Summary: We serve a God who is able to do more than we could even imagine so why don’t we ask in a big way?
February 9, 2003
Text: 2 Kings 13:14-21
Subject: Hearing the Word of God
Title: Less Than Great Expectations.
Child psychologists in the recent past have shown us some remarkable things about child behavior. One thing that I have found very interesting is that children always attempt to respond to the level of their parent’s expectations. That is not always a "positive thing because many parents place a level of expectation for their children far above what their level of accomplishment might be. Hence we see that children then respond by withdrawing or by developing an inferiority complex. On the other hand, a child that is expected to do well and is continually encouraged by parents to do so, if they achieve those expectations, will likely prosper with a great deal of self confidence.
Most children will do what is expected of them. That is not always a positive. I have heard friends say about their kids, "I don’t care if they drink alcohol; kids just always do that." Or "We might as well give out condoms. They are going to have sex so we might as well protect them." When parents treat their children like they are not creatures of choice, able to make conscious decisions, that is how they will respond. If a parent yells at a child calling him "stupid" or "dummy" enough, then that child will eventually begin to see himself as just that.
Since children are constantly looking for boundaries to be set by parents, a problem arises if there is not a valid parent/child relationship. If the parent is distant and has very little contact with the child what will be the effects? The child never really knows the parent and lacks the boundary setting relationship that he or she needs in order to grow up in a healthy environment.
Much can be said about the Christian life. One major difference here is that our Father is more compassionate and caring than any earthly father has ever or will ever be. The problem in this vertical relationship lies with the child who never really takes a step to get to know the Father in an intimate and dynamic way.
When we really come to know this heavenly Father we will know his boundaries, see His love, understand His expectations, and walk in His authority.
Tonight we want to look at one who seemingly was a child of the Father but never really knew Him.
I. Verse 14 - Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. This is the prophet who raised the Shunammite’s son to life. - 2 Kings 4:8-37 He healed Naaman’s leprosy - 5:1-19 He saw the heavenly armies all around and defeated the Syrian army - 6:8-23
This is the same Elisha who received a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah, and now he was now sick and going to die. Not the point of our message tonight but sometimes people just don’t get healed. It doesn’t say anywhere that He prayed to be healed. The real point is that he was the man of God for Israel at the time and the king came down to visit him when he was sick.
Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen."
Who is Joash? The King of Israel the Son of Jehoahaz Verse 10 tells us he was also known as Jehoash. Look at verse 11 - He did evil in the sight of the Lord. Was he really weeping over Elijah? Apparently so. Honest anguish over the soon to be death of a great prophet. Elisha was worth all the chariots and horsemen of Israel. Go back to 2 Kings 6:8 - We see that Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, was making plans to attack Israel. Who stopped him? Verse 11-12, Ben-Hadad thought there was a traitor in the camp. Joash was not a godly king but he still respected the man of God Verse 15 - The advise of Elisha. Even though Joash was ungodly, God still favors His people. Elisha instructs him to take a bow and some arrows. Put your hand on the bow. Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
Verse 17, "Open the east window. - Shoot" Even though Elisha was on his deathbed God was still giving him words to speak. This is a prophetic action. The shooting of the arrow doesn’t do anything but it symbolizes what is about to happen. The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance from Syria. Verse 18 - This is where I wanted to get us to tonight. "Take the arrows - strike the ground. So he struck three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it."