A Leper In The Land Of Plenty

Jon Burgess


“The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took 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. Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not 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.”” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭7:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬


These four lepers had spent the majority of their lives rejected and ridiculed for their disease. When God miraculously provided for His people by defeating the Aramean's it was not by accident that the lepers were the first to enjoy the victory. They were after all kept outside the gates of the city for they were unclean. They had more excuse then most to keep the spoils for themselves. The didn't owe anyone anything. In fact the passage tells us they started hiding what they found. Who can blame them? They had to scrap for any subsistence just to survive and suddenly had more then they could have ever imagined. This wouldn't happen again right? The smart thing to do was to look out for themselves. Then, in the middle of their punch drunk reverie they realized "this is not right". The dire straits of the citizens of the city came flooding back in and sobered them to action. Donkey heads, dog dung, and sacrificing babies had become the rule of the day for everyone just trying to survive. They had stumbled upon the "good news" and realized they could not keep this to themselves!


I am a leper in the land of plenty. I didn't earn this freedom I've found. I don't deserve the things I have. I stumbled out of the darkness into Christ's marvelous light and I've never been the same since. My life had been ravaged by the effects of sin. I was unclean and deserved to be kept outside the city gates. Jesus conquered my enemies for me on the Cross and welcomed me to the spoils of provision and healing I now enjoy. So, the question is, am I hiding it or sharing it? Is my heart broken for the starving soul in the city or am I stuffing my pockets with that which I have not earned? I have the good news, but there are still so many dying around me who have not heard. They are eating what they never would have consumed and killing what they never would have considered because they don't know that God has conquered all for them and provided a way of escape.


Lord, You didn't owe me anything and yet You gave me everything. I was unclean and and You cleansed me by the Blood Of The Lamb. You gave me the riches of Heaven and turned this pauper into a prince. Forgive me for giving in to a consumption culture that seeks to hide and hoard rather then go and give. I ask that You would break my heart with the things that break Yours. That I would move from adversarial to invitational in the culture around me! How can I live indifferent to the worlds pain and hunger when I would still be there if someone had not shared the good news with me that just outside the city gates... there's hope!

Devotions for June 21

2 Kings 6,7
2 Chronicles 20
1 Timothy 3

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