibly keep it all to yourself?”

That’s a great question!

Gracious Father, give me the courage to open your treasure chest of wonderful things for others. To be an ambassador for you Jesus and faithfully carry your message of reconciliation to those who are at odds with you.

Study by Cliff Neill

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