Are you a debtor?

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

Introduction: Success and failure is a part of life. When we face failure we tend to blame others for it. When successful, our tendency is to take credit for it.

When we are successful we often give the credit to our:

Hard Work Ability Finances Friends Parents
God Good Luck Fate Stars Coincidence

We say they all have been good to us.

Scripture: 2 Kings 7: 1-10 & Luke 17:11-17

Let’s read these passages from the Bible.

2 Kings 7: 1-10

1 Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” “You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

3 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? 4 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.”

5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

9 Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing 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.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.”

Luke 17:11-17

Ten Healed of Leprosy

11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Now we have 2 stories; one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. Both stories are more than 1000 years apart from each other. Both in the region of Samaria. Both involving the life of men with the incurable disease called leprosy. In the first story 4 lepers happened to run into a deserted enemy camp with supplies and in the 2nd 10 lepers just happened to meet a man who did a miracle healing on them.

Now what would a secular person call these people?

Secular people would say these 14 lepers were lucky or had good fate. All of them had good fortune.

What would a spiritual man tell about these incidents in the Bible?

Old Testament incident:
Four lepers are about to die of hunger.

They are restricted to living outside the city away from family and society because of leprosy.

Compelled by the Jewish law to shout ‘unclean, unclean’ when anyone comes near them as any contact with the lepers made them unclean.

Their very presence made people scary.

To make things complicated the Armenian army was camped outside the city.

They laid siege to the city.

They cut food and water supply.

The city was literally starving to death.

No food, no water.

These 4 lepers were unclean, outside the city, hungry and about to die. They had nothing to lose. They decided to walk and surrender into the enemy camp. If the enemy gave them food they would eat. If the enemy killed them by the sword they were not to lose anything as they anyhow had to die of starvation. They felt getting killed by the sword and by hunger is the same.

See what happens

2 Kings 7:8 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

When everyone is starving to death in Samaria these 4 lepers are feasting, and in plenty. They have gold, silver, food, water, & clothing. Perhaps the unluckiest people had an exceptional lucky day. They report it to the royal palace and the whole city of Israel enjoys the supply.

In this passage we usually commend about the determination of the lepers, their never give up attitude, hard work, courage, and luck. No one saw the Lord doing anything here.

New Testament Incident:

Ten lepers are outside the city.

They are cursed with the dreaded disease of leprosy.

A miracle worker, Jesus came their way.

Jesus responded and all 10 are healed.

As Christians and believers we say thank and praise the Lord for the miracle.

Now, according to us both the stories are different. Once is an incident good luck or good determination. One is a miracle. For the first we say what good luck. For the second we say what a good Lord.

We thank the Lord only when we see the reply for what we pray and see God doing a miracle in our lives. But majority of the times God works without letting us know how he works, and we give credit for that to good luck, good fate, good times etc.

See what really happened in the OT story. 2 Kings 7:5-8 5At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

We know the Lord caused to hear the sound of the great army. But the lepers did not now. The Samarian people did not know but it was the Lord that was working.

Child of God everything that happens in our life is not by chance but it is the work of God. Sometimes you can see it, sometimes you cannot.

We are many times thankless. We talk about fortune, coincidence, luck, and star. We never give thanks to the Lord for every good thing that happens in our lives. We say good luck, I was just lucky, thank your lucky stars. Otherwise we say I have been fortunate.

Fortune is the Latin word for luck. Fortune comes from word ‘Fortuna.’ Fortuna is the goddess of luck, chance, and fortune. The ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped this goddess. Today people give credit to this God by calling lady luck, fate, fortune, or good times.

Who has been good to you?

Is it life, is it luck, is it fortune, is it chance, is it fate, is it the world we are living in, is it spouse, is it our relatives?

No it is God.

Who is the source of our blessing? It is God.

I am not a lucky person, I am a blessed person.

James 1:17 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

1 Corinthians 4:7 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

When you are blessed with children you are not lucky, God blessed you.

When there is food on the table it is because God provided it.

When you are just close to an accident and your life has been spared, God saved you.

When you get a great job, it is because God is merciful to you.

And the list goes on. Give credit to God for all what you have, if not you are a debtor to God.

Conclusion: We serve a good Lord. Let us learn to be thankful for all the seen and unseen blessings of our life.

How to be thankful?

1. Look for the blessings. Be careful to look for blessings every day. Everyday has its own blessings. Recognize all good things are God’s blessings.

2. Label/Name the blessings. Thank God for everything. Tell, this is a blessing from God, this is a blessing from God. Label it. Count your blessings as the song says and you will be surprised with what the Lord has done.

3. Lift God who is the source of all blessings. Give all glory, praise, honour, and credit to God. Declare privately and publicly that all you are is the blessing of God.

Let us stand to our feet with hearts full of gratitude and thankfulness for 2009.