Monday, December 19, 2011

famine relief

Then the people went out and plundered the camp 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.
2 Kings 7:16

God saved Samaria from total collapse at the hands of Syria. The king of Israel was impotent to save his people against the siege that was starving his capital city. But God was still the God of Israel, and even though no one called out to Him, He easily turned the Syrian army away from the attack. And He did it in such a way that dramatic results were coming, just as Elisha the prophet had foretold.

The siege of Samaria had been going on a long time... long enough that the food supplies within the city gates were dwindling. The results were highly inflated prices on basic necessities. And it had gotten so bad that some of the residents of Samaria had resorted to cannibalism to stay alive (2 Kings 6:24-31). But a dramatic moment would change all of that overnight. God was going to intervene for all to clearly see.

In the middle of the night the Syrian army flees in panic as they hear the sound of chariots, horses, and an approaching army. They assume that the king of Israel has hired mercenaries and they abandon their camp in panic, leaving behind all food and valuables. It was enough stuff to completely resupply the starved city, just as Elisha had said. God miraculously saved His people, just with a mere delusion to an army.

God's gracious deliverance is always worth considering. I see this and realize that the Old Testament is full of examples of God's gracious, unmerited favor to people. He brings glory to Himself by being gracious to us. He fed Samaria again after wartime siege and His method was to just introduce the sound of war. He showed Himself a powerful savior to a disobedient people. That is the grace that God shows sinners. And He does so even more powerfully in the grace shown us in Christ Jesus today!

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