The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 20

And when the lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried away silver and gold, and clothing, and went and hid them. Then they entered another tent and carried from there also and went and hid it. Then they said to one another “We are not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are silent and do not speak up! If we wait until daylight, some punishment will come upon us. So now come, let us go and tell the king’s household”- 2 Kings 7: 8, 9

The King of Syria laid siege to the city of Samaria, cutting off its food supply. Four lepers, preferring to die at the hands of the Syrians rather than starve to death, went to the Syrian camp to surrender. But when they came to the camp they found it deserted. The army had fled in the night. This was the Lord’s doing (verses 6,7).

The lepers were elated. There was food and treasure everywhere. They stuffed the food, and hid precious articles for themselves. They were tempted to remain quiet about their discovery. But then they remembered Samaria with its starving people. They knew they would have to answer for their actions, even punished for them!

Is there a message in this for us? Having discovered that salvation is found only through faith in Christ Jesus, do we keep this truth to ourselves? If a scientist made a breakthrough in finding a cure for some terrible disease, wouldn’t he be expected to share his discovery with the world? Basic integrity and ethics would demand it. But for the Christian, sharing the good news is more than just a matter of integrity. We have found the cure for sin (uncleanness); we have found the bread of life, and like the lepers, we are obligated to share this good news with others.

Our job is simply to expose the truth of salvation through Christ alone. The job of conversion is the Holy Spirit’s. What keeps us from doing so is the fear of losing the love and companionship of our close friends and family members who are still worldly. We fear their ridicule and rejection. Yet we cannot claim true love and compassion unless we share truth even at the expense of being rejected. When we do this we demonstrate our recognition of the priority of eternal issues over temporal ones, trusting in the power of the gospel (not our eloquence or wisdom) to change lives.

Be on guard against ‘wrong focus’. We tend to pay a lot of attention to sins of commission - the things we do. But we don’t often give thought to the sins of omission - the things we fail to do! Both are equally ‘sin’.



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