An Island of Plenty in an Ocean of Need by J. Gerald Harris

An Island of Plenty in an Ocean of Need
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
II Kings 7:1-11

America is rich in her standard of living...her medical facilities...her communication age technology...modern conveniences...churches and religious structures. In fact, what we have in America is envied by the rest of the world. The United States is an island of plenty in an ocean of need.

While 11 million people starve to death each year, 34 million adults in the United States are overweight. In 1980 Americans spent some $52 billion eating out. By 1990 that figure had risen to $236 billion. During the same time period, the amount our government spent on food aid to other countries rose only slightly, from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

These startling statistics bring us to our text for this morning. The fierce armies of Syria had come down upon the helpless people of the nation of Israel. They had laid siege to Israel, and they had laid siege to that section called Samaria. The people were walled up in their villages. There was no water to drink; there was no food to eat. People were killing one another for even a few drops of water, and for a few crumbs of bread.

In the midst of this poverty and hunger and deprivation and destitution, the Syrian army was encamped. And in their camp they had bread and meat and drink and food aplenty. In our text we see how God got the provisions from the Syrian camp into the hands of the impoverished Samaritans.


Now, Benhadad was the king of Syria. He wanted to capture Samaria. It was not his intention to accomplish his purpose with battering rams and catapults and spears and arrows, but by setting up a blockade and cutting off all of the supplies. He wanted to starve the people into surrender. As the people of Samaria were deprived of their daily bread and the necessities of life, you can imagine the destitution they experienced.

The truth is -- you probably can't imagine. Look in II Ki ...

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