Pray: To open your time together.
Read: 2 Kings 7:3-10
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
What qualifies us to be bearers of good news? So often we disqualify ourselves from the work of sharing the good news of Jesus. We believe we aren’t educated enough (“maybe if I went to seminary?”). We believe we aren’t experienced enough (“maybe if I worked in ministry?”). We generally believe we are not enough based on our own measure of Godliness.
This week we see some biblical heroes who could not be less qualified to carry a message of salvation and hope. Four men with leprosy left on the outskirts of their city to die a slow, lonely death. In their day and age, leprosy was not just a diagnosis of your body, it was a diagnosis of your soul too. The belief was that humans were divinely punished with greater suffering based on their own sinful life choices. In the belief system of their day, these men must have really earned the wrath of God to be in such miserable shape. Enough so that they were left at the entrance to the city to starve to death. Imagine. Everyone they knew believed them beyond salvation.
And yet, God writes s a miraculously hopeful story in the lives of these outcasts. In a somewhat comical turn of events these dying lepers drive out an entire army of enemies, collect the spoils of war (although they did no fighting), and return to their city with the good news that salvation has come!
- What must these men have believed about themselves at the beginning of this story? What value did they hold in the eyes of their friends, family, or community?
- How hard must it have been for them to leave the city entrance to go surrender themselves to the enemy? What do you think was going through their minds as they made that journey?
- As is so often the case, God uses our folly and hopelessness for His own purposes. What does this story tell us about the character of God? If God can use these outcasts, what is preventing Him from using you for His purpose?
Spend some time praying for one another for the week ahead and pray for a renewed sense of hope in God’s plan for each of our lives. If anyone feels a prompting to ask God to use them in their workplace, family, or community be sure to pray for that.