No One Left Behind by James Merritt

No One Left Behind
James Merritt
II Kings 7
08-28-05

Introduction

1. "No One Left Behind" - that is a universal creed that is shared by every firefighter, soldier and law enforcement person in America. Whenever they go out on a mission to fight fire, to fight crime or to fire an enemy of our nation, they are determined that when it comes to their own there will be "No One Left Behind." I don't know where this motto originated, but it could have come from the story we will study today.

2. The Kingdom of David, which then was passed on to his son, Solomon, was known as the Kingdom of Israel. After Solomon died, there was a civil war, in effect, and the kingdom was divided into the southern kingdom, known as Judah, and the northern kingdom, known as Israel. The northern kingdom of Israel, which we are reading about today, was under siege by the Syrian army. The city was surrounded, all supplies had been cut off and as you will see, the food situation was desperate. The nation was starving to death. There was no way out, no way of escape, and they were vastly outnumbered by one of the most powerful armies in the world. Flight was impossible, fight was out of the question, and fright appeared to be the only option.

3. Outside of the city walls sat four lepers. Lepers, of course, were ostracized from society and that is why they were not inside the city gates. As they surveyed their situation they realized they basically only had three options and they were all bad.
"Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, 'We will enter the city,' then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die."
(II Kings 7:3-4, NASB)
Their options were: (1) stay and do nothing - which meant they would die; (2) stand and go into the city - in which case they would also die; (3) surrender to the Syrians - in which they would either live like captives or still die.

4. Deciding that surrender was the lesser of three evils, they get up and make their way to the Syrian camp to see what their fate would be and they made an amazing discovery.
"They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, 'Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.' Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life." When these lepers came to the outskirts of t ...


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