Summary: The king of Syria besieged Samaria. And because of the siege; there was a great famine in the land. What do you do when your city is besieged?
THE CITY UNDER SIEGE
"1 Now Ben-Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his forces together; thirty-two kings were with him, with horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria, and made war against it. 2 Then he sent messenger into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him. “Thus says the Ben-Hadad; 3 ‘Your silver and your gold are mine, your loveliest wives and children are mine. 4 And the king of Israel answered and said, ‘My lord, O king just as you say, I and all that I have are yours.” 1 Kings 20:1-4.
Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, mobilized his entire army and set up a barricade and besieged Samaria in the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the time of prophet Elisha. And because of the siege; there was a great famine in the land. The siege paralyzed social, religious and economic activities in the city. The siege went on for a long time. Outside the city was light, but inside was darkness. Outside the city of Samaria was joy, but inside sorrow. Outside the city was peace, but inside was turbulence. Outside the city of Samaria was prosperity, but inside was poverty and famine. Anything good coming into the city were hijacked or diverted.
WHAT IS A SIEGE?
In the ancient world, a city wasn’t a city without gates and walls. The walls were built of mud bricks, stone, wood, or a combination of these materials, depending on local availability. The walls served as the primary means of defense and protection from an invasion. So in times of war, all an enemy had to do was to surround the city wall and lay siege to it. The purpose of the siege is to starve the inhabitants of food and water—forcing them to surrender. Often a siege took months or even years. But it was very effective. All it took was time.
The English word siege is derived from the Latin word meaning 'to sit'. To besiege a city, an armed force surrounds and isolates it, while usually continuing its attacks upon it. In general, siege warfare involves bombardment and cut off of supply, which causes starvation and deprivation. It was usually only after the city surrendered, or was greatly weakened, that infantry entered. So a siege is a military blockade! It is designed to isolate a city from external help and supplies. It involve blocking the provision of services and the reinforcement or escape of the city's troops. A siege can often be decided by starvation, thirst, or disease.
A siege is an embargo placed on movement of goods, services and persons, in and out of the city. It is a ban. A siege is an order or a restriction that do not allow the performance of a normal day to day activities. It can be a restraint; hindrance; prohibition; a stoppage or an impediment imposed on a country, community, business, organisation or individual. A siege is an obstacle. It is a checkpoints! A siege is a stopper. It is a closed door! A siege is a tactic to put full-stop to social, religious and economic activities in a city. It is to arrest or detain. A siege is an injunction. It is a decree or pronouncement issued against advancement. A siege is a barrier placed on progress. It is a lock-down. Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, most cities and nations of the world have declared a lock-down. Once there is a siege there will be little or no movement. A siege is a prolonged delay.
CONSEQUENCES OF A SIEGE?
1. It brings pain and discomfort.
2. Desolation and emptiness.
4. Lack of essential commodities.
6. Mind oppression.
8. Lack of direction.
9. Lack of peace.
12. Siege brings stagnation and limitation.
13. Fear and intimidation.
14. It brings starvation.
WHAT MUST BE DONE?
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. To repent means to change, or “have a change of mind.” It implies a change in direction. Repentance is a necessary step to salvation and restoration. It is a change of mind or ways of thinking. Repentance is a deep sorrow for wrongdoing. It is the confession of sin. Repentance involves a clean break. It is a turning to God. Repentance brings back divine mercy, favour, protection, good health and the presence of God. The result of repentance is the healing of the land. There will be peace, prosperity and protection from disasters.
Bring quality repentance unto the Lord. Confess your sins and the sins of others. Receive God's mercy.