“Elisha said, ‘Listen! God’s word! The famine’s over. This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing.’
The attendant on whom the king leaned for support said to the Holy Man, ‘You expect us to believe that? Trapdoors opening in the sky and food tumbling out?’
‘You’ll watch it with your own eyes,’ he said, ‘but you will not eat so much as a mouthful!’
It happened that four lepers were sitting just outside the city gate. They said to one another, ‘What are we doing sitting here at death’s door? If we enter the famine-struck city we’ll die; if we stay here we’ll die. So let’s take our chances in the camp of Aram and throw ourselves on their mercy. If they receive us we’ll live, if they kill us we’ll die. We’ve got nothing to lose.’ So after the sun went down they got up and went to the camp of Aram. When they got to the edge of the camp, surprise! Not a man in the camp! The Master had made the army of Aram hear the sound of horses and a mighty army on the march. They told one another, ‘The king of Israel hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us!’ Panicked, they ran for their lives through the darkness, abandoning tents, horses, donkeys—the whole camp just as it was—running for dear life. These four lepers entered the camp and went into a tent. First they ate and drank. Then they grabbed silver, gold, and clothing, and went off and hid it. They came back, entered another tent, and looted it, again hiding their plunder.
Finally they said to one another, ‘We shouldn’t be doing this! This is a day of good news and we’re making it into a private party! If we wait around until morning we’ll get caught and punished. Come on! Let’s go tell the news to the king’s palace!’
So they went and called out at the city gate, telling what had happened: ‘We went to the camp of Aram and, surprise!—the place was deserted. Not a soul, not a sound! Horses and donkeys left tethered and tents abandoned just as they were.’
…They took two chariots with horses. The king sent them after the army of Aram with the orders, ‘Scout them out; find out what happened.’
They went after them all the way to the Jordan. The whole way was strewn with clothes and equipment that Aram had dumped in their panicked flight. The scouts came back and reported to the king. The people then looted the camp of Aram. Food prices dropped overnight—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel—God’s word to the letter!” 2 Kings 7:1-10, 14-16 (MSG)
Have you ever looked at your monthly budget and wondered how you were going to make ends meet? The struggle to be a good steward with which God has entrusted us, as well as believing God for His provision, can be hard. Our thoughts and prayers can be flooded with “if only” statements, begging God to solve our problem now. The reality is that God is concerned about your needs, and He is the source of your supply.
The city was surrounded by the army of Aram. The people were inside the walls of the city, and it seemed that everyone would starve. In the midst of all of these events, there were four lepers who were sitting outside the city gate, contemplating their plight. They didn’t have protection from the city walls due to their condition, so they were on the outside of the city gate. As they peered into the city, they realized that it didn’t have much to offer them, because the people inside were starving and the price of food was exorbitant. As they realized that they didn’t have much to lose since it seemed that they would die anyway, they made their way to the camp of Aram. To their utter surprise, no one was there. God had created such fear and panic in the army of Aram that they fled. The people’s greatest enemy was not too big for God. In a moment, He solved a problem that the king and all of his advisors could have never made happen. As the lepers gathered food and riches from the tents, they decided to share the news with the people inside the city walls. In their wildest imagination, they could not have planned for the events to unfold like they did. God used unlikely people to deliver the news of deliverance, and although Elisha the prophet foretold the deliverance, the King of Israel and his advisors had a difficult time believing. The city was surrounded, people were starving, and hope was almost gone. It would have seemed impossible. The people thought their supply would come from within the four walls of the city. Yet, God’s source of supply was a different one. When the reality of God’s deliverance was embraced, the people had all that they needed, and their desperate, impossible situation had changed in a moment.
When you look at the situations in your life, it might seem impossible as well. We typically want God to work on our own terms. We come up with a proposed answer to our prayer request and believe God only for the answer in the way we think it will be provided. God is more creative and mindful of our needs than sometimes we recognize. Through this instance with the army of Aram, we see that God is the source of our supply. It didn’t come from the King of Israel; it didn’t come from a specific job or opportunity. God was fighting the battle for the people before they had to fight the army. God is working on your behalf, as well. He is aligning circumstances to bring about provision in your life. When it doesn’t seem possible, believe God for the impossible in your life. Whatever your need is today, look to God. Deliverance is at the door.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.