TEXT: 2 Kings 7:3-16
ONCE there was a king called Jehoram. His city had high walls all around it like all the other cities in that land. There was a big gate where people could come into the city and go out. The gates were always locked at night. A man stayed by the gate to let the people who lived there in and out.
The people who lived inside this city were the Israelites, the children of God, whom Moses had helped get away from a mean king. They should be loving God but now they were not.
Jehoram, the king, looked around him and saw his people starving. There was nothing to eat and nothing he could do to help them. The little boys and girls were hungry, oh, so hungry! The mothers and daddies were, too. The king and his people were inside the city walls and they could not go out to get anything to eat.
A bad king, with a heart full of sin, had brought many, many soldier-men to fight against the people God had once helped so much. The bad king and his men could not get into the city. The gates were shut tight and the walls were too high. That bad king made a camp right outside the city. He had all the food and water he wanted with him so it did not matter to him how long he camped there.
Inside the city, the people had eaten all the food they had. There was no food left at all. How hungry they were. Oh, so hungry!
Then Jehoram got mad. He said that Elisha, a preacher for God, was to blame for all this trouble. The king did not stop to remember that it might be his own fault. He and all his people had forgotten all about God. Some boys and girls always like to say it is someone else who did something wrong when they themselves did it.
Jehoram, the king, and some of his men went to see Elisha, the preacher of God.
Elisha said, though the people were starving today, tomorrow there would be enough food for everyone. It would be at the gates of the city.
The man with the king laughed at Elisha. He wondered how such a thing could happen. He had forgotten about what God can do.
God felt sorry for the hungry people. He made the bad king and his soldier-men outside the city walls think they heard a terrible, big, loud noise. It sounded just like lots and lots of horses and chariots coming right at them. They thought they were going to run over them. This made them so afraid they jumped up and ran away as fast as they could go. They left all their food, clothes, and everything they had.
There were four lepers, men with big sores all over them, who were by the gate of the city. They were so hungry! They knew there was no food inside the city, so they thought they would go to the bad king’s camp and maybe they would find food there.
Quietly, quietly, that night these four leper men went to the bad king’s camp. They saw the tents. No one was there. Not one soldier-man!
The four leper men were so excited! They went into the tent and ate and ate and ate all they could hold.
After they had eaten all they could they went to another tent and found more food. They thought: “We are being selfish. Here is enough food for all the people inside the city. We should go and tell the king that there is food here and that all the bad soldier-men are gone.”
Back they ran to the city. They told the gate-keeper about what they had seen. He ran to tell the king.
The king thought perhaps the bad king and his soldier-men were playing a trick on them. Maybe mean men were hiding somewhere and would come back and catch them, and then come into the city. The king sent some of the soldiers to see, and they found that there was enough food for the hungry people just as Elisha had said there would be. God had told him there would be food for them. Again God took care of His people when they needed Him.