Lessons from a Honeybee (Part IX: Why Hexagonal Cells?)

I know you have been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask: “Why is every cell in a honeycomb a hexagon?” Well, I’m glad you finally asked. Let me tell you why that is true—and it is. If you have ever seen a honeycomb, you know that each cell containing honey, pollen or brood is a nearly perfectly constructed hexagon with equal sides, each hexagon fitting snugly with the six hexagonal cells next to it and sharing one side with each one.  But why do bees build hexagonal wax cells rather than random shapes or circles or some other geometric figure.
   Well, keep in mind that the hive is the home to about 60,000 bees who need room to store nectar and pollen, and for the queen to lay eggs.  So, space is at a premium and must be utilized as efficiently as possible. Remember, it takes thousands and thousands of bee hours and tens of thousands of flights to gather nectar from flower after flower after flower to fill those cells with honey, so it is reasonable to suppose that back at the hive, bees want a tight, secure storage that is simple to build, compact storage, yet very strong.    Also, it takes about eight ounces of honey for a bee to produce one ounce of wax, so the cells must be constructed with as much efficiency as possible. The cells also must be strong so they don’t collapse. Wanting to maximize storage and strength and minimize the amount of wax needed, the honeybees “chose” hexagons as the best solution! 
     There are only three geometric figures with equal sides that can fit together on a flat surface without leaving gaps: equilateral triangles, squares and hexagons. So, how well did the honeybee do in choosing the hexagon?  A mathematician at the University of Michigan proved that a hexagonal structure is indeed the most compact—it is absolutely perfect in economizing labor and wax and maximizing strength.  Even Charles Darwin acknowledged, “The honeycomb is a masterpiece of engineering.”  Honeybees know how to store the most amount of honey while using the least amount of resources. Hmm? Did they learn that over millions of years of evolutionary  experimenting? – or— were they made by an all-wise Creator God who built that knowledge into their genetic structure!  And oh, by the way, archaeologists digging in northern Israel discovered evidence of a 3,000-year-old beekeeping industry, including remnants of ancient honeycombs, beeswax and the oldest beehives ever found, indicating that an advanced honey industry existed in the Holy Land at the time of the Bible—and guess what shape the honeycomb cells were?  What I’m sure they have always been since creation—hexagonal!  God, the perfect mathematician and engineer designed it that way.
     Just how strong are their wax hexagonal cell which have walls of beeswax only 1/350 inch thick? Strong enough to support the weight of all the honey contained in each frame. Honey weighs about 11 pounds per gallon and beekeepers may take about five gallons from each hive, still leaving the bees with enough to make it over the winter. According to engineering, the strongest geometric shape is the triangle, and a hexagon is composed of six equilateral triangles!  Aren’t bees smart!
     Beekeepers place foundation frames in hives with pre-formed cell bases to maximize honey production, but all natural beehives, even a honeycomb hanging from a tree branch or a building eave, will be constructed of almost perfectly aligned hexagons.
     The more we examine nature, and creatures such as the “simple” honeybee, the more we see what an amazing Creator God we serve. “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth!” (Psa. 8:9).
    
     And the same God who equipped the honeybees to construct such a masterpiece of engineering, is today building His church, made up of individual believers from throughout the whole earth, yet tied together through the bond of the Holy Spirit and Christ living in each one so that we form a unit called the church, or the body of Christ (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 5:23-29; I Cor. 12:13,14). And remember Jesus’ statement to Peter (and the other disciples): “I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Mt. 16:18).  The triangle (and hexagon) may be the strongest geometric shapes but the church is the strongest entity in the world. It has faced and is facing tremendous persecution and the onslaught of the enemy trying to destroy it, but it only causes it to increase!  After all, it was built by the Designer of the amazing honeybees!!
                Forever His,
                    Pastor Dave
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Lessons from a Honeybee (Part VIII: Fruit that Remains)

