Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sharing God's providence

I am grateful to be preparing a sermon as identified in this earlier post.  The chosen text for that sermon is shown here:

"Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other,“Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” 2 Kings 7:3-4 NIV

The story continues in that the lepers do indeed go over to the camp of the Arameans.  They find the camp empty.  They eat from supplies and then recognise their duty to return to the city to share that which God has provided.

It is interesting to consider the leper’s return to the city to share God’s providence. There seems a worthy comparison in the Parable of the talents.

The lepers return to the city is explained in the text 2 Kings 7:9:

"Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” 2 Kings 7:9 NIV

The Parable of the Talents is in Matthew 25:14-30.  In that parable the man who hid the money and did nothing with it was punished.  The men who wisely used their money were rewarded.

 Three points arise on comparing the texts:

·         God's providence is something that is good news.

[2 Kings 7] The provision of food in the Aramean camp, [Parable] or in ample return on invested money, or through the provision of Christ is all good news.

·         God's providence is something that is to be shared.

[2 Kings 7] The leper's windfall find was too much for them alone.  While they were broken and separated from the people of the city they identified the need to share.  [Parable] A wise Christian will also share his wealth in Christ through using the skills he is given.

·         God's providence is offered through grace not through works.

    [2 Kings 7] The leper's windfall find was by means of grace.  There works were minimal in that they need only go forward in faith.  [Parable] God entrusts Christian to share the Gospel in response to the grace that God has offered them.


Note: all links good as at 24 May 2017

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