Summary: The death of Elisha. Most would say his ministry was over, but was it? This sermons examines dark places in our lives and encourages us to not give up. It ain't over yet.
IT AIN’T OVER TIL GOD SAYS IT’S OVER
Do you ever feel like you’re on the downhill side of Life?
Too old to really do much of anything?
A few late bloomers..
1. Doris Self- 60yo Qbert VG Championship, scoring over 1 million points. She kept competing in yearly into her 80s.
* I have trouble beating 8 yr olds on XBOX
2. Yaichiro Miura- 80 yo climbed Mt Everest. 3rd time after age 70.
* Lana had to help me climb 900 ft up a New Mexico mountain.
3. Gladys Burrill- 92 yo. She’s the oldest to complete a marathon.
* I’m ready to throw up just running to the mailbox.
Today, we finish the series on Elisha. In chapter 13, Elisha is between 75-80 yrs old. He was about 25-30 when God called him into ministry. He was Elijah’s servant for 5+ years. He went on to serve as God’s anointed prophet to Issrael for another 45 years. He is a very sick man now. You’d think he would have retired, but he has kept right on serving God.
1. SERVING GOD TO THE END.
2 Kings 13:14-20 14 When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 15 Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he [h]took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped. 19 So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have [l]destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”
20 Elisha died, and they buried him.
He’s barely getting around, but still serving. He has 1 last thing to do before he dies. He must prophesy to the king. This is an unusual prophecy because the king’s response will determine the future.
* Elisha tells him to shoot an arrow out the window and then Elisha prophesied victory over Aram, their nemesis.
* Next, he tells the king to take the arrows and shoot them. The verb tense means “to keep on shooting them”. But the king stops after shooting only 3 arrows. This broke Elisha’s heart.
* If the king had continued shooting until Elisha said to stop, Israel would have defeated Aram completely. Since he didn’t, Israel would have only 3 victories over them. It pays to follow God’s commands.
What can we glean from this?
(1) God’s commandments are constant until He tells us to stop.
(2) Too many Christians have retired from serving God.
(3) Too many quit serving because they think they have little to offer.
(4) Many quit serving because they just don’t want to anymore.
* Missionary visiting a hospital in South America. Christian Man there was ravaged by leprosy. Lost many fingers, parts of face and his tongue. Man kept smiling and pointing up. He asked the nurse what he was doing. Nurse said he has been the greatest witness in the area for many years. He loves the Lord. He can’t talk anymore, so he points up to God in Heaven and smiles.
– I wonder how it will feel to meet him in heaven and remember the times I was too busy or self-absorbed to witness to lost people.
2. LEAVING A LEGACY.
2 Kings 13:20-21 20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. 21 As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.
Amazing! Elisha had lived in the anointing of God for many years.
He performed many great miracles.
He served God with all his heart and strength.
But, died and was buried.
You would think his ministry would be over.
You would think his days of performing miracles would be over.