Summary: God never wants us to align ourselves w/ wickedness in a common goal. Instead, our relationships with the lost are to be a one way street w/ the goal of reaching them. God saved the day when His people separated themselves. Link inc. to text and PowerPoin
Dig a Ditch!
Dig a ditch so God can fill it! That is a clear lesson from this passage. Our God specializes in FILLING things which are EMPTY. In the next chapter we will see the familiar story of the widow woman and her empty vessels which God filled for her. I think it’s great that this same Elisha, who challenged the widow woman to create more emptiness for the Lord to fill, had just seen it happen himself! (he practiced before he preached!)
And tho’ our faith should not be based wholly on experience…it doesn’t hurt our faith!
Well, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, a relatively good, God-fearing King, made a critical mistake and messed in his nest! He made alliance w/ the wicked son of Ahab, Jehoram. He did this in order to try to overtake the land of Moab…but the end doesn’t justify the means. The plan backfired on him. He’s got thousands of soldiers, animals and he runs out of water.
God never wants us to align ourselves w/ wickedness (lost people) in a common goal. Instead, our relationships with the lost are to be a one way street. We are to build bridges to them only for the purpose of seeing them saved.
But how can we pull them up w/out them pulling us down? After all, it’s easier to make hot water cold than to make cold water hot, correct?
Ill.— “Home Field Advantage” – do God’s work in the safety of the home team, in your home, at church, or at least a neutral location, w/ other Christians supporting you, and without many of the lost present to support the other person you are trying to reach.
We become like those we spend time with, so let’s consider some wisdom from the Scriptures...
Verses on Separation:
II Cor. 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…
O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul.
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
I Cor. 5:11
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
I Cor. 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
II Pet. 3:17
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2 Cor. 6:14 -
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me:
Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
Ps. 1:1 Blessed is the man…
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Many have successfully obeyed God’s standards of separation:
Man of God in...
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:
For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.