Summary: Real faith is not just for "super saints." When we use the eyes of faith we can see the unseen.
Today we continue our series called people like us. The theme verse for the “People Like Us” series actually comes from the New Testament book of James. I want to invite you to read this together with me as we begin the message today.
James 5:17-18 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Last week we talked in detail about Elijah and his experiences of defeating 450 false prophets and then running for his life in despair. The truth is people like us experience ups and downs. Elijah experienced a great victory on Mt. Carmel and a time of great depression as he hid under a broom tree. So, whether you are “on the mountain” or “under the tree” we can draw comfort from the fact that people like us experience ups and downs.
Elijah was a great prophet of God, but today we are going to focus on another prophet—Elisha. Elisha was the one who succeeded Elijah after he was taken up into heaven. I’ve mentioned before that Elisha is someone in the Bible I can identify with for two basic reasons. (1) He served as “assistant prophet” before he became “senior prophet.” (2) His hairline was similar to mine.
Look at what happened to him right after he became the main prophet of Israel.
2 Kings 2:23-24 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
That passage really speaks to me. :)
In all seriousness, Elisha followed in the footsteps of Elijah. He was faithful to the Lord. And God worked in dramatic ways during the time of his service. And in 2 Kings 6:8-22 he teaches us yet another lesson about “people like us.”
People Like Us Can See The Unseen
Lets look together at 2 Kings 6 beginning with verse 8.
2 Kings 6:8-17 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, "I will set up my camp in such and such a place." The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: "Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there." So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.
This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, "Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?" "None of us, my lord the king," said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom." "Go, find out where he is," the king ordered, "so I can send men and capture him." The report came back: "He is in Dothan."
Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don’t be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.