Friday, May 25, 2007

"It Came to Pass"

“And it shall come to pass!”
Over 900 times these words are recorded in scripture quoting God and every time what God said would happen – did!!
The Greek word for ‘pass’ is an emphatic word meaning “to be or become, accomplish”.
God does not say, “I think it will happen” or “I shall do my best to make it happen” or even ‘If all goes according to plan”. With the same confidence that we tell someone what happened yesterday, God can tell us what happened tomorrow.

There is a story in II Kings beginning in chapter 6: 24 with the words, “And it came to pass”
that the the Israelite people in the city of Samaria were under siege by Benhadad , king of Syria. The seige had gone on for so long there was no longer any food in the city and thee was a great famine!
The people were starving and were desperate. Cost of living had escalated to the point that a donkey’s head sold for 80 pieces of silver and a quarter of a cab of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver.
I don’t know what the modern equivalent is for their currency but if we look at the fact that Joseph was sold into slavery for 20 pieces of silver, we get some idea that paying 80 pieces of silver for one item of food is very high , especially when we consider that a donkey’s head is hardly food. Their fuel source to cook their food was dung, and to pay five pieces of silver for a very small amount shows the desperation of a starving people. Under normal conditions dung was so plentiful, people would pay nothing for it.
The extreme that people were willing to go is revealed in the fact that they were doing the unthinkable, even eating their own children.

In the midst of this no-way-out situation, Elisha calmed speaks for the Lord, “Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two measure of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria.”
The seemingly impossibility of this being possible is expressed in the words of the king’s right hand man, “Even if God opened windows in heaven, this could not happen.”
Eisha looked at him and said, “It will indeed come to pass and you shall see it but you yourself will not eat of it!”

That night four leprous men were sitting at the entrance of the gate to the city. They were not inside the city, of course, because they were lepers and were not allowed to be inside.
Because of the siege, they were caught between the Syrian army and the law that forbade them the safety within the walls of the city. They had come as close as they dared – the gate.

One man had a flash of insight. He said, “Why should we just sit here until we die? If we stay here we will die of hunger, if we go into the city, we will die of the famine there too. There is one other option – why don’t we just give ourselves up to the Syrian army and if they save us – wonderful!! If they kill us, we have lost nothing but our life which we will lose anyway!”

His reasoning seemed good to the other lepers and so as soon as the morning light made travel possible ,they got up to go to the camp of the Syrian army.
I’m sure their heart must have beat a little faster in fearful trepidation as they neared the camp, but when they reached the outskirts of the camp – they saw no one there. Venturing further into the came they realized to their amazement -- The entire camp was deserted ! But all the supplies and goods were left behind!
I can only imagine the emotions that must have overflowed their hearts! Expecting death , they found life and fortune instead !

The lepers of course had no idea what could have happened, and neither would we – except that God wanted to tell us. He knew. In the middle of the night God turned up His CD player with a track of the recorded sounds of a great army with noisy chariots and galloping horses. The Syrian army startled out of their sleep, unable to see anything in the dark, drew the conclusion God knew they would and they cried, “The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the Kings of Egypt to come against us! Let us flee for our lives!” So with only the clothes on their backs they ran and never looked back!!

The four lepers were in ‘paradise’. Entering the first tent they found food in abundance and ate and drank until they were satisfied.
Their own hunger pangs appeased they began to think of all the rest of their people still starving behind the city walls.
“It is not right that we keep all this for ourselves. If we do God will punish us !! Let’s go share our good news!” they decided.
They ran back to the city and called out to the gate keeper, “Listen !! The Syrians have fled and left all their food and animals and possessions!! You have only to go and get it!!”

At first the King feared an ambush but the temptation was too great and so he ordered a few men on horseback to go check it out. Of course it was just as the lepers had said, along the way were strewn all the things the Syrians had carried away in their haste and then dropped.

When the scouts came back with the news that yes indeed the siege was over and there was an abundance of food to be had, the people stormed out of the city gate in their eagerness to take of the spoil. The pressing crowd rushing through the gate knocked down the King’s right hand man - who had scoffed at the word of God – and trod over him and he died. “It came to pass” that he saw what God had done but he did not eat of it. And truly before the day was over… IT CAME TO PASS…. Just as God had said, “two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel” were sold in the gate of Sameria.

What I find fascinating in this story is a very wonderful lesson and encouragement to take out for application in our own lives.
I am sure that each of the leprous men suffered coming to accept the 'sentence' placed upon them when they were condemned with leprousy. It was a personal tradgedy for each of them, but because of that 'tradgedy' they -- not only saved themselves from starvation but also the whole city. No one inside the city walls would have dared venture out -- but the lepers already WERE on the outside.
Isn't it amazing how God 'wastes' NOTHING?

When God says, “It shall come to pass”, you can count on it !! It is the surest guarantee that there is !!

Tomorrow’s post --- A Personal Experience - God’s Word to me “It shall come to Pass”


Demara said...

Yes I did not know some of the things you've said there Julie...dove poo was so expensive! And the Samarians ate their children? Yikes!

The lepers coming into the deserted camp was great hey?

God knows when to turn up the sound effects too? haha you are so funny Julie, but ya I can't wait to read this personal story...

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