The Syrians Flee

The pastor stood before the congregation and said “I have bad news, I have good news, and I have more bad news.” The congregation got quiet. “The bad news is: the church needs a new roof!” the pastor said. The congregation groaned. “The good news is: we … More




When the king’s messenger arrived, Elisha announced a prophecy. He said that within 24 hours the siege would be over and there would be plenty to eat (vv. 1-2). This officer sent by Joram found this prophecy to be incredible and expressed his utter disbelief that God could or would do this. Elisha told him that he would see for himself but because of his unbelief, he would not experience the blessing.


The scene shifts to four lepers who may have been living in huts just outside the city gates (v. 3). Since they were starving to death, they decided to head for the Syrian camp realizing they could be killed. When they entered the camp, they found that the enemy soldiers had fled (vv. 4-5). They had fled because God had caused them to hear the sound of a mighty army of chariots and horses (vv. 6-7). The soldiers had fled fearing they were being attacked.


At first the lepers filled their own pockets and stomachs (v. 8). However, they decided they should return to the city to tell the king (v. 9). Fearing this was some trick of the enemy, the king sent  scouts to survey the situation (vv. 10-11). When they returned to confirm that the lepers had spoken the truth, the news spread like wildfire. The king threw open the gates and the multitude streamed out to find food and booty. The traffic was so heavy that the officer who had said God couldn’t fulfill Elisha’s prophecy was trampled to death. The fate that Elisha had predicted was fulfilled.





The King’s officer was convinced that the city was doomed and Elisha could not convince him otherwise. It is easy for me to become preoccupied with problems and lose hope. I need to be looking for ways to spread the (Gospel) good news and not focusing on the negatives. With God nothing is impossible.


II Kings 7:1-11 (English Standard Version)

But Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD: thus says the LORD, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria." Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, "If the LORD himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" But he said, "You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it." Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, 'Let us enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die." So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us." So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them. Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king's household." So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city and told them, "We came to the camp of the Syrians, and behold, there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied and the donkeys tied and the tents as they were." Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was told within the king's household.

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