We have looked at many amazing things about honeybees and their activities and in turn have seen the spiritual parallels that we can apply to Christianity, to the Church, and to our individual lives.  This week we will look at the product of these hard-working bees—yummy, nutritious honey—the only food source consumed by humans that is produced by an insect. All natural, with a host of health benefits, honey can truly be seen as a miracle food. It’s been used for centuries as a food, medicine, and for skin care.
     Here are some of the nutritional and medical facts about honey (NOTE: This applies especially to raw, unprocessed honey. When honey is processed—heated and pasteurized—the pollen, enzymes and some of the nutrients are filtered out or destroyed).:
           
            1.  Sweetener:
                 Honey is a healthy, natural sweetener containing no man-made chemicals. It is, in fact, the world’s                      oldest sweetener, with 60-64 calories per tablespoon.
            2.  Energy:
                A spoonful of honey provides a great energy boost, for it is 80 percent carbohydrates.    It helps with
                muscle fatigue and endurance because it contains a combination of glucose for instant fuel and
                fructose which is absorbed over time.
            3.  Blood Sugar Regulation:
                Because the sugars in honey are absorbed into the bloodstream at different rates, honey helps
                stabilize sugar levels. Honey has a low glycemic index—it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
            4.  Immune Booster:
                Honey has natural antioxidant and antibacterial properties that benefit the digestive system, which
                plays a major role in the health of the immune system. Honey also has natural probiotic properties.
            5.  Wound Healing:
                Honey has been used for centuries to help speed the healing of wounds and burns.  The natural anti-
                bacterial properties and the fact that it is slightly acidic, help honey reduce inflammation and
                infection and reduce the time it takes for wounds to heal. It can slow the growth of bacteria that
                cause infections in wounds.
            6.  Anti-Allergy:
                Honey has been found to help relieve the symptoms of allergies and help the body build up
                resistance to them, especially when the honey was produced in the same area where the allergies
                occur.
            7.  Sore Throats:
                Honey helps to soothe and heal sore throats due to its excellent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
                properties. Honey also contains small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, an effective antidote to the
                bacteria that cause sore throats.
            8. Cough Remedy:
                Honey helps reduce the severity of coughs caused by colds and flu—and with no negative side
               effects!
            9.  Boost Memory:
                The numerous antioxidants in honey appear to help slow down and reduce the damage to, and loss
                of, brain cells brought about by aging.  Honey also helps the body to absorb calcium, which is vital
                to nerve health. 
          10.  Anti-Cancer:
                 Honey has been found to help prevent cancer and even help treat cancer through its many
                 antioxidants.  Cancer feeds on sugar, but not on the makeup of honey. 
          11.  Sleep Aid:
                 Honey contains many amino acids, including tryptophan, which the brain converts to serotonin and
                then to melatonin, a hormone that is important to the duration and quality of sleep.
          12.  Skin Care:
                 Honey has been used for centuries as a beauty aid to smooth and soften skin through its antioxidant
                and anti-bacterial properties,
          13. Weight Control:
                 A combination of honey and lemon juice in a glass of warm water, when taken first thing in the
                 morning, has been found to be an excellent means of weight control.  It helps flush toxins and waste
                 from your body.
          14.  Digestion:
                 Honey helps keep the digestive tract working properly. Due to its anti-microbial properties, it keeps
                bad bacteria under control while allowing the healthy bacteria to flourish. Honey also contains
                 glucose oxidase, and enzyme that is beneficial for alleviating gastritis.
          15:  Cholesterol:
                 Honey, which contains no sodium, cholesterol or fat, helps to reduce bad cholesterol.
                        
