Summary: The enemy attacks our heart in an attempt to drive us into a place of hopelessness. We must find hope again!
Pt. 2 - Baby Buffet
I am placing a demand on your memory today. I preached the first message in this series almost 4 weeks ago. We are right in the middle of combating 5 principalities that we are assigned to confront and drive out of our body and region. The first was isolation. We talked about how we need each other. God designed us for one another. We then confronted poverty. We must learn to manage and be diligent with what God has placed in our hands. God breaks poverty off our lives not by giving us more money but rather by helping us learn to handle what we have already been given. The third principality is hopelessness so we now continue our assault on hopelessness.
Paul, in Romans 15:13, says "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." This is a made as a statement of what should be normal for followers of Christ. We should be so rich in hope that we such an excess of hope that we overflow. Yet, I submit to you that we too often find ourselves so overwhelmed with life until we are void, empty and bankrupt in the area of hope. So, I have taken the position that hopelessness is the direct result of a heart condition. Like David said in Psalms 27 we are on the precipice of losing heart which then results in a loss of hope. This is why the wise man says above all else guard your heart. He could have just as easily said guard your hope. Without hope you lose heart. Without heart you lose hope.
Over the next few weeks I want us to look at some areas in which this principality attacks in our lives. I want to unmask and pull into the light what hopelessness does so that we can uproot it. Since I am also convinced that most don't even recognize the subtle existence and work of hopelessness in their lives we must expose how it works or it will continue to bring about slow but steady fall out. So I want to take the time to pull back the covers on what hopelessness does and why it is so deadly by looking at some hopeless situations in Scripture. Then we will follow up this expose by discussing why we should have hope! Simply said the goal is to lay bare the places in our life that we have given up on so that we can grab hope again.
I want to read an account today in which you will see a glaring example of how isolation and poverty often join forces to pave the way for the principality of hopelessness to attack. We have got to learn that the enemy layers attacks!
Text: 2 Kings 6:24-33
At a later time, this: Ben-Hadad king of Aram pulled together his troops and launched a siege on Samaria. This brought on a terrible famine, so bad that food prices soared astronomically. Eighty shekels for a donkey’s head! Five shekels for a bowl of field greens! One day the king of Israel was walking along the city wall. A woman cried out, “Help! Your majesty!” He answered, “If God won’t help you, where on earth can I go for help? To the granary? To the dairy?” The king continued, “Tell me your story.”She said, “This woman came to me and said, ‘Give up your son and we’ll have him for today’s supper; tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I told her, ‘Your turn—bring your son so we can have him for supper.’ But she had hidden her son away.” When the king heard the woman’s story he ripped apart his robe. Since he was walking on the city wall, everyone saw that next to his skin he was wearing coarse burlap. And he called out, “God do his worst to me—and more—if Elisha son of Shaphat still has a head on his shoulders at this day’s end.” Elisha was sitting at home, the elders sitting with him. The king had already dispatched an executioner, but before the man arrived Elisha spoke to the elders: “Do you know that this murderer has just now sent a man to take off my head? Look, when the executioner arrives, shut the door and lock it. Don’t I even now hear the footsteps of his master behind him?” While he was giving his instructions, the king showed up, accusing, “This trouble is directly from God! And what’s next? I’m fed up with God!”
This account has to be one of the most serious and graphic examples of hopelessness chronicled in Scripture. The enemy has laid siege on Samaria. Surrounded. Cut off. Alone. See if this word sounds familiar . . . isolated. Isolation attacks first and then poverty takes up the onslaught. How broke were these folks? In one of the most broken accounts in Scripture two mothers come up with a gruesome and stomach turning plan. They covenant to kill and cook their own children for dinner. The one woman follows the plan the other bellies up to the baby buffet and then hides her child. So now that isolation has prepared the foundation poverty seals the deal and hopelessness takes hold. I am literally revealing how the enemy works in our lives right now.