Summary: Sermon deals with 2 types of curses people can find themselves in. One is a spiritual curse that comes as a result of iniquity. The other is basically when bad things happen to good people and they are suffering through no fault of their own.
* Have you ever felt that, because of your past mistakes, that you are living under a curse?
* Or maybe you feel that you have suffered for many years for something that wasn’t your fault? Something that was totally out of your control. Life has hit you really hard and it’s wearing you down. It seems hopeless because there is nothing you can do about it.
* It’s going to be like this forever!
* If this sounds familiar, listen closely, because we are going to look at 2 people that have been suffering under a curse. One because of his own sins and the other because life has dealt her a hard blow.
** Setting the scene**
There has been a famine in Israel that has lasted 7 years. Crops, commerce, the economy, and the weather have created a lack of resources in their nation. People are hungry, hurting, and desperate. On top of that, the enemy has been constantly attacking them and have besieged Samaria, the capital. Everything looks absolutely hopeless as the whole nation is on the verge of collapse.
My question is “Why is this happening?”
The nation of Israel was in wholesale rebellion against God.
They are suffering a political and economical collapse because of the moral collapse that had preceded it.
They were extremely sexually immoral. They were selfish and abused others while looking out for self.
They worshiped false gods and now the One True God has temporarily removed His hand of protection and blessings from them in order to get their attention.
* America today has big problems.
President Trump talks about “Making America Great Again”, but I don’t see us becoming GREAT again until we become MORAL again!!
We have enslaved ourselves in debt because we want everything under the sun and we demand it right now. National and personal debt are out of control.
We have no work ethic and we’re not willing to wait for the things we want while saving up for it.
Most would rather sit at home in poverty rather than working a job that they feel is beneath them.
our people have the sexual morality of mangy dogs and we are suffering because of it.
* When 2/3 of babies are born out of wedlock– we have a morality and responsibility problem.
* When ½ of marriages end in divorce– we have a morality and commitment problem.
* STD rates are out of control. You have better odds of playing Russian Roulette than of not contracting an STD in a random encounter.
* Substance abuse is a big killer in America.
Those it doesn’t kill, it destroys, but not only them, it destroys the innocent people around them.
Broken Marriages, neglected children, people killed by drunk drivers are just a few of the innocents that suffer.
we are on the same path as Israel was. Maybe 20% of Americans are true born again believers in Jesus Christ. Many are agnostics. Many are worshiping false gods in other religions.
But most are simply hedonistic pagans enjoying their lives of sin.
* Individuals are suffering for their own sins, but all Americans are suffering for our nation’s spiritual rebellion. Israel found relief when they repented and cried out to God. America needs to do the same.
NOW, let’s look at the 2 individuals.
1. THE WOMAN.
2 Kings 8:1-3 1 Now Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go with your household, and sojourn wherever you can sojourn; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will even come on the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God, and she went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3 At the end of seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went out to appeal to the king for her house and for her field.
(1) She avoided many of the problems of the famine by listening to God.
(Elisha had warned her to leave because a famine was coming.)
(2) She returned after 7 years when the Lord said the famine would be
over. During those years she didn’t suffer like the rest of Samaria did.
(3) She did have one major problem. Her land had been vacant for 7 years.
Land that is vacant is lost. It now belongs to the government.
She had been a wealthy person, now she has nothing. Not her fault.
2 Kings 8:4-5 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Please relate to me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 As he was relating to the king how he had restored to life the one who was dead, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and for her field. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.”