Summary: A sermon that follows Elisha from Gilgal to the Jordan and looks at a comparison between that and the Christian journey.
The theme that we have been following this year is God is doing a new thing.
In the bible reading this morning we witness God doing a new thing in Israel as one Prophet – Elijah exits stage right and a new Prophey Elisha enters the scene.
As Elisha picks up the mantle left for him by Elijah There is much for us to learn about making sure that we are well positioned for the new thing that God is about to do. he life of Elisha is incredible and if we were to look at the miracles of Elisha recorded in the bible we would be astounded.
These days when the newsreaders are introducing television programs they often introduce them with a question that is meant to tempt you into watching their news program
So we here something like What is our Prime minister John Key doing at Waitangi and who confronted him and Who surprised Lydia Ko at the New Zealand Golf open
Well if we were making headlines in this style of Elisha’s miracles they might read like this:-
Jordan river divided. (2:14)
What stopped the Jordon river today and who crossed dry?
Waters at the spring of Jericho healed. (2:21)
Why are people now drinking the waters of Jericho
Bears from the woods, destroying the mockers. (2:24)
What are wild bears doing wrecking havoc in the woods and who is the Bald man?
Water for kings. (3:20)
Why are the Kings drinking fresh water and who bought it to them?
Oil for widow. (4:1-4)
Why is a widow selling oil and where did she get it from?
Gift of son. (4:16, 17)
Who has give birth to a son and what is his name.
Raising the child from dead. (4:35)
Why has the funeral of a young shunnamite boy been cancelled and who stopped it?
Healing of the pootage (4:41)
Why are the Prophets eating Pottage and who tried to poison them?
Bread multiplied. (4:43)
How come one hundred men are not starving after only having twenty loaves of Barley bread?
10 Naaman healed. (5:10)
What is Naaman the commander of the Aram army doing dipping hmself in the Jordan for and where has his leprosy gone?
11 Gehazi smitten. (5:27)
How come Gehazzi has leprosy and where did it come from?
12 Caused the iron to swim. (6:6)
What is an axe doing floating?
13 Sight to the blind. (6:17)
How come Elisha’s servant got so clever and who made him see?
14 Smiting blindness to these men. (6:18)
What is a blind army doing wandering around our nation?
15 Restoring sight to these men. (6:20)
Who restored the Aramean armies blindness and why didn’t we kill them?
16 Miracle after his death, man comes to life by touching Elisha's bones. (13:21)
What is a dead man doing walking out of Elisha’s tomb?
Elisha has an incredible life these 16 recorded miracles are exactly double the number of Elijah’s miracles recorded in 1st and 2nd Kings which is amazing when you read:-
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
In the last century in New Zealand Christianity has apparently diminished
In New Zealand, churchattendance in 1960 was about 20%of the population weekly, and 40%
monthly. By 2000 this had beenhalved to 10% and 20% respectively,figures identical to Australia and
very similar to Britain (18% and 8%weekly), although much of the decline occurred from the late 60s to
the late 80s and the figures have stabilised somewhat since.
But with Elisha we see an increase and when God does a new thing we see the church grow and the reverence and worship for God increasing exponentially for example in Korea in
In Korea in the 1880’s there were approximately no Protestant Christians and a small number of catholic”s who had survived persecution – by 1941 2 percent of the Population was Christian and by 2014 it was 30 percent and growing.
In 1923, Dr. Samuel A. Moffett,. Korea was already then one of the miracles of the modern missionary movement, and a commission of inquiry was sent to study the methods that had produced such great results. Since the first dramatic leap in church growth had occurred in my father's area of work in north Korea, they came to ask him the secret. I think his answer disappointed them. It was too simplistic. Too pietistic. But I think he was right.
"For years," he said, "we have simply held up before these people the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit has done the rest."
As we look at the life of Elisha this morning let’s consider what it is that has allowed his ministry to not only build on the great work that elijah had done but to grow it in an extraordinary way. Let’s explore the routhe Elisha takes to begin a journey of new beginnings.