Summary: Believe in tomorrow, because the pain of today has already been overcome by what God did yesterday. It is just around the corner, and it is going to be great.
Just Around The Corner
2 Kings 7 September 11, 2005
Intro: (beginning of 9:30 service)
Living here in Alberta, the standard joke is “if you don’t like the weather, wait half an hour.” Something better is coming, something good is on its way.
I want to read you a Bible story, from 2 Kings 7 (NLT). “1 Elisha replied, "Hear this message from the LORD! This is what the LORD says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver."
2The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, "That couldn’t happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!"
But Elisha replied, "You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!"”
Elisha looked around the corner, and saw something good was on its way. You see, the city Elisha was in was surrounded by an enemy army – the Aramites. The city was surrounded, no one could get in or out, and they had run out of food. It had gotten really, really bad. So bad that I decided not to read chapter 6 to you because I’d have to censor it for children.
The officer that Elisha is talking to here has come to kill Elisha, since Elisha was a man of God and so it must be his fault. Elisha makes an impossible promise, let’s see what happens next…
3Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. "Why should we sit here waiting to die?" they asked each other. 4"We will starve if we stay here, and we will starve if we go back into the city. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway."
5So that evening they went out to the camp of the Arameans, but no one was there! 6For the Lord had caused the whole army of Aram to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. "The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!" they cried out. 7So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, and they fled for their lives.
8When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it. 9Finally, they said to each other, "This is not right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace."
10So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened--that they had gone out to the Aramean camp and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there was not a single person around. 11Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.
12The king got out of bed in the middle of the night and told his officers, "I know what has happened. The Arameans know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields. They are expecting us to leave the city, and then they will take us alive and capture the city."
13One of his officers replied, "We had better send out scouts to check into this. Let them take five of the remaining horses. If something happens to them, it won’t be a greater loss than if they stay here and die with the rest of us."
14So two chariots with horses were prepared, and the king sent scouts to see what had happened to the Aramean army. 15They went all the way to the Jordan River, following a trail of clothing and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their mad rush to escape. The scouts returned and told the king about it. 16Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that five quarts of fine flour were sold that day for half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain were sold for half an ounce of silver, just as the LORD had promised. 17The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out.