Why Stay Here Until We Die?


Elisha is a Northern Kingdom prophet of the divided kingdom period. The people of the city are surrounded by Assyrians who have had the city under siege for so long all the food is gone and the people are hopeless. The previous chapter of this sermon’s text documents one of the most disgusting of the Biblical narratives regarding the cannibalizing of children. Four lepers ask themselves the question, “Why stay here until we die?”

The question haunts us and begs an answer. Have you ever been in a box with no options and no way out? The emotional pull of this sermon involves the city’s helplessness, hopelessness, and apathy in the face of the prophet’s faith. The four lepers of the text demonstrate pure objective, deductive logic as they consider their options.

This is the work of a counselor, helping frustrated people consider their options. Given the options God’s people will generally choose the right option. Don’t just sit their imprisoned by your own powerlessness and hopelessness: do something!

September 30, 2007 – Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

Why Stay Here Until We Die?

2 Kings 7:1-20

"This is a sermon about hopelessness and the resulting apathy that spins off of it. Our extremity is God’s opportunity, but we must do something.”           Pastor Phil



ELISHA – Son of Shaphat of Abemeholah – Prophet of God 850-790 BC

Prophet to the Northern Kingdom, “Israel

Arameans = People of Shem, “Syrians”–Hebrew Root – “Man w/exalts himself”


Four Options of the Lepers:

1. Enter into the city and die of starvation

2. Stay at the city gates and die

3. Enter into the enemies’ camp

4. Surrender and be spared or die a quick death



I. “Doing SOMETHING” Is Better Than “Doing NOTHING”

        A. There is something worse than dying

          B. Faith without works is dead! - James 2:17

          “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

                        1. Inaction vs. Action

                        2. Sheepfold Faith that Works by Love

II. “Doing SOMETHING” Opens Us to God’s Interventions

        A. Man’s Extremity is God’s Opportunity

            B. Godly Faith Is Birthed in Your Extremity

                   1. The Godly Gift of Faith is God’s Reward – 1 Cor. 12:9

                        2. Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him – Heb. 11:1; 6

            “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

            “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must

believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

III. “Doing SOMETHING” Made 4 Lepers Chase An Army

        A. Your Enemies Will Flee at the Word of Faith – vs. 5-7

          B. The End of the FAITHLESS is DEATH!

IV. The Word of Our God Is True and Will Stand Forever!

        A. God’s Word Will Not Return Void – Isaiah 55:11

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me

void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for

which I sent it.”

B. God Still Prophesies Today



Why Stay Here Until We Die?, Text:

2 Kings 7:1-20

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.'"

2  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."

3  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?

4  "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."

5  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.

6  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!"

7  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.

8  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.

9  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."

10  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."

11  And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king's household inside.

12  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.'"

13  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."

14  Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, "Go and see."

15  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.

16  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.

17  Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him.

18  So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, "Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria."

19  Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, "Now look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?" And he had said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it."

20  And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.