Bible Readings for October 26th
At the end of 2 Kings 6, we find Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, besieging Samaria and driving the city to starvation, so that women are eating their children to stay alive (2 Kgs. 6:28–29; cf. Deut. 28:52–57). Nevertheless, even in the midst of this incredibly dark situation in 2 Kings 7, we find a shining, brilliant illustration of the gospel of Jesus.
First, the story in 2 Kings 7 reinforces the biblical doctrine that the battle belongs to Yahweh (1 Sam. 17:47). Yahweh simply causes the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a great army. The Syrians, believing that the Israelites have hired the Hittites and Egyptians to go to war against them, flee, abandoning all their supplies in their camp to escape with their lives (2 Kgs. 7:6–7). Yahweh gives Israel victory without requiring his people to step onto the battlefield at all.
Second, the lepers, who rejoice in the feast but then return to tell the others in Samaria, provide a vivid picture of what sinful wretches like you and me gain through the gospel. After hoarding this feast to themselves for awhile, the lepers turn to one another and say, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kgs. 7:9). In fact, the word for “good news” in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) is euangellias, the same word used in the New Testament that we translate as “gospel.”
Third, Israel’s captain warns us of the dangers of unbelief. The captain does not rejoice at the word of Elisha, who prophesies that Yahweh would provide an abundant feast: “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” (2 Kgs. 7:1). Instead, he despises the gospel that Elisha preaches, scoffing at Elisha’s prophecy. For his unbelief, Elisha prophesies doom to the captain: “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it” (2 Kgs. 7:2).
In the same way, let us never harden our hearts against believing the good news of the gospel. When we inevitably face our own difficult situations, let us keep in mind that Yahweh is the God who can turn back whole armies with ease—and who even raised up Jesus Christ from the dead. Then, because we are nothing more than beggars who have stumbled upon unimaginable riches, let us tell all the world of what God has given us in Christ.
No matter what suffering we may be facing, rejoice, for this day is a day of gospel.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.