When Not To Be Silent, Part 1


‘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.’ At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 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!’ 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. The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took 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. 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.’ So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, ‘We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.’ The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.’ 2 Kings 7:3-11

Martin Luther King Jnr. once said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” As there are times when we ought not to talk, there are also times when we ought not to keep silent. Wisdom and guidance from God’s word will help us discern when to be silent and when not to be. Such was the case with the event that occurred in the above text.

A group of four lepers had been staying at the city gate of Samaria, following the siege around the city by the Arameans, resulting in a terrible famine. The lepers eventually decided to go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender to them. Unknown to them, the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots, horses and a great army. This terrified the Arameans so they ran for their lives, leaving all their supplies.

On reaching the camp of the Arameans, the lepers met no one, so they went into one of the tents, ate, drank and took silver, gold and clothes and then went away to hide these items. They went back the second time and entered into another tent and carted away all the valuables they could get.

After satisfying their greed, they reasoned with each other that they had not done what was right as that was a day of good news but they had kept silent. They immediately decided to go and report that experience to the royal palace. The result of their change of heart was that food and other items became abundantly available to all the people.

As Christians, we will do well by not being silent about opportunities that are known to us which may be beneficial to others we know.

‘The king got up in the night and said to his officers, ‘I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’ One of his officers answered, ‘Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.’ So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, ‘Go and find out what has happened.’ They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. It happened as the man of God had said to the king: ‘About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’ 2 Kings.7:12-18


Glorious God and creator of all things. Thank You for all blessings that come from You. Please help us not to be stingy with information that is useful to others especially the good news of salvation through Jesus our Lord. Amen.


"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

John 5:24