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? 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.” 2 Kings 7:3-4 NIV
There are four lepers. They will die one day of their disease. Before then, they may die from the sword of invaders. Yet, the invaders are in camp. They are in camp having arranged the supply lines to the leper’s city to be cut-off. So the lepers, and all in the city, may die before the enemy charges with the sword.
“The supreme act of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”
Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’
Basically, the four lepers conclude that they are as good as dead.
Yet, they are not without hope.
Finding hope starts with a question: ‘Why stay here until we die?’. The answer seems peculiar yet it fits well with the four leper’s predicament: ‘So let’s go over to the camp of the enemy’. In the verses that follow they act. The four lepers achieve a very satisfactory result (please do read forward in 2 Kings).
The legacy of the four lepers is in the lesson that they leave for us all, particularly for those seeking healing:
- Do not give up hope. (For example of this consider one parent's efforts to find answers to a rare disease)
- Keep asking questions.
- Put everything to God.
- Understand that God's answers may not, at first, seem to fit.
- Be prepared to act.
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