These words carry with them contemplation. I have arrived at a situation and I must decide what my next move will be. I don't know what that will be, and thus I sit and think.
All of us at times have thought in these terms. Sometimes the situation may not be serious, but at other times they may be devastating with results that last throughout our lives. Consequences may have come our way due to something we have done, or someone else has created for us. It could be the world that we live in has created difficult paths for us. John 16:33 tells us "in this world you will have tribulation."
We can read in the Bible of many who were put in serious circumstances. For example, please notice the siege of Samaria by the Assyrians. 2 Kings 6:24-25: "And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver."
Benhadad king of Syria pressed upon Samaria a grievous siege until the people thought all was lost. Jehoram, king of Israel, blamed Elisha for the great calamity. It would seem apparent that Israel was holding out by the order of Elisha the prophet of God on a promise of deliverance.
When it appears that the people of Samaria could go no lower in hunger and fear, Elisha makes a proclamation of hope. The prophet of God tells the people that by this time tomorrow all will be able to buy food. 2 Kings 7:1-2: "Then Elisha said, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: 'Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria. So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be? And he said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it."
But how could this happen? 2 Kings 7:1-16: "Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we
die? If we say, 'We will enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die."
And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses-the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!" Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact-their tents, their horses, and their donkeys-and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king's household." So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, "We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound--only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact."
And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king's household inside. So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, "Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, 'When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city."
And one of his servants answered and said, "Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see." Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, "Go and see."
And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD."
These four lepers were sitting contemplating their circumstances which was desperation and starvation, but they arose and unknown to them, help carry out God's plan to save Israel.
There are many times that we must arise and not sit. Saul gives us a good example of this.
In Acts 9 we read of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, as he was confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus. Verse 6-8 tells us he was told to "arise and go into the city and he would be told what to do. He arose from the ground and was led into Damascus." Verse 11 tells us that Ananias was told to "arise and go inquire for Saul at the house of Judas." Acts 22:16 Paul was told "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord."
We cannot sit while time passes, and not prepare for the judgment.
Tim Craven is a member of McArthur Heights Church of Christ.