Summary: It describes how the life of Elisha is applicable to us
2 Kings 3: 11 - 20 - the fourth sermon on the life of Elisha
Below is the outline of the sermon, I preached on 20 November 2011 at West Ewell Evangelical Church, Surrey:
Continuation of occasional sermon series on Elisha, a man whose fifty year ministry is often overlooked
The name means ‘God is salvation’ and his life exhibits this truth
· In first sermon – how he was called
· In second sermon- his ministry began
· Last time – how God’s mercy and judgement were shown on the people
· Joram was king of Israel (northern kingdom), having taken over from Ahab
· Moab was paying tribute to Israel but rebelled
· Joram waged war against Moab, taking Edom (which was under Israel’s control) with him and having the support of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah (southern kingdom)
· A severe shortage of water forced the kings to consult Elisha
We are not looking specifically at the events or the other people, but the words and actions of this specific prophet
We shall see:
1. Speaking religious language
2. Speaking God’s truth
3. Seeing God fulfil His words
1. 1. Speaking religious language
In this narrative, Joram used religious language, including the justification to go to war: see verse 13, ‘it was the Lord who called us three kings together to hand over to Moab.’ However, read nothing previously of him guidance from God on this or any other matter – Elisha saw through him.
It sounds familiar: we will encounter it as we step out into this week, might even experience it today.
There will be people who have no thought of God, except for the 30 minutes of ‘Songs of Praise’- for, in the rest of the week, people will live as though there is no God.
There are people who may want to ascribe to religion as an insurance policy, but then speak out as though God’s laws do not matter.
They might be nice people, certainly compared to other people – but a sin is a sin is a sin, especially as all sin is rebellion against God (verses 1 – 2).
We might even encounter it in the church – an evangelical church is not exempted – so we have to ensure that our motives are pure.
The reaction of Elisha was: ‘As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat King of Judah [the godly king]. I would not look at you or even notice you.’
2. 2. Speaking God’s truth
Sometimes, the situations that we face seem illogical – after all, how far down could you get than a valley without having to dig ditches.
The people of Israel must have felt like wishing the enemy was overthrown without any need for divine intervention.
The first thing they had to do was seek God – so we have seek through God’s will and way through His Word, Holy Spirit, conscience, circumstances or (as in this instance) people who will give godly counsel see 2 John verse 3: ‘Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.’ We find this joint theme running throughout John’s letters and also that of Paul.