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THE LEPERS FIND FOOD
"I will put my trust in him" ([HEB:2:13]).
We who live in Nigeria should give thanks to God with all our hearts for protecting our country during the war. Today we have plenty of food and clothing while in many other countries people are hungry and cold.
Thousands of little children lost their parents during the war; some of the fathers and mothers were killed by bombs and many of the parents were carried away from their children. Today thousands of those children have no real home, and very little food, and not enough clothing to keep warm. Children in Nigeria and Africa who have good homes and Christian parents should never forget to thank God for His goodness to them and pray that God will take care of the poor children in other countries and that they, too, may learn to love and obey Him. They have been sent some food and clothing, but still there may not be very much for each one of them. They need much help from God in every way.
We read in the Bible about a country where there was a war, and the people were starving. The Israelites – God's chosen people – had forgotten how good God had been to them when they were hungry and thirsty and in great danger. Instead of loving God for His kindness to them they had turned away from Him and were worshiping idols who could not hear nor see nor help them in any way. It must have grieved God very much to see people so unthankful.
In those days people built big walls around their cities to keep out the armies that might come to fight them and perhaps carry them away. The gates to the cities were locked at night, and there was always a gatekeeper. The Israelites were inside such a city – one that had high walls and closed gates so that no one could get into the city or out of it.
One day a wicked king brought a great army to fight against the people that God had been so kind to – the Israelites. The army could not get into the city. They stayed so long outside the walls trying to get in that the people inside the city had eaten all the food they had and were now becoming very hungry.
Four lepers wee outside the closed city and they, too, were very much in need of food. They decided to risk going to the camp of the enemy to get some food. They said that perhaps the enemy would kill them if they went there but they would starve if they did not go, and they said, "Why sit we here until we die?" So they went while it was not very light; and one can imagine their great surprise when they came to the camp and found no one there. The Lord had caused the enemy's army outside the city to hear the sound of many chariots and horses as though a big army were coming. The enemy soldiers became frightened and ran away as fast as they could, leaving their food in the tents. So the lepers went in and took all the food they wanted, and the gold and the silver. They must have been very glad that they had come to the enemy's camp. We believe it was God's way of helping His people in the city.
The lepers did not forget the people in the city who were starving. Sometimes people who have plenty to eat and to drink and to wear forget about those who are poor and needy, but the lepers did not. They said: "We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household" ([2 Kings:7:9]).
The lepers went to the city gate and called the gatekeeper and told him what they had seen – that the enemy had gone away and left much food in their tents. The gatekeeper told the king, but he evidently thought it was too good to be true. He said it was a trick that the enemy was playing on them. He thought they were perhaps hiding, and if the people came out of the city the enemy would catch them and get into the city. But when he sent messengers out to look they saw that what the lepers said was true. Then the gates were opened and the people were able to go outside the city and get the food. How thankful they must have been to the lepers!
The poor lepers had done a good deed in not being selfish. God is never pleased with people who want to keep all the good things for themselves. God is good to everyone, and he wants all to be kind to one another and share their blessings with others.
People who had leprosy were not permitted to live with the rest of the people. They were kept outside the cities and by themselves. If they came near other people they were expected to say "Unclean," so that people would keep from touching them. They must have had a sad life away from their homes, and out where they had a hard time finding food to eat.
The Bible tells us about many lepers. Jesus was not afraid to touch them and heal them. At one time ten lepers came to Jesus and he healed them all. Jesus still heals the lepers who believe His Word and look to Him for help. Ten lepers who have been healed through the prayers of God's people have written to tell us about it. There is no disease too hard for God to heal. He can heal the leper's body and soul. The lepers feel that nobody loves them and nobody wants them, but when they hear that Jesus loves them and will make them clean and well and ready to live in a beautiful place with other people, it makes them very happy. Everyone should pray that Jesus will save all the lepers in the world, and heal them as he did when he was here on earth.
1. Tell what the lepers found in the camp of the Syrians. [2 Kings:7:6-8].
2. To whom did the lepers tell what they had found? [2 Kings:7:10].
3. Did the king believe the story? [2 Kings:7:12].
4. Did Jesus heal lepers when He was here on earth? [Luke:17:11-19].
5. Is Jesus’ power the same today? [Hebrews:13:8].