     The nutritional and medicinal properties of  honey are quite amazing, but even more astounding is the fact that honey does not spoil.  Archaeologists have found pots of honey thousands of years old while excavating ancient Egyptian tombs. The honey remained unspoiled! What is the secret to its eternal shelf life? It is the acidity, lack of water, and presence of hydrogen peroxide, which work in perfect harmony, allowing honey to last indefinitely.  And by the way, this was all God’s design!  Man had nothing to do with the development of bees or honey.  It is totally a God thing!  What an amazing God we serve! 
     Oh, yes, just as the “fruit of the bee hive”—honey—never spoils, God desires that we, as believers, also bear fruit that remains.  Jesus told His disciples: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” (Jn. 15:16).  So, what kind of fruit can we bear that will remain? We can share the Gospel (the Good News) about Christ with others to help them come to have eternal life in Christ.  Only what we do for eternity’s sake will remain. Everything else is temporal.  Yet, on what do we so often focus most of our time?  Like the old chorus goes: “With eternity’s values in view, Lord, with eternity’s values in view; may we do each day’s work for Jesus, with eternity’s values in view.”  Let’s learn from the honeybees and bear some fruit that will be healthy and nutritious and  “fruit that will remain.”
                Forever His,
                    Pastor Dave
    
    
                  
                                    
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Lessons from a Honeybee: Part VII: Why Bees Swarm

One of the most dramatic, amazing phenomenon to take place in bee keeping (besides the gathering of the yummy, nutritious honey) is bee swarm. Like us, bees need space in which to live their lives—to raise brood and store honey and pollen. In the spring and early summer, a colony (hive) can expand quite dramatically and space becomes limited. But honeybees, guided by their Creator, have a solution—they swarm.  Swarming is the process by which the queen and about half the hive leave to establish a new colony elsewhere.  This typically takes place in June and usually between noon and three in the afternoon.  Over the years we have watches numerous swarms from our hives and it is always fascinating to observe the process.  Not only does swarming prevent a hive from becoming overcrowded with insufficient brood and storage space, but it is the means for the bees to reproduce and thrive. It is their means of colony reproduction as one hive becomes two. This is referred to as the prime swarm and occasionally additional or after swarms occur as well, establishing even more colonies.
     If a hive is becoming overcrowded, worker bees will prepare large-celled “queen cups” in which the queen can lay eggs for future queens.  When the colony of bees “decides” that a swarm is imminent, the queen will lay eggs in the “queen cups,” but then there is a short time before swarming while the worker bees reduce the amount of food given to the queen, to get her lightened up for flight.
     The day they decide to swarm, they begin gathering on the outside of the hive in large numbers. A strong hive may contain 60,000 or more bees, so there may be 30,000 or more bees gathering on the hive. Then they begin swirling up in the air, making a buzzing sound that can be heard from a distance. Scout bees start looking for a nearby branch as an interim resting place. When one is chosen, they gather on the branch in a tall, cylindrical-shaped mass of bees with the queen at the center. We have had bee swarms two feet tall, hanging from a branch. 
     Then the scout bees start looking for a permanent site, which could be some distance from their original home.  As the scouts return, they somehow “discuss and debate and vote” on where to locate.  When this democratic process is complete the swarm heads for its new home and establishes a new colony of honey bees.
     Meanwhile, back at the original hive, a new queen soon emerges and she makes sure she is the only one!  The remaining worker bees accept the new queen, who is fertilized by the drones (males) who exist in the hive for that very purpose. 
     A bee keeper, by frequently examining his hives, can detect when a hive is soon to swarm by seeing the peanut-shaped queen cups that the workers have prepared to develop a new queen. By adding additional hive boxes and destroying the queen cups, the hive can probably be kept from swarming, but if the hive is allowed to swarm, the keeper, by being alert to watch it take place, can usually capture the swarm by shaking the swarm into a new hive box, making sure the queen goes in. All the rest of the bees in the swarm will enter the box as well, and they have a new hive. It is pretty amazing how docile swarming bees are. They are not usually in a defensive or attack mode and are quite cooperative.
     So, how does that relate to our Christian lives? Well, if you think of the church (an assembly of believers) as the “hive” or “colony” of bees, first of all you can see the parallel of how each member of the assembly has a unique role to play (using their spiritual gifts) for the unity, effectiveness and health of the church (see I Cor. 12:4-31 and Eph. 4:11-16).  But also, as with the honeybees, we need to reproduce to guarantee the future of the church. We have the tendency to want to remain where it is comfortable and not reach out.  That has always been a problem with mankind since sin in the Garden of Eden.  Remember God’s command was to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28).  God repeated His command to Noah and his family after the flood (Gen. 9:1).  But, a couple chapters later in Genesis, we read of the building of the tower of Babel and men saying: “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).   As a result, God confused their language and scattered them over the face of the earth (vv. 7-9). 
     Then in the New Testament, Jesus told His disciples that when He left, God would send them the Holy Spirit to empower them: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).  The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost to indwell the disciples (meeting in Jerusalem) and  3,000 Jews were saved as a result of Peter’s sermon. Souls continued to be saved and they were meeting for worship, breaking bread, prayer and teaching. Wow, it was exciting, and they were having a great time—the problem was, they didn’t want to leave. They had already forgotten that Jesus said they were to be witnesses not only in Jerusalem, but all Judea and neighboring Samaria and to the far corners of the globe.  And, then we have Jesus’ command we call “The Great Commission” when He told them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt. 26:19). 
     Again, we have the tendency to remain where it is comfortable just to keep “growing our hive” and not establishing new ones.  As a result, we have what we call “mega-churches” of thousands of members. While there may be some advantages to large assemblies, I believe that it is God’s plan for us to “swarm” like bees and establish new churches in communities where there isn’t a Bible-believing-behaving church.  Rather than continuing to grow a huge church, how about sending a portion of the members (leaders among them) with a pastor to establish another assembly in a nearby area that needs a church so folks can attend in their own community.  Now you have two healthy, growing assemblies instead of one.  And maybe there needs to be some additional after swarms as well, as the original assembly (hive) continues to multiply.  Hey, it’s obviously God’s plan for the honey bees. And it works well—another lesson we can learn from the bees!
                Forever His,
                        Pastor Dave
    
