As you read through the Old Testament you’ll find some very interesting stories. In just the past week in my Old Testament class we’ve talked about prophets going to heaven in a whirlwind, bears eating kids because of their bald jokes and people paying big bucks to eat a donkey head during a famine. However, a story that stood out a lot because of the application it has for us today is the story of four lepers in 2 Kings 7:3-14.
At this time, the Arameans were laying siege to Samaria. It had gotten to the point in which the whole city didn’t even have food to eat (thus the donkey head mentioned above). However, outside the city there were four lepers. They hadn’t been in the city because lepers would have been separated from the rest of the people. Knowing that they were probably going to die no matter what they did, the four men decided they would go to the Aramean camp and see if they would be willing to offer mercy. The lepers were in for a big surprise when they reached the camp though. Everyone was gone. God had caused fear in the camp and the Arameans had fled, leaving behind everything in the camp. After eating their fill of food, the four lepers even started taking things from the camp and hiding them for later. However, in verse 9 we read a statement that shows their change in conscience. It says, “Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent.”
The lepers recognized that they had received a great blessing and it would have been selfish for them to keep that good news a secret. I hope by now you can see the great connection this has for us today. We too are in a “day of good news.” That good news is the gospel of Christ! As Christians, we have been blessed to have something that has saved us from sin. Unfortunately, like the lepers, many of us have taken that good news and hid it. We are keeping silent.
At the end of verse 9, the lepers recognize that keeping this good news a secret would lead to punishment and so they returned to the city to tell the king and his household. Similarly, we too will face punishment if we choose to keep the gospel a secret. I’m afraid that evangelism is something that too many Christians see as an option. We can share the good news with others…but only if we want to. That’s not how it works. We as Christians should recognize that it is our responsibility to bring this news back to those who still need it. However, it shouldn’t simply be done because of obligation. Like the lepers, we should recognize that the great blessings we have discovered are too great to keep to ourselves. We should be those who are anxious to get back to those who need it and share the good news with them.
You may already be involved in evangelism in some way. If so, keep it up. The good news you are sharing is powerful and can change lives. Evangelism may be something, on the other hand, that you have pushed off as an option. If that’s the case, I hope you will look for a way this week to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The good news we have discovered is far too great to keep secret. It’s time that we as the church speak up and stop keeping silent.