Syria Besieges Samaria, Then Flees From the Lord (2 Kings 6:24 – 7:20)

Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered his army and attacked Samaria.  During the siege there was a great famine in Samaria.  A donkey’s head sold for about $800 in today’s money, and a quarter pint of dove droppings sold for $50.  A woman cried to the king for help, and he answered in desperation that if the Lord could not help her, then surely he could not.  He asked what troubled her, and she told of a woman and her agreeing to boil their sons for food, with her boiling her son today, and the other woman boiling her son tomorrow.  When it came time for the other woman to give up her son, she hid him.  The king tore his clothes and showed the sackcloth underneath.  He then vowed to cut off Elisha’s head that day.  When the king sent a messenger to kill Elisha, Elisha knew he was coming and blocked the door.  When the king asked Elisha why he should wait any longer for the Lord, Elisha promised that the next day about 8 gallons of fine flour would sell for a shekel, and sixteen gallons of barley for the same.  An officer of the king said that even if the windows of heaven were opened, this could not be.  Elisha told him that he would see it with his eyes, but would not eat any of it.

Four lepers were at the entrance to the gate of Samaria, trying to decide what they must do not to die of hunger.  They decided to surrender themselves to the Syrians and take their chances.  When they arrived there, no one was present, because the Lord had caused the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and horses like a great army, and they arose and fled and left their camp intact.  When the lepers entered the camp, they ate, drank, and took silver, gold, and clothing.  They they had a moment of conscience and rose to tell the king what had happened.  The king was skeptical, so he sent five men and checked out the Syrian camp, and found the story to be true.  They plundered the camp, and Elisha’s prophecies came true.  The servant of the king who scoffed was trampled under foot and, although he saw the miraculous provision, he was killed without partaking of it.

Value is a concept that may be in flux.  The economic law of supply and demand states that when supply is small, demand is high.  Therefore, whatever food, even in the form of eating unclean animals or even cannibalism, is available becomes valuable.  What do you consider valuable?  What do you need desperately?  It is so very important to make sure that the value placed on an item is commensurate with its true value, and not upon its perceived value.  Anything, even worthless items, may be valuable to someone.  The old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  However, real trash is still trash, and the only real treasure more than likely had eternal value.  When you assign value, understand that your perceived need for something does not automatically  raise its value.  Instead, look at the true value in God’s eyes and prioritize or set your hierarchy based on the value of the Creator.  The king of Israel was ready to write God off because his belly was not full.  Never place things above relationship, especially your relationship with God.

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