Thursday, March 3, 2011


“For the Lord had caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a great army.” (2 Kings 7:6)

A light breeze created an eeriness over the sprawling camp. Mystery settled like fog over a now deserted siege camp outside the city of Samaria. Banners fluttered in the wind as campfires were still burning their way toward embers, the smell of cooking food still hanging in the twilight air. Horses snorted, still tethered to their hitching posts.

Four men – lepers all – starving from the prolonged Aramean siege against Samaria reasoned that they had nothing to lose and warily entered the now deserted camp. They had hoped the Arameans would either take pity on them and give them some food, or else just get it over with and kind them. Instead, they walked into a cornucopia of food and drink and immediately gorged themselves, still not half-believing their good fortune. Bellies full, they came to their senses and decided they must report this to the king of Israel.

The king’s cautious investigation bore out the facts. The announcement to the citizens of Samaria unleashed a torrent as the starving hordes poured through Samaria’s gates and swooped down on the Aramean camp like vultures and picked it clean.

At twilight, just hours earlier, the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a huge army moving against them. They concluded that the Israelite king had hired a mercenary army from the Hittites and the Egyptians, so they all fled in terror, leaving everything behind but their own lives.

When desperation seems to be the order of the day, it would be a mistake to assume the Lord is doing nothing. He is always at work, and there is always hope.

Lord, Help us to understand that You are the Author of hope, and that on the days when things don’t go so well, You are still sovereign and act in ways beyond our understanding. Amen.

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