“DON’T FALL FOR IT!”
II Kings 6:25-33; John 16:13; II Kings 7:2-5, 8
We are living in trying, toxic and troubling times. No doubt! Some American history scholars suggest the nature of these tough times is unprecedented. While God did not ordain this moment in history, He is clearly allowing it. Accordingly, there are two (2) basic questions being asked: 1) Are we going to make it? and 2) How will we make it? Today’s message seeks to answer both questions. As “jacked up” (to use a vernacular expression) as you think the American society is right now, The Lord has seen and restored worse, a lot worse conditions.
For instance, in today’s passage, a particular famine in Samaria was so horrid, the following occurred:
- Garbage and inedible products were selling for hyper-inflated prices (6:25);
- Families ate their children (cannibalism) (6:28, 29);
- The king tried to have the prophet assassinated (6:32);
- A spirit of fear gripped the country with a potentially crippling chokehold (6:24); and
- A dismal cloud of doubt and death hovered over the nation (6:33).
In the midst of this seemingly indigestible quagmire, The Lord speaks a word of hope through His prophet, Elisha. God’s spoken bold word lays the foundation for a reversal and revival! (7:1) There is nothing too hard for The Lord! (Jeremiah 32:27)
The spirits of helplessness and hopelessness are rampant. Don’t fall for it, though! Both life and death are before you. Choose life! (Deuteronomy 30:19) The four lepers, Gehazi and his sons chose what God has already chosen for you: life! Abundant life at that! (John 10:10) We can choose life too — in spite of…
II. THE LEPERS
- The lepers were unclean and untouchable. So, they lived outside the community, unable to walk through the gate.
- The lepers were at the lowest end of the social strata in the community.
- The lepers were socialized to accept whatever came their way, no more.
- But, this time: they didn’t fall for it! If the lepers’ lives matter, you know yours does too!
- If the lepers can make it, you can too!
III. THE LEAP
- The lepers were thinking about dying and actually dying as they sat by the gate.
- They used to be content to sit still and take “it.”
- You can stand up in your inside while you are sitting on your outside.
- The lepers had three doors and four options: 1) death; 2) death; 3) death; and 4) life.
IV. THE LIFELINES: YOUR HOOK-UPS!
- The lean-on people. Romans 12:15 – The Holy Spirit will tell you whether the person(s) you are “leanin’ on” are “leanable” or worthy of your leaning.
- The lead-up people. Deuteronomy 34:9 – The Holy Spirit will use ordinary folk to lead you to extraordinary places.
- The laugh-out people. (Proverbs 17:22) – The Holy Spirit wants to send you folk with whom you can laugh! Laughter actually decreases stress hormones. It also increases immune cells and increases infection-fighting antibodies.
V. THE CONCLUSION
When the lepers chose life, which ostensibly had the lowest probability of success, The Lord rewarded their boldness with more than sufficient bounty! When life presented the lepers with death options, they did not fall for it. Hooking up with the right people is essential, especially in times like these.
The American Medical Association released a study that suggests that experiences of racism or discrimination increase the risk of emotional and physical health problems, including depression, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
As one scholar suggests, racism is hazardous to your health. So, allow The Holy Spirit to choose your hook-ups!
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