“THIS DAY IS A DAY OF GOOD NEWS”
2 Kings 7:9
A. In the period of Israel’s history known as “The Divided Kingdom” (931-722 B.C.) – the nation was divided into two parts:
1. The kingdom of Israel in the north with Samaria as its capitol
2. The kingdom of Judah in the south with Jerusalem for its capitol
B. The weakened condition of both kingdoms, as a result of the division, left it open to attacks by other countries
1. Some nearby (e.g., Syria, Moab, Ammon)
2. Others from afar (e.g., Assyria, Babylon)
C. We read of one siege of Samaria in 2 Kings 6:24-29
1. This siege was orchestrated by Ben-Hadad, king of Syria
2. Which brought a terrible famine upon the city of Samaria
D. Among those suffering in the famine were four lepers
1. They discussed their plight
a. Kings 7:3-4
b. In desperation they decided to surrender to the Syrians
2. To their surprise, they found the Syrian camp abandoned … 2 Kings 7:5-7
3. At first, they splurged in their new found riches
a. 2 Kings 7:8
b. They drank/ate … hid treasures
4. But upon reflection, they knew they needed to tell others what they found, and did so … 2 Kings 7:9-11
E. There is a valuable lesson we learn from the four lepers, especially when they said: “This day is a day of good tidings (or good news) …”
F. In our study, we shall notice…
1. Some parallels between the lepers then, and ourselves now
2. The consequences of keeping silent when we have good news to share
3. Why some people may be keeping silent today
A. PARALLELS THEN AND NOW
1. In each case there is a famine
a. Then, it was a famine for food
b. Now, it is a famine of the word of God
1) As a whole people do not study the word of God as they use to
2) Yet, God has provided us with spiritual milk and meat from His word (Heb. 5:12)
c. This spiritual famine is self-induced when we fail to study the word of God … 2 Timothy 2:15
2. In each case, there is an abundance freely available…
a. Then, there was plenty of food in the Syrian camp
b. Now, there is an abundance of spiritual blessings in Christ! Ephesians 1:3 … Revelation 22:17
3. In each case, there are those who found what they needed…
a. Then, it was the four lepers
b. Now, it is the Christians who have experienced the joys of salvation!
4. But here is where the similarity often ends…
a. The lepers knew what was right, and did it
1) They knew they would be wrong by keeping silent
2) They knew punishment would befall them if they kept the good news to themselves
3) So they went back to the city and told the good news!
b. Many Christians today are not like these lepers…
1) Despite it being “a day of good news”, they remain silent!
2) While many die of spiritual starvation, they feast on the gospel!
3) Do they not consider that what they do is wrong?
5. We would do well to learn from these lepers…
a. What they said of themselves at first, may be true of us: “We do not well; this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace” (2 Kgs. 7:9)
b. What else they said may also be true of us: “if we tarry till the morning light, punishment will overtake us.”
6. In reasoning among themselves, they considered the consequences of keeping silent in a day of good news. Have we considered the consequences of keeping silent with the good news of the gospel?
B. THE CONSEQUENCES OF KEEPING SILENT
1. We fail to keep the great commission
a. Jesus wanted His disciples to observe ALL that He commanded
b. Matthew 28:18-20
c. Included is the command to “Go and make disciples…”
d. Keeping silent is not what Jesus commanded!
2. We fail our mission as the people of God
a. As the privileged people of God, we are to proclaim the praises of God … 1 Peter 2:9-10
b. Especially in regards to:
1) How God “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”
2) How we “who had not obtained mercy…now have obtained mercy”
c. How can God’s people” do this while keeping silent?
3. We will answer to God for failing our mission
a. Just as God told Ezekiel, whom He made to be “a watchman for the house of Israel”
1) Ezekiel was to warn the wicked … Ezekiel 3:17
2) If Ezekiel failed to warn the wicked, the wicked would die because of their own sin, but Ezekiel would also be held accountable! … Ezekiel 3:18-21
b. Today, the church is God’s “watchman” to the world!
1) We are to take the gospel everyone … Mark16:15
2) Those who have not heard will die in their own sin, but we will be held accountable if we gave them no warning!
4. Despite the consequences of keeping silent, many Christians do not tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ. Why is this so? Here are some possibilities…
C. WHY MANY KEEP SILENT
1. For some, it may be they are starving themselves
a. They may have experienced the joy of salvation in the past…
1) But through negligence they have failed to grow, and have forgotten the blessings of salvation … 2 Peter 1:8-9
2) In a real sense, they have returned to a state of spiritual famine!
3) Therefore, they have little or nothing to share…
b. Those who are enjoying the blessings of salvation will want to tell others
1) Even as David did in his psalm – cf. Ps 32:1-11
2) And as Philip did when he found Jesus – cf. Jn 1:43-46
c. Don’t you have any “good news” worth sharing?
2. For some, it may be out of fear or discouragement
a. If “fear” keeps us silent, remember that:
1) First place in the list of those consigned to the lake of fire are the “cowardly” … Revelation 21:8
2) God does not want us to be fearful … 2 Timothy 1:7-8
3) Boldness can come through prayer
a) Acts 4:29, 31
b) Ephesians 6:19-20
b. If “discouragement” keeps us silent, then remember:
1) The principle of sowing and reaping … Galatians 6:9
2) The example of our Lord Jesus … Hebrews 12:1-3
c. Fear and discouragement, as problematic as they may be, come be overcome with faith and perseverance!
3. For many, it may be the idea that it is too complicated
a. As though in order to teach someone, one needed:
1) A master’s degree in inter-personal communication
2) Four years of Bible in college
b. In reality, our task is really quite simple – Teach the plan of salvation
c. Sharing the “gospel” is easy, provided we:
1) Follow the words of Peter … 1 Peter 3:15
2) Follow the words of Paul
a) 2 Corinthians 4:2-6
b) Ephesians 6:19-20
A. Brethren, if we are silent with regards to the “good news” (the gospel), then the words of the four lepers is true of us … 2 Kings 7:9
B. Yes, “let us go and tell” a world that is spiritually starved about the feast God offers through His Son Jesus Christ!