Summary: A message about what happens when things go from "bad to worse to unbearable"
Title: After this . . .
Theme: To show that God can work in a moment. A turnaround moment.
Text: 2 Kings 6 & 7
Note: I used Tim Hill’s book Speed of Favor as a reference and notes for this message.
Have you ever had one of those days when things go from “bad to worse”. Maybe one of those weeks or even months. Just when you think to yourself, “It can’t get any worse than this” it does.
This is what it felt link in the story of Samaria’s famine in 2 Kings 6 & 7. We see three interrelated stories that just seem to escalate the problem. On the surface the seem to begin small yet when you put them together they just seem to overwhelm the whole situation.
Floating Axe Head
It starts simple enough when a man who borrows an axe loses it head. Right into the water it fell. There is a frantic going on. An axe was important. Elisha throws a stick in the water and by God’s divine intervention the axe head floats. Wow!
The next story in the saga takes us on the mountain top. Here Elisha and his servant are together. The back story is that the King of Syria was trying to defeat Israel. Every time the King makes a plan, God reveals to Elisha what is going to happen and then Elisha tells the king of Israel.
This frustrates Ben-hadad. He even questions the loyalty of his own men. His advisors tell him that it is Elisha who tells the kings secrets even in his own bedroom. So there is no privacy. The king sends the army down to Dothan. They surround the city. The servant of Elisha breaks out in fear, “Alas, my master what shall we do?” This is a cry of fear and desperation. Then we read on of the most quoted verses in the Bible.
2 Kings 6:16-17 So he (Elisha) answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (17) And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
This is powerful. God opens the eyes of the servant and lets him peer into the supernatural. We could stop right here and talk about out theme of the year. Vision 20/20. How if we could get a glimpse of the supernatural and see God’s work and protection. God’s angels at his beckoning call to intervene.
Well as the story goes the army of Syria is struck with blindness. Elisha leads them in the middle of the city of Samaria surrounded by the Israelite army. This was Israel’s chance to finally defeat its greatest enemy of the time. After the request of the king to destroy to the army listen to what Elisha says.
2 Kings 6:22-23 But he answered, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master." (23) Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
So this is what they did, which brings us to this point. After this . . .
After this . . .
One would think that after all that had happened here the King of Syria would leave Israel alone. I mean he would be grateful for the peace and deliverance of his army. But he was not. Instead he built a larger army to siege the city.
They surrounded the city and closed up all the exits. They were going to starve them out. He was containing them and separating them from their harvest.
2 Kings 6:25 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.
Tim Hill notes: (This shows an example of the strategy of satan and the church. He loves to try to contain us and separate us from the harvest) To convince us there is no rain and the harvest doesn’t’ care. Yet the rain is abundant and the harvest is white, we need to be careful how we see it).
How many “after this” moments have you had in your life. After a great victory comes on the hardest trials of you life. Maybe you have felt like Elijah (Elisha’s mentor) in 1 Kings 19. After the victory on the mountain in defeating the 450 prophets of Baal. The nation did not turn and Elijah got discouraged. His life was threatened and he went into a depression. Even enough to ask God to take his life.