Luke records an occasion where ten lepers presented themselves to Christ crying from afar off, “…have mercy on us.” Jesus had pity upon these men and healed them “as they went” to show themselves to the priests. When they did what He told them to do, Jesus saved them from the dreadful disease that otherwise would have taken their life. They called for mercy to One who had the power to deliver. Only one of them, a Samaritan, when realizing he had been healed, turned and with a “loud voice” gave glory to God, falling on his face at the Master’s feet offering thanksgiving. This prompted a very reasonable question from the Lord, “where are the nine?” When looking back on this event recorded in Luke 17:12-18, it is easy to become puffed up and self righteous with the benefit of hindsight, but before mounting your high horse, a few questions might be good for current evaluation.

Where are the nine?when considering the blessing of liberty afforded every American? Jesus told Roman Governor Pilate that he would have no power but for God. The power of government comes from God. God raises up and pulls down as He chooses (Dan. 4:17, 25), and says government leaders are ministers of good (Rom. 13:4). A great price has been paid and a great blessing bestowed on this nation for liberty enjoyed today. Liberty to worship, to go where you wish to go and say what you wish, liberty to protest and liberty to pray as well as vote for the representation you desire in this democratic republic. Have you bowed before God lately and offered genuine thanksgiving for liberty that has been yours as an American? Even amidst all the trouble and strife of the times, there’s much for which to be thankful.

Where are the nine?when considering food, home and family? God provides for His own (Deut. 8:3-4). He provides for spiritual Israel (Matt. 6:33), and promises to be with you to the end (Matt. 28:20) if you’ll do His will. He provides on His schedule rain from heaven that yields good things this time of year (Acts 14:17). Americans are generally said to be overweight. Good things have been provided in abundance for many years to citizens of this country. A day may come when God is not so merciful to the U.S., what then? Don’t forget to pray humbly to God in thanksgiving for good food, fruitful seasons that fill our hearts with food and gladness, and family with whom to share it.

In a land of milk and honey, there’s really no place for complaining and especially for a Christian. God has provided good in abundance, remember to be thankful to Him. Where are the nine?
-David Hill