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Summary: Elisha was in rough situations, but was still God’s man in the midst of it all. We, too, represent God during different but challenging times.

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Serving God During Dark Times

(2 Kings 6:24-7:20)

1. Today I am resuming the tradition of ethnic jokes I began a while ago. Many ethnicities make fun of their neighboring nations as not being too bright.

2. Two Belgians are driving a truck and arrive at a bridge with a warning sign: maximum height 4 meters. They get off and measure their truck. It’s 6 meters high.

– What shall we do? asks the one.

– I don’t see any police, says the other one, so let’s drive on

3. How about a Swedish joke?

Ole (Norwegian) and Sven (Swedish) went on a fishing trip to Canada and come back with only three fish. Ole says,

– The way I figger it, Sven, each of them fish cost us $400 !

– Well, at dat price it’s a good ting we didn’t catch any more of em than we did, says Sven. [source: europeisnotdead.com]

4. The Syrians, aka, Aramaeans, looked down on the Israelites. As a matter of fact, whenever you abuse someone or some group, instead of feeling bad, you usually think they deserved it because they are inferior. This is a documented human attitude. We tend to make ourselves look justified.

Today’s text stands in contrast to last week’s. In the previous passage, God intervened in a timely fashion; many times He doesn’t intervene at all. In today’s texts, we see an example of God intervening in a delayed fashion, in time for most but not for all.

Main Idea: Elisha was in rough situations, but was still God’s man in the midst of it all. We, too, represent God during different but challenging times.

I. God Can Place Us in DIFFICULT Situations and Eras for a Reason (6:24-7:20).

A. Severe famine because of a SEIGE by the Syrians (6:24-25).

B. The King of Israel FAULTS Elisha (6:26-33).

C. Elisha makes prophetic PREDICTIONS (7:1-2).

D. God uses four LEPERS as scouts to deliver the people of Samaria (7:3-15).

E. Elisha’s prophecies are FULFILLED (7:16-20).

We, too, represent God during different but challenging times.

II. How This Event CONTRASTS and Compares with the Previous Event (6:8-23)

A. The Syrians were fed at the expense of Israel, now Israel is fed at the expense of the SYRIANS.

B. The King of Syria was out to get Elisha, here the King of ISRAEL is out to get him.

C. In both instances, the Syrians are ROUTED without a fight.

D. In the first account, Elisha and his servant SEE the horses and chariots of fire; here, the Syrians probably HEAR God’s army.

We, too, represent God during different but challenging times.

III. What Are Some LESSONS We Can Learn from this Account?

A. God has always allowed His children to go through really BAD times.

1. There are times where we struggle with depression.

2. There are times when we want to retreat from life & cower in a corner.

3. Illness, rejection, relational/financial/emotional stresses, tragedies, losses…

4. Sometimes it gets worse. Man sold only one dress. Next day none. 3rd worse.

B. God intervenes in His TIME, not ours!

• Sometimes blessing are on the way, right at hand — even in bleakest times.

• We have a saying, “It is always darkest before the dawn.”

• Often true, but often is not the same as always.

• Sometimes blessings are far off, or after our time — but benefit others

• The men who died in WW2 did not experience seeing a freer world…

C. God is faithful, but not a slave to PATTERNS.

Hebrews 11:32-38, “ And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

1. Who can predict the Almighty?

2. Psalm 115:3, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”

D. The hostility of the world toward God is often directed toward BELIEVERS.

??The King of Israel took out his anger on Elisha; sometimes we are in that place.

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??Waitress: Party of 14 left a $9 tip and a Bible

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