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Lessons from a Honeybee: Park VI: “Don’t be a Drone Christian”

If you examine a honeybee hive, you will notice that there are a number of larger, wider-bodied bees, always buzzing, going in and out of the hive, even being fed by the smaller, worker bees, but doing no apparent work.  These non-productive bees are called drones.  They are male bees, maybe not quite as long as the queen bee, but wider, and considerably bigger than the worker bees.  There are usually about 100 per hive. Their only function is to fertilize a queen and then die. 
     While waiting around for a new queen to emerge, the drones spend their time visiting one hive after another. But, they do no work: they make no honey; they build no comb; they don’t guard the hive; they don’t help feed the larvae; they can’t even sting!  And they’re noisy!  You should hear them buzz, but it’s all bluff. 
     For awhile drones are privileged characters, living off their honeybee society, but in late summer or early fall, when the honey flow slackens, the worker bees either kill or kick out every drone!  You will see them hanging on corn stalks in your garden, kicked out of the hive to die.  Not a single drone lives through the winter.  The hive is an all-female society during the winter!  The time of reckoning came and the drones were denied the reward of the workers. 
     When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to his understudy, Timothy, he warned about people who are active in the wrong kinds of activities—going from house to house as busybodies, stirring up trouble: “And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention” (I Tim. 5:13). 
     Paul addressed a similar problem in the church in Thessalonica. He wrote: “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame” (II Thes. 3:10-14). 
     It seems that there are always a number of people who drift from church to church, making a lot of noise, often sowing discord and causing trouble, but never getting involved and being productive.  They want to be “fed” but don’t give back. Conspicuous by its absence is the “fruit of the Spirit” in their lives. Don’t be a drone if you want to share in the heavenly treasures reserved for the faithful Christians.  God’s house should be a hive for workers—not a nest for drones!
                Forever His,
                    Pastor Dave
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Lessons from a Honeybee Part V: “Freshen the Air”

