The Steps Of The Lepers

8 When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.
2 Kings 7:8 (NLT)

This is another story from the Bible that shows us how God can turn the situation of extreme poverty into abundant prosperity within one day. So, if you are believer living in a poor country or in a bad economic environment, God can still make you rich. All you need to do is to trust and obey him. You need to change your mindset from being a theologian into an engineer. This story will show you how.

The story begins from 2 Kings 6:24.

24 Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria.
2 Kings 6:24 (NLT)

In those days before the application of gun powder, kings built defensive walls around their cities to protect them against invasions. The King of Israel was one of them. He must have strong walls around his capital at Samaria. Such walls offer great advantage for the defenders and often caused massive losses to those who tried to invade these walled cities. Attacks on walled cities carried a huge risk of deaths and injuries to the soldiers. Even Sun Tzu in Sun Tzu’s Art of War advised against laying siege on walled cities wherever possible.

The safest way to take a walled city like Samaria was to surround it and cut off its food supply. Let the defenders starve to death. Then the invaders could just walk in unopposed with zero loss of life. Such an operation requires a huge army and a strong logistic base. Unfortunately for Israel, King Ben-hadad of Aram could afford those. King Ben-hadad laid siege on Samaria, surrounded the city completely and cut off its supplies. The effect to the city was drastic.

25 As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver.
2 Kings 6:25 (NLT)

The city had a great famine. There were no farms in the city that could provide food to the inhabitants during the siege. As a result, food supplies ran out. The prices of anything that could be eaten shot up sky high, while things that could not be eaten were practically worthless.

One day, while the king of Israel was walking along the city wall witnessing how bad the situation had became, a woman approached him for help. It seemed that this woman made a pact with another woman where they ate their babies in turn. They ate her baby the day before. The next day, the other woman hid her baby and broke her promise. So, this woman looked to the king for justice. This shows how bad the famine was. How do you expect the king to act? He could not do anything other than tearing his clothes in despair. What would you do if you were in his shoes?

Then the king got an idea.

31 “May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day,” the king vowed.
2 Kings 6:31 (NLT)

He wanted someone to blame and chose Elisha for this honor. So he sent a messenger to invite Elisha to the palace. Elisha knew about it and locked the door. At that time the king himself had became a theologian.

33 While Elisha was still saying this, the messenger arrived. And the king said, “All this misery is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
2 Kings 6:33 (NLT)

He blamed God for causing this misery to his people. Does that sound familiar to you? This is what theology is all about. If you are sick, it is the will of God for you to be sick. If you are poor, it is the will of God for you to be poor. If you have failed in your examinations, it is the will of God for you to fail in your examinations. This is nothing more than a loser’s mentality. You can never live in the victorious life God wants you to live in if you continue to believe in the lies of theology.

Since the king believed in the theology that God was the pervert who caused misery to his city, he refused to serve God anymore.

Elisha passed a message to the king.

Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.”
2 Kings 7:1 (NLT)

He was saying that the situation would turn around in exactly 24 hours. The lack of food would turn into abundance of food. The extremely high prices of food would become very low. Can you believe that? The messenger did not.

2 The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”
But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”
2 Kings 7:2 (NLT)

The king was not the only theologian in the city. The messenger was another one. However, his job was not to judge the message. His job was to pass messages and he passed the message to the king.

How was God going to turn the situation around? Everyone in the city was hiding behind the city walls. They refused to face their enemies in a battle. They preferred to die of starvation than to go out to fight. It seemed that the entire city had become theologians. God could not use them. The only engineers were the lepers living outside the city walls.

3 Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other.
2 Kings 7:3(NLT)

The lepers were living outside the city walls because they were not allowed by the Law to enter the city. Their daily provision was in the form of donations from the city dwellers. Since the entire city was starving, you can be sure that these folks were starving along with the rest of the city. However, they asked a very important engineering question, “Why should we sit here waiting to die?”

They were facing death no matter what would happen next. They would either die of starvation or killed by the enemy when they decided to charge in. This question was the crucial turning point in their lives as it gave the courage to do the impossible – go to the enemy camp.

4 “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”
2 Kings 7:4 (NLT)

They decided to take their chances and became prisoners of war. They wanted to surrender to the Aramean army. They did not know how they would be treated but they decided to take their chances. The question on “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” gave them the courage they never had.

Their courage gave God the opportunity he was looking for.

5 So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there!
6 For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!” they cried to one another.
7 So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.
2 Kings 7:5-7 (NLT)

God amplified the sounds of their footsteps. The sounds from their steps became so loud that the Aramean army thought it was the speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. So, they fleed their camps, leaving behind their valuables and abundant food supplies. The lepers went into the camps and had a party. They even took away some door gifts in the form of silver, gold and clothings.

8 When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.
2 Kings 7:8 (NLT)

What can we learn from this story? God did not create those steps. Those four guys did. You may be facing some difficulties today. You may be very sick and the doctors had told you there is no cure for your disease. You may be so poor and debt ridden that you cannot see any way you can be prosperous. You have failed your examinations so many times that you wonder whether you can really pass. What are you going to do? God wants you to make the first steps to face your challenges. Only then will he magnify those steps and give you the victory you want.

What are your steps? If you are sick, you must take steps in fighting the disease. Ask yourself this question, “Why should I sit here waiting to die?” If you do nothing, you are going to be killed by this disease. If you have to die, why not take your chances and fight that disease? It is also better to die as a fighter than to die like a loser. So, start doing what you can to fight the disease. Read Bible verses on healing, confess your healing, listen to faith messages on healing, attend healing services and do whatever you can think of. Do not give up until that disease is completely gone.

“What if I still lose the fight?”

Then, you die as a warrior. You have done the best you could and you have no regrets. It is better than to die like a theologian.

If you are very poor and ridden with debt, ask yourself this question, “Why should I sit here waiting to die of hunger and poverty?” If you do nothing, you will continue to be poor until your entire family die of starvation. Stand up and fight your way out of poverty. God has promised you abundant prosperity. It is time for you to get back what is yours. Go ahead and do whatever you can to bring riches into your life. Read Bible verses on prosperity, confess your prosperity, listen to faith messages on prosperity and do whatever you can think of. Do not give up until you are so rich that you can bless others as well.

If you are facing constant failures in your examinations, ask yourself this question, “Why should I sit here and continue to fail?” Do whatever you can to pass that examination and don’t give up until you are successful.

Let us get back to the story. After those men had thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the enemy’s camp, they decided to inform the king.

9 Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”
10 So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. “We went out to the Aramean camp,” they said, “and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there wasn’t a single person around!”
11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.
2 Kings 7:9-11 (NLT)

The situation turned around as Elisha had prophesied. God kept his promise. He used the engineering minded lepers to save the theology minded healthy people in the city.

In conclusion, the choice is yours to make. Do you prefer to be a theologian and live like a loser for the rest of your life or will you determine to be like an engineer and fight to overcome every obstacle that comes to your life. As for me, I choose to be an engineer.

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