Summary: What does it matter that God is all powerful?
GOD’S POWER – OMNIPOTENCE
In the summer of 1876, grasshoppers nearly destroyed the crops in Minnesota. So in the spring of 1877, farmers were worried. They believed that the dreadful plague would once again visit them and again destroy the rich wheat crop, bringing ruin to thousands of people. The situation was so serious that Governor John S. Pillsbury proclaimed April 26 as a day of prayer and fasting He urged every man, woman and child to ask God to prevent the terrible scourge. On that April day all schools, shops, stores and offices were closed. There was a reverent, quite hush over all the state.
The next day dawned bright and clear. Temperature soared to what they ordinary were in midsummer, which was very unusual for April. Minnesotans were devastated as they discovered billions of grasshopper larvae wiggling to life. For 3 days the unusual heat persisted, and the larvae hatched. It appeared that it wouldn’t be long before they started feeding and destroying the wheat crop. On the fourth day, however the temperature suddenly dropped, and that night frost, covered the entire state. Result - it killed every one of those creeping, crawling pests as surely as if poison or fire had been used. It went down in the history of Minnesota as the day God answered the prayers of the people. That is an awesome story! But understand, it was NOT the first and certainly was NOT the last time that Almighty God answered the prayers of his people.
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that God can do anything? Do you really believe that there is nothing that is too difficult for God?
2 Kings 13:14 Now Elisha was suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. "My father! My father!" he cried. "The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" 15 Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so. 16 "Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. 17 "Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot. "The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek." 18 Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times."
Today we are continuing in our series Getting to Know God. Two weeks ago we looked at God’s Omniscience – God knows all things. Last week we talked about God’s Omnipresence – that God is everywhere. Today we look at God’s Omnipotence – God is all powerful. Again, these three attributes always work in tandem: God knows what needs to be done. God is always wherever He needs to be in order to do whatever needs to be done and God has the power to do it.
After Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel he ran for his life and found himself in Horeb alone and exhausted. In the midst of Elijah’s depression God said that 3 things would occur – Frist, that Elijah would get an assistant in the form of Elisha. Second, that Israel's king Ahab (a very bad king) would be completely destroyed by Jehu his commander. Third, that Hazael would become the next King of Aram (Syria).
All these things had taken place. Elisha had taken over from Elijah. Jehu had destroyed the house of Ahab and now his grandson Jehoash was the king of Israel. Hazael had killed Ben-Hadad and was the king of Aram. Now Aram was a constant trouble to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Both Jehu and Jehoahaz had been defeated by Aram and now Israel’s military was almost completely destroyed. Only 50 horses, 10 chariots and a few thousand soldiers remained (2 Kings 13:7) to fight the many thousand soldiers of Hazael’s army. The situation was desperate and it seemed that Aram would surely destroy Jehoash and Israel. In the midst of this darkness comes an unusual encounter:
1. Admit your Need (vs. 14)
The king was upset over the illness of Elisha because it represented the last of God’s power which was Israel’s last hope. Jehoash says to Elisha “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” These were the same words Elisha said to Elijah when he was taken by God. Whatever the meaning it is clear that Elisha is close to death and that the king recognizes that Elisha is a channel of the Lord’s power. With no successor, it was unclear who would be the next prophet to take Elisha’s place.