If God had chosen to, He could have taken us home to Heaven immediately following our conversion. But He didn’t, so obviously He has a purpose for our still being here. He wants us to remain here on earth to be His ambassadors (II Cor. 5:20), and also to be an influence for holiness in the midst of a morally polluted, spiritually dysfunctional society. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world…Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 5:13-16). Jesus used the metaphors of “salt” and “light” to describe the preserving and enlightening effects we should have in our world.
     This same truth can be illustrated with a different analogy, one taken from the honeybee. On a warm, midsummer evening, if you go near their hives, you will notice a continuous buzzing or hissing sound that flows from the hive in a wave-like rhythm. It is coming from “fanner bees.” They keep the hive cool and keep the air fresh and sweet. If you could see them, you’d notice that they stay near the center of the colony and that their wings are moving so rapidly that they appear almost like a gray mist. They’re forcing the stale air out while the pure air is being drawn in. You can actually feel the gentle breeze produced by those numerous tiny bee wings. Those fanners—pushing out bad air and bringing in fresh air—that’s the way Christians ought to perform!
     In our area of influence—our home, the workplace, in school, in our neighborhood, in our recreation—we can be a light in the darkness and have a preserving effect like salt. Or, in terms of our honeybee illustration, we can “freshen the air” where we live and work and play. Either we are helping to stay the spiritual and moral decay of our society or we are becoming part of it. Either we are helping to dispel the darkness or we are adding to it. If your life doesn’t shed light, it casts a shadow! Either we are a positive influence on the little world we live in or we are being influenced negatively. In The Living Bible Rom. 12:2 reads: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold!” Be an “air freshener” wherever you go.
                                                    “Only one life, so live it well,
                                                    And keep your candle trimmed and bright;
                                                    Eternity, not time, will tell
                                                    The radius of that candle’s light” …Miller (from The Daily Bread)
    Forever His,
            Pastor Dave
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Lessons from a Honeybee: Part IV: Giving a Reliable Message

  When a forager honeybee discovers a good source of nectar and returns to the hive with her load, she lets the other forager bees know about her discovery and she even gives them a sample of the nectar to taste.  She also conveys the distance to and location of the treasure she discovered. This must be a very accurate message, not only for the efficiency and productivity of the hive, but also for the very lives of the other forager bees that head to that nectar source. As the forager bee returns to the hive with its treasure, it relates the distance and direction to the nectar source by using the sun as a reference point.  If the bee points its body vertically on the comb of the hive, it signals that the flowers are located away from the hive in the same direction as the sun. A downward direction indicates conversely that the flowers are in the opposite direction. Or a message given at, say, a 30-degree angle on the comb directs the watching foragers to leave the hive at a 30-degree angle from the sun.
     But, the departing foragers also need to know the distance to the nectar because they will tank up on fuel (honey from the hive) to make it to the source of nectar . The forager bee that returned to the hive with nectar indicates the distance by its body motion.  A circular motion tells foragers that the food is within 100 yards. A figure eight ceremony indicates that the nectar is more than 100 yards away. The rate of the tail-wagging motion is in direct proportion to the distance of the nectar. The closer the source, the more intense the body movement.
    ( NOTE: So, just where do these bees learn all these things?  Do they attend a honeybee school before they can assume their role as forager bees?  Who teaches them?  What amazing little creatures, designed by an awesome, all-wise, all-powerful, Creator God!)
     Directional information must be precise since the foragers take only enough honey with them—as fuel—to reach their destination and return. If they carry too much, they will not have room for more nectar. If they carry too little, they will fall to the ground and die before reaching their destination unless they can locate another source of glucose. So, it is crucial that the forager bees give reliable messages.  The life of the other forager bees and of the hive depends on it. 
     I’m guessing you already are thinking of the obvious spiritual application. As believers who have discovered the source of eternal life in Jesus Christ (I Jn. 5:10,11), we need to be sure to give a reliable message to others so that they too can find new life in Jesus Christ. If we give an inaccurate, unreliable message, others could end up eternally separated from God, for there is only One Way. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (Jn. 14:6).  The Apostle Peter, in a message recorded in Acts 4, said: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (4:12).
     We must tell others of the Jesus of the Bible, God incarnate (Jn. 1:14), fully God and fully man, not some man-made concept of a Jesus who was Lucifer’s brother, an angel who became the Messiah, or a man who became God, but a Jesus who is a member of the God-head, co-equal, and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In John 8:24, Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I Am (He), you shall die in your sins.” By that statement, Jesus was claiming to be Jehovah God, for He was using the name God gave to Moses at the scene of the burning bush in Ex. 3:13-15. The Jesus of the Bible is the only Jesus that can save.
     We must also preach the gospel of the Bible, which according to Paul has power to save (Ro. 1:16). Just what is that gospel? Paul defined it in I Cor. 15:1-4 as the Good News of the death of Christ for sin, of His burial and of His resurrection. Paul also emphasized that salvation is a gift,  not something we earn through works of any kind. He said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).  If we add anything to the requirements of salvation by faith in the work of the Jesus of the Bible, we no longer have the true gospel. As Paul addressed the churches in Galatia, he said, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-8). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
     We need to be reliable messengers of the true gospel and of the real Jesus of the Bible. Others’ lives depend on it.  Beware of those who are preaching a “different Jesus” and a “different gospel.” Satan attacks the truth of the Bible every way he can. He is the “Father of lies” (Jn. 8:44) and the “great deceiver,” doing all he can to keep people from discovering the truth which alone can set them free (Jn. 8:32,36).
                Forever His,
                    Pastor Dave
    
