Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Relationships – Day 12

Bearers of good news

Bible text(s)

4It's no use going into the city, because we would starve to death in there; but if we stay here, we'll die also. So let's go to the Syrian camp; the worst they can do is kill us, but maybe they will spare our lives.”

2 Kings 7:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

9But then they said to each other, “We shouldn't be doing this! We have good news and we shouldn't keep it to ourselves. If we wait until morning to tell it, we are sure to be punished. Let's go at once and tell the king's officers!”

2 Kings 7:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

Good news is always welcome, but more so if it breaks through a barrier of bad news that only proclaims hopelessness and death.

2 Kings 6:24 – 2 Kings 7 tells about a famine that was the inevitable fate of the inhabitants of Samaria after the Syrians besieged the city. Food and water supplies could not be replenished from the outside and available food was unaffordable.

However, this section also tells how completely different people react in a crisis and how those from whom you expect it the least, come to the fore and turn out to be the heroes of the crisis.

The king of Samaria was dejected and saw no deliverance; he wanted to kill the prophet Elisha and blamed God for their misery. His officer shared his pessimism — he responded cynically to the message of hope that deliverance was on its way.

The prophet Elisha, on the other hand, trusted God and delivered His promise to the king and his officer that the next day there will be food in abundance in the city. The latter sneers at the news.

Unaware of this news within the walls of the city, four leprous men — outcasts — outside the city gate, decided to do something about their fate rather than sit and wait for death. At twilight, they decided to surrender to the Syrian army and accept what will happen to them: “Let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die” (2 Kings 7:4). They could not believe their luck — the soldiers fled and left the camp intact! There was food in abundance and the four of them went from tent to tent and ate, drank and greedily took whatever they could put their hands on, until their conscience suddenly convicted them: “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, punishment will come upon us. Now therefor, come, let us go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kings 7:9).

They became the heroes of the story! They were the bearers of good news, a message of salvation: God is the marvellous Provider and victorious Warrior of the battle!

You and I also have a choice in how we handle crises. The natural tendency is to look for a scapegoat, to blame God, and to think and talk negatively. Sometimes, though, our hearts and prayers have to “surrender” to the possible side of hope to remind ourselves of what God is capable of. Then we must turn back and give the good news to ourselves and others: God can! He already has! He is the Author of good news!

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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