Summary: Success and failure is a part of life. When we face failure we tend to blame others for it. When successful, our tendency is to take credit for it. Whom do you give credit for the success in your life? As we come to the last Sunday of 2009 we are going to
Are you a debtor?
Introduction: Success and failure is a part of life. When we face failure we tend to blame others for it. When successful, our tendency is to take credit for it.
When we are successful we often give the credit to our:
Hard Work Ability Finances Friends Parents
God Good Luck Fate Stars Coincidence
We say they all have been good to us.
Subject: Are you a debtor?
Let’s read these passages from the Bible.
2 Kings 7: 1-10
1 Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria."
2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," answered Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it!"
The Siege Lifted
3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ’We’ll go into the city’-the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die."
5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!" 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
9 Then they said to each other, "We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace."
10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, "We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were."
Luke 17:11-17 Ten Healed of Leprosy
11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Now we have 2 stories; one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. Both stories are more than 1000 years apart from each other. Both in the region of Samaria. Both involving the life of men with the incurable disease called leprosy. In the first story 4 lepers happened to run into a deserted enemy camp with supplies and in the 2nd 10 lepers just happened to meet a man who did a miracle healing on them.
Now what would a secular person call these people?
Secular people would say these 14 lepers were lucky or had good fate. All of them had good fortune.
What would a spiritual man tell about these incidents in the Bible?
Old Testament incident:
Four lepers are about to die of hunger.
They are restricted to living outside the city away from family and society because of leprosy.
Compelled by the Jewish law to shout ‘unclean, unclean’ when anyone comes near them as any contact with the lepers made them unclean.