A Sunday sermon by Rev Ray Pountney from 2 Kings 7. Delivered on 10th September 2017. “It’s Time to Deploy the Raggle Taggle Army of God’s People”.
2 Kings 7:1-20
1Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ ”
2So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
3Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?
4If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.”
5And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.
6For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses–the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!”
7Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact–their tents, their horses, and their donkeys–and they fled for their lives.
8And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
10So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound–only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.”
11And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside.
12So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.’ ”
13And one of his servants answered and said, “Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see.”
14Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.”
15And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king.
16Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.
17Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him.
18So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.”
19Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, “Now look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
20And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.