“THIS IS A DAY OF GOOD TIDINGS”
In the period of Israel’s history known as “The Divided Kingdom” we find Israel in a very weakened condition, and as a result, left themselves open to attacks by other nations. We read of one such siege in 2 Kings 6:24-29. This siege was orchestrated by Ben-Hadad, king of Syria. This assault brought a very terrible famine upon the city of Samaria.
Among those suffering in the famine were four lepers. They discussed their plight (2 Kgs. 7:3-4), and in desperation decided to surrender to the Syrians. To their surprise they found the Syrian camp abandoned (2 Kgs. 7:5-7)! At first these lepers splurged in their newfound riches – eating, drinking, and hiding treasures. Upon reflecting on their situation, they realized that they needed to tell others of what they had found. “Then they said one to another, We do not well; this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, punishment will overtake us; now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kings 7:9). This they began to do (2 Kings 7:10-11). There is a valuable lesson we learn from these four lepers, especially when they said, “This is a day of good tidings (or good news)…”
PARALLELS THEN AND NOW
There are a few interesting parallels between the account of the lepers and our day. In each case there is a famine. Theirs was a famine of food – ours is a famine for the Word of God. Amos warned concerning the famine of God word (Amos 8:11-13), and we need to heed that warning today! This spiritual famine is self-induced when man fails to study the word of God. Notice too, that there was plenty of food in the Syrian camp. Now, there are an abundance of spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3). In each case there were those who found what they needed. The lepers found food, and today Christians have experienced the joys of salvation.
But here is often where the similarity ends. The lepers knew what was right and did it – they did not keep the good news to themselves. Today, though, despite it being “a day of good tidings” – many are keeping silent about it. While many die of spiritual starvation – others feast on the gospel. The lepers said, “We do not well; this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace” (2 Kgs. 7:9). While reasoning with themselves, the lepers considered the consequences of keeping silent in a day of good news. I wonder if we have considered the consequences of keeping silent with the good news of the gospel?
THE CONSEQUENCES OF KEEPING SILENT
If we keep silent we are failing to keep the great commission (Mt. 28:18-20). This is a commandment! Keeping silent is transgressing the command of God and is therefore a sin (1 Jn. 3:4). If we keep silent we are failing in our mission as God’s people. We as the privileged people of God are to proclaim the excellencies of God (1 Pet. 2:9-10), and show people how to obtain mercy. We will also have to answer to God for keeping silent with the good news. God told Ezekiel that if the watchman did not warn the people the blood of the people would be on the watchman’s head (Eze. 3:17-21). Today, the church is God’s “watchman” to the world, and as such we must take the gospel to everyone (Mk. 16:15). Those who have not heard and obeyed the gospel will die in their sins, and we will be held accountable if we have not done our part in warning them. Despite the consequences of keeping silent, many Christians choose not to tell others of the saving gospel.
WHY MANY KEEP SILENT
One reason many keep silent is that they are starving themselves. They may have experienced the joy of salvation in the past, but through negligence have failed to grow and have forgotten about the blessings of salvation (2 Pt. 1:8-9). Sadly, they have returned to a state of famine. Those who are enjoying the blessings of salvation will want to share it with others, as did Philip (Jn. 1:43-46). Don’t you have any good news worth sharing?
Some may keep silent out of fear or discouragement. If fear keeps us silent remember that the “fearful” or cowardly will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8). God does not want us to be fearful (2 Tim. 1:7-8), but tells us that we can have boldness through prayer (cf. Acts 4:29-31; Eph. 6:19-20). If discouragement keeps us silent we need remember the principle of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6:9), and the example of our Lord (Heb. 12:1-3). Fear and discouragement, as difficult as they may be, can be overcome through faith and perseverance.
“This a day of good news!” Are you telling others?
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!
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