The wisdom of the four lepers

2 Kings 7:3-4 (King James Version)

3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

I admire people with the courage to face hard choices, make a decision, and move forward in faith.

In 2 Kings, Benhadad, king of Syria, laid siege to Samaria, the capital city of Israel. The result was a famine so severe that a donkey’s head sold for 80 pieces of silver, dove feces sold for five, and the women of the city cannibalized their own children.

Four lepers, outcasts from society, sat at the gate of Samaria. Because of their disease, it is doubtful anyone in the city cared what became of them. Like the rest of Samaria, these four men were starving to death. Unlike the rest of Samaria, they decided to do something besides eat bird droppings and each other.

The lepers began by asking the most important question: “Why sit we here until we die?” Unfortunately, most people never even reach the point where they ask that question, choosing instead to sit around and complain about their circumstances.

The lepers also realized they had just three options:

A. Enter the city and starve
B. Sit at the gate and starve
C. Go the camp of the enemy on the slim chance the Syrians would give them something to eat.

Of the three, only option C offered any hope whatsoever. There was a better than average chance the Syrians would kill them outright, but perhaps they would have mercy…

So at twilight the four lepers began walking towards the camp of Syria. And as they went, God worked a miracle that saved the city. God didn’t use the king or his cautious counselors (2 Kings 7.2): He used four societal outcasts who were willing to face the facts, make a decision, and move forward in faith.

At some point in life, we all face what appear to be no-win situations. Sometimes it seems every road leads to ruin. But when we step out in faith, we open the door for God to work a miracle.

Make that choice today and move boldly forward, knowing God will go with you.

10 thoughts on “The wisdom of the four lepers

  1. THat’s great! You reminded me of one of our sisters, Shay Johnson saying that in defensive driving, when you reach an intersection and are trying to get through, there is what is called a “point of no return,” where if you are going to get through that light, you just have to gun it. So we, as Christians, have “come too far from where we started from…” and t’s time we just gunned it!

  2. Right now I am trusting in God’s Sovereign provision because I have exhausted all of my hoarded resources. there is no way out but God’s way that is why I meditate on the story of the 4 lepers because they came to a decision after everything looks negative they made a move towards death or wealth.

    I don’t want to just sit in my dead situation forever.

  3. These story of four lepers reminds me how Esau was told by his father after he had spoken out all blessing to his 2nd son Jacob instead of first born Esau, and when Esau saw what had happened he insisted his father to bless him but his father told him that he has no any other blessing and he will server his brother as he had spoken until when he will become restles and break the yoke of his brother Jacob on his neck and all those blessings will come upon him.

  4. The story of the 4 lepers keeps reminding me that it is when one moves to solve his problem is when God will also move to give a helping hand.For instance it was at twilight that the lepers moved and it was at twilight that God caused the Assyrian army to hear the noise of war..

  5. I am from Fiji and it’s now 5:55pm Friday afternoon 25 May, 2012.
    My wife and I just returned visiting a young couple who have two young sons – aged 3 and 1- who live about a mile away from our place.Like most young couples, they were having a lot of differences.
    As we approached their house on foot , the story about the 4 lepers flashed in my mind and the Lord confirmed in my heart that the evil tormenting spirits that were holding this young family captive had heard the spiritually magnified sound of our footsteps and are making a run for it .
    When we entered their house we could sense a calmness and peace in the house – Glory be to God

  6. Praise be to God. Truly there is wisdom in what you have written. God richly bless you for availing yourself to be a blessing to all humanity. I have discovered a lot of insights from this bible discussion. To learn more about Comfort Zone, Please visit on Amazon and check out for my second book, Destined to Achieve (Wisdom Principles for Fulfilling your Dream)
    ”Your true success will be determined when you are willing to stretch beyond
    your boundaries of Comfort Zone”
    Bernard O A A ntwi

  7. dear brother in the faith please pray with me. I am a pastor in a small village in nigeria. I am facing similar situation like that of those lepers. pray for me that I’ll not lose the most vital thing in my life and that God will grant me divine direction now.
    I love your article.

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