The Famine and the Lepers

Scripture Passage: 
2 Kings 7:1-20
Attached audio files: 

  1. 10.3 MB

INTRODUCTION: The famine continues, but Elisha prophesies its end. In a wonderful picture of salvation, four leprous men find hope (food for survival) in the camp of the Syrians and leave to tell their people. The spoil of the Syrians clears the way for better days in Israel.

  1. THE PROPHECY OF ELISHA (2 Kings 7:1-2)
    1. Elisha Prophesied an End to the Famine (2 Kings 7:1).
      1. Hear ye the word of the Lord.
      2. The time of fulfillment – To morrow about this time
      3. The proof of fulfillment – the price for food
        1. The coming price
          1. A measure of fine flour for a shekel
          2. Two measures of barley for a shekel
        2. The present price (2 Kings 6:25)
          1. An ass’s head for fourscore pieces of silver
          2. The fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver
      4. The place of fulfillment – in the gate of Samaria
    2. The King’s Steward Declared It Impossible (2 Kings 7:2a).
      1. The lord on whose hand the king leaned (compare 2 Kings 5:18)
      2. Not possible if God would make windows in heaven
      3. Note: God says there are windows in heaven; they are mentioned five times in three different passages.
        1. A source of water in Noah’s flood (Genesis 7:11; Genesis 8:2)
        2. The object of doubt by the king’s lord (2 Kings 7:2, 19)
        3. A source of blessing to those who give (Malachi 3:10)
    3. Elisha Prophesied Judgment on the King’s Steward (2 Kings 7:2b).
      1. The king’s lord to see the fulfillment
      2. The king’s lord not to eat of the blessing
      3. Note: Compare this with Moses’ judgment (Deuteronomy 34:1-5) which, as in this lesson, was caused by lack of faith (Numbers 20:12).
  2. THE DISCOVERY OF THE LEPERS (2 Kings 7:3-11)
    1. They Reasoned in Their Bondage (2 Kings 7:3-4).
      1. Their bondage (2 Kings 7:3)
        1. Four leprous men
        2. Outside the city gate
        3. Without food to eat
        4. With no hope in sight
      2. Their reasoning (2 Kings 7:3-4)
        1. Their crisis – Why sit we here until we die? (2 Kings 7:3)
        2. Their options (2 Kings 7:4)
          1. To enter the city and die
          2. To stay where they are and die
          3. To fall to the Syrians and possibly die
        3. Their decision – to take their chances with the Syrians
    2. They Rose Up in the Blackness (2 Kings 7:5-7).
      1. They entered the camp of the Syrians (2 Kings 7:5).
        1. They rose up in the twilight.
        2. They came to the uttermost part of the camp.
        3. They found no man there.
      2. The Syrians were not in the camp (2 Kings 7:6-7).
        1. They heard a noise (2 Kings 7:6).
          1. The Lord made them to hear it.
          2. It sounded like the noise of chariots, horses, and a great host.
        2. They said one to another (2 Kings 7:6)
          1. The king of Israel has hired the Hittites against us.
          2. The king of Israel has hired the Egyptians to come upon us.
        3. They fled from their imagined opponents (2 Kings 7:7).
          1. In the twilight
          2. For their lives
        4. They left everything behind (2 Kings 7:7).
          1. Their tents
          2. Their horses
          3. Their asses
          4. They left the camp as it was.
    3. They Were Rewarded for Their Boldness (2 Kings 7:8).
      1. They found food for their hunger.
      2. They found riches without measure.
      3. They gathered and hid these treasures.
    4. They Reported of Their Blessing (2 Kings 7:9-11).
      1. They reflected on their actions – We do not well (2 Kings 7:9).
        1. This day is a day of good tidings.
        2. We hold our peace.
      2. They resolved to tell the good news (2 Kings 7:9).
        1. If we tarry until morning, evil will come on us.
        2. We will therefore go and tell the king’s household.
      3. They reported the retreat of the Syrians (2 Kings 7:10-11).
        1. They told the porter of the city (2 Kings 7:10).
        2. The porters told the king’s house (2 Kings 7:11).
  3. THE CONFIRMATION OF THE RETREAT (2 Kings 7:12-15)
    1. The Sovereign Suspected a Trap (2 Kings 7:12).
      1. The Syrians have hidden themselves in the field.
      2. They plan to ambush us when we come out.
    2. A Servant Suggested They Investigate (2 Kings 7:13).
      1. Take five horses that remain.
      2. Let us send and see.
    3. The Scouts Surveyed the Camp (2 Kings 7:14-15).
      1. They went with two chariot horses (2 Kings 7:14).
      2. They followed the trail of the Syrians (2 Kings 7:15).
        1. Full of garments and vessels
        2. All the way to the Jordan River
  4. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY (2 Kings 7:16-20)
    1. The Famine Ended (2 Kings 7:16).
      1. The people spoiled the tents of the Syrians.
      2. The word of Elisha came to pass.
    2. The Steward Died (2 Kings 7:17).
      1. The king’s lord was appointed to have charge of the gate.
      2. The people trode upon him that he died.
    3. God’s Prophet Was Vindicated (2 Kings 7:18-20).

CONCLUSION: The famine ends and the Israelites spoil the tents of the Syrians. The king’s faithless lord dies before partaking of any spoil, just as prophesied by Elisha.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 17:25

A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.