October 10, 2005

News Too Good Not to Share

2 Kings 7:3-11

3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, 'We'll go into the city'-the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die." 5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!" 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. 9 Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace." 10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, "We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there--not a sound of anyone--only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were." 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.


"This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves." 2 Kings 7:9

A Mercedes Benz commercial shows two cars colliding into a cement wall during a safety test. Someone asks the company spokesman why they don't protect their patent on the Mercedes' energy-absorbing car body. The spokesman replies, "Because some things in life are too important not to share."

Isn't that true? Certainly the greatest of those things is the good news of Jesus.

In 2 Kings 7 we find an intriguing story about Samaria under siege. Inside the city walls food was scarce and times were desperate. But outside the walls a colony of lepers stumbled on an amazing miracle of God. The enemy camp was deserted. Piles of food and provisions were left for the taking. They must have thought, "This is unbelievable! We're set for life!"

That's often the way a new believer responds as he or she discovers the spiritual riches God has given in Christ. The believer is filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

Like the lepers in the story, we need to say, "It's not right to hoard these riches for ourselves. We should share the good news and the wealth that's been left behind." It's unthinkable to keep silent about the stockpile of God's grace available to all who so desperately need it.

Lord God, the spiritual need around us is great. We have tasted and seen that you are good. Help us to share your grace and love freely with others, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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