Surviving, But Not Prospering
2 Kings 7:3-8
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, 'We will enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die."
5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses – the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!"
7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact – their tents, their horses, and their donkeys – and they fled for their lives. 8 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.
Lepers – standing at a Place in Between
Begging: Surviving, but not Succeeding
They had Settled into Mediocrity
Any number of things they can blame on their circumstances:
Leprosy – not educated, not smart, don’t know how
Lack of Resources – no money, no job, no help
Social Exclusion – I’m a leper, I’m Black, I’m a woman, I have a record
Economic Conditions – no credit, economy bad
The famine was painful
The famine became so painful that it pushed them past their uncertainty
They would have stayed “outside”
They would have died “outside”
They realized that their situation would not improve if they did nothing
Walked towards the enemy’s camp
The Lord made their footsteps sound like a mighty army
Inside the camp was more than they had imagined
How did that happen?
- They could no longer stay where they were
- They made the decision to do something
- That something involved Risk
- They took the first steps
Many of us are just like the Lepers – standing at a Place in Between
Afraid to walk towards…
Surviving, but not Succeeding
We have Settled into Mediocrity
We have a litany of reasons why we are where we are...
Most of them connected to uncertainty & fear
Isn’t that why our journey with Jesus begins with faith?
Your situation is not going to improve if you continue to do nothing
There is a cost to Inaction
Standing ‘just outside’ the place of prosperity
- Won’t step in
- Won’t walk away
What makes you move?
It’s not desire…
Sometimes the Lord uses Pain to Push you – ex. downsizing, firing, famine, discomfort on job, job not paying enough
It’s time to move
When you do something, then God will do something…
The Lord will make your footsteps sound like a mighty army
Give the Lord something to multiply
At Twilight they did something they had never done before
The new day begins in darkness
Can’t see; uncertainty
Do something different
In the morning sow your seed,
and at evening withhold not your hand,
for you do not know which will prosper,
this or that, or whether both alike will be good. – Eccl 11:6