2007-03-20 - The Siege
Several hundred years before Christ, Samaria was under siege by the Syrians. For those of you who do not understand what a siege is let me explain. In a siege, an army surrounds a place, in this case - Jerusalem, so that nothing can come in or out. That means supplies like food and water may become scarce. As food runs out, people begin to die but the dead can't be taken out so disease becomes a problem on top of starvation. In 2 Kings, a very bleak situation is described. Verse 25 states that donkey heads and bird droppings were sold for food. Yes, donkey brains and bird poop were bought as food and people paid a lot for it. Verses 28 and 29 describe an even more shocking source of food; one woman ate her own son in a sick pact with another woman. Samaritans were hungry and desperate.
God stepped in and ran off the Syrians but no one knew that it was OK to leave the city. No one knew except for four lepers whose story is told in chapter seven. These lepers were desperate and decided to surrender figuring the worst that could happen would be that they would be killed but they thought they might be spared and kept alive.
2 Kings 7:8-11 (NKJV) And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 9 Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king's household." 10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, "We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound-only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact." 11 And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king's household inside.
Thousands of years after Christ, the world is under siege. Demonic powers rule, keeping millions of people from getting food - the Bread of Life and the Living Water. God intervened but there are still people trapped in the walls of sin - starving. So many of us lepers want to just horde spiritual treasures for ourselves in bible studies, retreats, festivals, and whatever. Will the Son come up before we realize we should have been shouting at the city walls? "The siege is over. The victory is won."