Summary: It can be difficult to represent God to others, but if we have a heart to serve and the empowerment of the Spirit, we can faithfully serve God.
Elisha Goes Solo
1. Some people with important jobs end up doing a lot of things that are quite trite.
2. Take police officers, some real calls via Reader’s Digest:
From the police blotter, ?or, what a beat cop deals with ?every day:
• A deputy responded to a report ?of a vehicle stopping at mailboxes. ?It was the mail carrier.
• A woman said her son was ?attacked by a cat, and the cat would not allow her to take her son to the hospital.
• A resident said someone had ?entered his home at night and taken five pounds of bacon. Upon further investigation, police discovered ?his wife had gotten up for a late-night snack.
• A man reported that a squirrel ?was running in circles on Davis Drive, and he wasn’t sure if it was sick or had been hit by a car. An ?officer responded, and as he drove on the street, he ran over the squirrel.
4. But these same officers have saved lives, prevented crimes, or captured criminals.
5. Elisha had an extremely important job: speaking for God as His prophet.
6. But he had to do experience both trite and grand experiences to get there.
Main Idea: It can be difficult to represent God to others, but if we have a heart to serve and the empowerment of the Spirit, we can faithfully serve God.
I. A Brisk Look The Transition from SERVANT to Solo (1-25)
““One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much...” Luke 16:10a
“He who would lead must first learn to follow” (common axiom)
A. Elisha’s TRAVELS (1-8)
1. From Gligal to Bethel
2. Elijah says, “Stay behind, Elisha”…won’t
3. Sons of the prophets: Elijah will be taken away today; quiet
4. From Bethel to Jericho
5. Elijah says, “Stay behind, Elisha”…won’t
6. Sons of the prophets: Elijah will be taken away today; quiet
7. From Jericho to the Jordan
8. Elijah says, “Stay behind, Elisha”…won’t
9. Sons of the prophets: 50 stand watching
10. Elijah takes cloak, touches to Jordan river, water heaps up…then closes
B. Elisha given an opportunity to make a REQUEST from Elijah (9-14).
1. Elisha asks for and receives a double portion of the Spirit’s power.
2. Elijah taken to heaven in a chariot of fire
3. I will read this section later and discuss further
C. Elisha gains RESPECT (15-25).
1. Concession: Elisha shamed into sending out a search party (15-18)
2. Unlike loner Elijah, Elisha is a team player and works well with others
3. Same concept as John the Baptist and Jesus
4. The church of Jesus Christ is a social spiritual family (depersonalized)
5. Elisha works a helpful miracle: purifying Jericho’s water (19-22)
6. Elisha responds to mocking youth but lets God deal with them (23-25)
• A minister taught the children's Sunday school class about the Old Testament story of the youth who mocked Elisha on his journey to Bethel. For once, he had everyone's attention, as he described how the youngsters taunted the poor old prophet and how they were punished: Two she-bears came out of the wild and ate 42 of them." And now, children," said the pastor, wondering whether he had gotten his point across, “what does this story show us?”
A little girl in the front raised her hand and said, "It shows how many children two she-bears can hold." www.jokesoftheday.net
• The point here is that God was teaching the people that they had better respect Elisha at least as much as Elijah!
• Leviticus 26:21-22, “‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins. I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted.”
• Elisha had Elijah’s blessing, double the Spirit’s power, his cloak, and his ability to work miracles. Now he had the respect of the people.
II. A Contemplative Look: Elisha’s HEART and Empowerment (9-14)
Read this section aloud
A. Elisha’s request reveals his SPIRITUAL nature (9).
Solomon was given a chance to make a request of God, and asked for wisdom.
Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his Spirit. Did he mean the Holy Spirit?
B. Many spiritual matters are strictly in GOD’S hands (10).
1. “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” I Corinthians 12:11
2. We often ask too much of some of God’s children — all gifted differently.
3. Same thing with life in general; for example, our children are all different.
4. Wives want their husbands to be like other husbands, and husbands want their wives to be like other wives. Of course, we don’t really know what people are like…