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Lessons from a Honeybee: Part III: Sharing the Good News

  One summer I set out a honeycomb to feed the bees in our hives which were located just a short distance away.  It was quite fascinating to see how soon a “scout bee” found the treasure and then how quickly the message got conveyed back to the hives and soon dozens and then hundreds of bees came to visit the honey comb until all the honey was transported to their hives.  The “good news” traveled rapidly and benefited the whole bee community.
     Obviously there is quite a lesson there for those of us who know Christ as Savior and have eternal life as well as a new life here on earth. Are we telling others about the “treasure” we have found?  Christ committed to us the proclamation of the Gospel (“good news”).  It is not something, once discovered, we are to hoard and keep to ourselves.  Shall we who have found “honey” in the Rock—Jesus Christ—be less considerate of others than the bees are?  In writing to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul said: “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.  Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:14,15,17-20).
     In the Old Testament book of II Kings, we have recorded the story of four lepers who sat just outside the gate of Samaria. Lepers were not allowed to live within the city (Lev. 13:46). Ben-hadad, king of Aram, had gathered all his army and besieged Samaria, resulting in a great famine in the city (II Kgs. 6:24-33).  Residents were dying for lack of food.  The four lepers reasoned that if they were to go into Samaria, they would die from the famine, and if they stayed where they were they would also die, so they decided to go into the Aramaean’s camp, reasoning that they might have mercy on them and give them food, and if they killed them, they were going to die anyway, so why not give it a try?  Well, they were in for quite a surprise, for when they came to the Aramaean’s camp, it had been vacated suddenly, the soldiers leaving everything, including their food, behind. God had caused the Aramaeans to hear the sound of chariots and horses as of a great army, and they had fled for their lives (II Kgs. 7:3-7).  The lepers began gorging themselves with food and taking valuables from the camp and hiding them (v. 8).   But… “Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent…let us go and tell the king’s household’” (v. 9). 
     Those of us who have discovered the good news of new life in Christ, of forgiveness of sin, and of eternal life in heaven, have a responsibility to communicate that news to others and direct them to the treasure that we discovered. If we don’t, like the lepers in the story, “We are not doing right.” The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians: “For I delivered to you, as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3,4). Paul shared the good news which had changed his life. If you have responded to the Gospel and found new life in Christ, don’t keep it to yourself—share it with others. Tell a hungry soul today about the life available in Jesus Christ. Once you’ve tasted the Bread of Life, you’ll want to share it with as many as you can. You don’t really appreciate what you have in Christ if you aren’t sharing with others, and you won’t really fully enjoy what you have in Christ unless you let others in on it. Learn a lesson from the bees!
                Forever His,
                    Pastor Dave
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