The king knew it was bad, but he had no idea how bad. One day as he walked along the wall surveying his city, two mothers caught his eye and his attention. “Help!” You can hear the king’s helplessness and hopelessness in his answer. “If God doesn’t help you, what can I do? My cupboards are bare, too. My wine presses are dry.” But just to show he still cared, he asked, “What can I do to help?”
One of the mothers told a tearful story. “We made a pact, her and me, that we would eat my son yesterday and if things weren’t better today, we would eat her son today. Well, we were so hungry, we ate my son yesterday, and when I told her to kill her son so we could eat him today, she hid him. Make her keep her promise.”
He called for a messenger to find theprophet Elisha. Turn over every rock if hehas to and find him. This ends now. Whenthe king and prophet stood face to face, Elisha prophesied God was going to turn this all around overnight. Even if the enemy army packed up their Humvees and headed out, Israel would still have to plant new crops in the spring, cultivate them in the summer, and harvest them in the fall. Not even God turn it around overnight. But God found four unlikely heroes to show He could.
If this was a movie, the camera cuts away from the prophet’s house to a little, falling down hut outside the city gate with four lepers living in it. Lepers had to live outside the city, separate from society because leprosy was more contagious than a yawn in a Monday morning Trig class.
Lepers were sitting ducks, but they were also starving ducks. One of them spoke up, “Guys, if we stay here, we’re gonna die. If we go into the city, they’ll throw rocks at us, and then we’ll die. But when I was hunting rabbit yesterday, I saw smoke coming from the Syrian camp. And the wind blew just right and I’m sure I smelled burgers. And not turkey burgers, these were real burgers. They’ve got food there. I say we take our chances and go to the Syrian camp.”
You can already hear the holy hall monitor. “Excuse me, Lord these are lepers.” And God grinned, “I know.” Four lepers started marching as forcefully as four starving lepers can march on sand. Their crooked walk, their clumsy gait. They had no idea if their lives were over when this hunger march was over,but God was working. God magnified theirmarch to sound like an army of their own.
When the armed enemy army heard four starving lepers marching on sand, they heard an army. They just knew Israel allied with other armies and they were outmatched andoutmanned. They left everything and fled
for their lives. When the lepers reached the camp, they didn’t see one single, solitary, Syrian solder. No movement. No sound. Nothing. Just silence and food. Lots of food. It was an all you can eat buffet and an all
you can wield armory. They pounced on the food faster than we pounce on Cheesecake Factory after a Daniel fast.
Then one of them spoke up, “This isn’t right. I haven’t seen my wife in six years. She’s on the other side of those walls. If she’s still alive, she’s got to be starving. I haveto tell her where to find food.” Another said,“My son graduated last year. He’s on the other side of those walls. If he’s still alive, he won’t be for long. This is too much for me to eat by myself. I’ve got to go into our city andtell the hungry where to find food.”
Could evangelism be that simple? Could
it just be fed people running into the city totell hungry people where to find food? The gatekeeper didn’t believe them at first, sothey sent out a scouting party on a suicide mission. But the scouting party came back. They found lots of food, clothes, weapons but not one single, solitary Syrian solder. The city burst through the gate and into the camp and ate and ate and ate until the needle pointed well past full.
God turned a famine into a feast and used four unlikely heroes to do it. If you see ordinary in the mirror, you may be just the person God is looking for to do the extraordinary. He’s really good at that.«