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2 Kings 7:1-11

AND WE HOLD OUR PEACE

Intro: This passage is set against the backdrop is a desperate situation. The city of Samaria was surrounded by the Syrian army. The people within the walls of the city were literally starving to death. Notice the conditions of the day 2 Kings 6:25-29. Then, one day, a message of hope came from a most unlikely source. Four strange messengers brought a strange message to the city gate that changed everything for those trapped inside the city.

This message was a message of life and hope, yet it was a message that was almost never told! Let's look into the details of this message and the men who carried it and think for a few minutes on the subject, "And We Hold Our Peace!"

This passage has much to say to you and me this evening. You see, we also have a message of hope and life that needs to be shared with a world that is trapped in sin and darkness. They have no hope, and we hold our peace. They have no way out, and we hold our peace. My prayer is that we will see that the days of sitting silently by while the world perishes are over forever! I pray that we will see that we need to share the message we have been given. Let's notice the details of this text and see what it has to say to us tonight.

I. V. 8a THEIR DELIGHT

(Ill. The context. Here are four lepers who are starving to death. They wisely reason that it is better to go into the camp of the Syrians and die by the sword than it is to sit where they are and starve to death anyway. Imagine their surprise when they arrive in the Syrian camp and find all the soldiers gone and all the wealth of the Syrian army left for their taking. They were literally rescued from certain death! They were overjoyed at their good fortune and they began to live it up! (Note: These men are a picture of the redeemed sinner. Those who have been brought out of death in to life. Surely, there is a delight in knowing that one is saved and headed to Heaven. There is joy in passing from death into life.) Notice what they enjoyed in their newly discovered surroundings.

A. They Delighted In Their Refreshment - These men were starving, but when night fall came, they had more than they could have eaten in many lifetimes. (Note: Those who know Jesus can feast on spiritual food and can drink from fountains of living water, Job 23:12, Jer. 15:16.)

B. They Delighted In Their Riches - These four men were dirt poor. They subsisted off the garbage others threw away. They were outcasts and had absolutely nothing. Their situation was made worse by the famine within the city. No one threw anything away! Now they are wealthy! They have more gold and silver than they could possibly spend! (Note: Those who know Jesus enjoy spiritual blessings beyond the imagination of those who do not know the Lord, Eph. 1:3. The common things in the Christian life, things enjoyed by everyone who knows the Lord, that we take for granted are far more precious than silver and gold! His Presence; His Provision: His Power; His Promises; Etc!)

C. They Delighted In Their Raiment - In the morning they were dressed in rags, when evening came they were dressed in the finest robes of the Syrian army. They had never been as well dressed as they were that evening. (Note: Those who have come to the Lord Jesus for salvation have also traded their rags, Isa. 64:6, for His robes, Isa.61:10; Rev. 19:8. I am glad that I am saved, aren't you? I rejoice in the robe of righteousness that I have been clothed with by the grace of God!)

(Note: These are real blessings enjoyed by the children of the Lord. They are not to be discounted, but they are to be accepted and God is to be praised because of them. Thank God for every blessing He gives to His children!)

II. V. 8b-9 THEIR DILEMMA

A. Their Realization - These men were so caught up in their excitement over their newfound blessings that they forgot about all the others within the city. They realized that they had been worse off than everybody and that now they were in better shape than anybody! And, they realized that they were hoarding up the blessings instead of sharing them with those in need. Their statement, "We do not well!", sums it up pretty good. (Note: We who are saved need to remember that the blessings of the Lord we enjoy were not given to us to merely make us happy. God has blessed us so that we might share those blessings with those around us who need Him too, Matt. 5:16; John 7:38. Not everyone has what we have and we need to realize that! When we hoard up that which the Lord has blessed us with, then "We do not well!")

B. Their Reasoning - These men decided that the blessings were not just for themselves only, but that it was "a day of glad tidings!" Others needed what they had and they wanted to share it with them! (Note: I would just remind you that all around us are people who need what the redeemed have! Ill. Various situations in life that demonstrate this fact. Would to God that the church of God would realize that others need to hear the message we have to tell!)

C. Their Resolve - They resolved to go and tell others about what they had found. They wanted someone else to be helped as they had been! (Note: This is where witnessing begins! When we understand that lost people are perishing all around us, and that we have a message that can help them, it ought to stir us to action for the glory of the Lord. After all, we have all already been equipped for this service, Acts 1:8. What we need mor than anything is to see the need! Sadly, most Christians are like these four lepers were at the beginning. Our lives have changed and that is all that matters! Well, I would just remind you that the cross is for others as well. May we resolve in our hearts to go and tell them about Jesus Christ!)

III. V. 10-11 THEIR DECISION

(Ill. The men reacted to the need of others, then they acted upon their resolve and took the message to those in need. Their decision was a remarkable one that produced remarkable results!)

A. Involved Courage - It took courage for these outcasts of society to approach the city gates. They stood the chance of death and certainly of total rejection. (Note: It takes courage to share the message of Jesus with a lost world. Usually, they do not want to hear what we have to say. Others know what we used to be and they see us as being as unclean as they are. Regardless of the response we receive when we share the good news of Jesus, it must be shared nonetheless!) (Note: I believe in the great doctrines of grace: predestination, election, etc. However, I still believe the message must be shared, Rom. 10:13-14.) Do you have the courage to be a witness for Jesus Christ?) (Note: Illiterate man in Texas who lead 168 people to Jesus using Gospel tracts.)

B. Involved Compassion - For these men to go to a city full of people that had no doubt mistreated them, despised them and ignored them took great compassion. After all, lepers were considered dead by society. Sometimes families even had funerals for them when they were cast out of the city. After such treatment, these men might have said, "Let them all die! They deserve it after what they have done to us!" But, the fact is, those in the city needed to hear and these men did the right thing! (Note: Nothing shows the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ more than you taking the time to go to someone and sharing with them the message of Christ's saving Gospel! In spite of who they are, in spite of their past treatment of you, in spite of your past relationship with them, they need to hear and you and I have been commissioned to tell them about One Who can save their souls! May we have the love of God in our hearts to the degree that we will do whatever we have to do to go to those around us with the life-changing, life-saving Gospel of grace!)

C. Involved Conversions - When the message was heard, it was met with skepticism at first. Then it was believed and the city was saved as a result. Because four men refused to hoard up their blessings, a multitude was saved! (Note: When you share your faith, remember that you are not responsible for the results. We talk about soul winning, when in truth, we have been called to be soul warners. Our job is to tell, God does the saving! When you determine to tell, some will heed and others will not, but when you have done as the Lord has instructed you, then you have been obedient to His call on your life and He will honor you for it!) (Note: You never know how it will turn out when you tell someone about Jesus - Ill. Edward Kimball and his determination to win his Sunday School class to the Lord.)

Conc: And we hold our peace! Is that statement true of your life? Are you holding your peace, or are you telling those trapped in sin and darkness of a glorious way out? When I think along these lines, my mind always go to a New Testament figure by the name of Andrew. Every time he is seen in the New Testament, he is bringing someone to Jesus. First, it was his brother Peter, John 1:41, then it was a young boy, John 6:8-9; later, he, along with Philip, brought a group of Greeks to Jesus, John 12:22. He was a soul warner! He knew what he had and he wanted to share it with others. Can the same be said about you and me?




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