Share the Wealth

If you were to ask my kids, they would probably all agree that I tend to be a bit of a hoarder. Now, I’m not talking like on the television show where people hoard junk; I hoard snacks. My favorite snack is called Snappers. Let me tell you; they will change your life! The miniature pretzels covered with dark chocolate, caramel, and sea salt is the perfect combination. You get a taste of heaven with each bite. I’m suddenly craving them as I write to you. So back to my hoarding problem, I am a wee stingy when it comes to my snacks. I hoard them up and hide them from my kids. Hey, don’t judge me! Maybe I am just trying to save their teeth from rotting. Okay, that’s entirely untrue, but it sounded better than me just being stingy. Now I hope you understand I’m just joking around about the hoarding, but I do tend to be a bit tight with my Snappers. With so much goodness in each bite, it’s hard to share.

I was recently reading in 2 Kings 7 about the four lepers who discovered the loot left over from the Arameans’ camp. The Lord had caused the Arameans to flee the camp leaving most everything behind, then the four lepers wander into the camp and discover silver, gold, and clothing. Talk about a good day for these four men who were facing imminent death. They were not even allowed inside the city before, but now they were able to live the good life for the time they had left. Verses 8 and 9 read, “When these diseased men came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent to eat and drink. Then they picked up the silver, gold, and clothing and went off and hid them. They came back and entered another tent, picked things up, and hid them. Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, our punishment will catch up with us. So let’s go tell the king’s household.”

The four men had a decision to make: they could hoard the good news, or they could hand it out. See, the Lord, through the prophet Elisha, had made a promise to the King of Israel in verse 1, “Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: ‘About this time tomorrow at Samaria’s gate, six quarts of fine flour will sell for a half ounce of silver and twelve quarts of barley will sell for a half ounce of silver.”

If I had been one of the lepers, it’s likely I would’ve struggled to share the good news. The lepers were outcasts who were generally treated poorly by others, and now they would choose to share with the very people who didn’t accept them. Yet, it was the outcasts who would bring the news of deliverance to the people. Friends, we are the outcasts. We are the ones who have a grace we didn’t deserve and now have the responsibility to hand out the good news of Jesus, even to the most unlovable people, the ones who have accepted us and to those who haven’t.

Now, the lepers set out to let the king know what had happened. Verse 16 says, “Then the people went out and plundered the Aramean camp. It was then that six quarts of fine flour sold for a half ounce of silver and twelve quarts of barley sold for a half ounce of silver, according to the word of the Lord.”

The lepers could’ve kept hidden the goodness they had found, but they remembered the people. Because they chose to share the good news, God was able to provide for the Israelite people. The nation then saw how God was faithful and kept His word. And we have that same responsibility to our neighbors. We have what the people need living inside of us, but we must choose: will we hoard it or hand it out?

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Psalms 105:1

 

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