From Famine to Feast

(In one Day)

Based on II Kings 7:1-19

For weeks the four lepers had hidden among the bushes outside the city gate.  Their leprosy, a highly contagious disease, prevented them from entering their Israelite city, and their enemy, the Arameans, had laid siege to their  city preventing anyone from leaving.  Gradually, their food supply had been exhausted.  Victory for the Arameans was all but assured as the Israelites within the city, as well as the lepers outside the city gates, starved.  Caught between two battling forces, the lepers’ situation was especially dire.

The four of them pulled up their blankets for another chilly night.  They were once again trying to sleep with empty stomachs.   Jacob rolled over and propped his head up with his hands.  “Let’s go down and see if we can steal  some food from the Arameans’ camp.  It can’t hurt anything.  They may kill us, but if we stay here outside the city, we may starve by morning.”

“I’m up for it,” replied Nathaniel.

“How about that prophecy from Elisha today?  He promised that by tomorrow  food would be readily available everywhere.  There would be plenty for all of us.” reminded Selan.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait until tomorrow.  I am hungry tonight,” complained Jacob.

“I agree,” said Caleb.  “Let’s go!”  They stood, wrapped their blankets around them, and began to make their way quietly down the hillside toward the Aramean’s camp.  As they got closer, they were astonished by the total absence of sound and light.  It was like a death camp.

Coming to a tent on the outskirts, they found it empty of Arameans but full of the Arameans’ food, supplies, and belongings.  “Yum!” cried Selan.  “Look at these delicious roasted rabbit legs.  Let’s eat.”

While Nathaniel kept watch for the returning Arameans, the others stuffed their bellies with rabbit meat, figs, olives, and grapes.  Finally, all of them had time to eat their fill.  Next they began to look around at the belongings the Arameans had left behind:  beautiful fabrics, brass pitchers and bowls, jewel-studded swords, etc.  Grabbing all they could carry, they began to sneak quietly back up the hillside toward the city gate.

From their perch on the hillside, they watched for the Arameans to return, but all remained quiet in the camp below.

Finally Caleb spoke up.  “Our fellow Israelites went to sleep with empty bellies.  They have no idea that the Arameans have gone, leaving their possessions behind.  We need to tell the gate keeper, and have him send word to the king.”

They approached the gate keeper with all the loot they had gathered.  He took several pieces to confirm their story, and sent the message with a runner.

Within the hour, the lepers’ strange story had been confirmed.  The Israelites stormed out of their city at sunrise to claim the food and possessions of the Arameans who had apparently fled in fear during the night.  The Lord, Himself, had single-handedly won the battle over the vastly superior Arameans while the Israelites slept in their beds!

“The Lord will fight for you.  You need only to be still! ”  Exodus 14:14  NIV