Summary: We take God at his Word. His Word reveals what is right, says what is true and brings what is good.
Another very interesting account today from 2 Kings 6-7.
• The capital of Israel, Samaria came under siege by the Arameans.
• It was to be an opportunity for Israel to turn back to God and trust Him.
• Let’s read what happens. Let’s read the first part – 2 Kings 6:24-33.
The author painted the severity of the situation. The entire army of Aram was mobilised against the city of Samaria and the siege lasted for a long time (6:25).
• No one could leave or enter the city and therefore a great famine resulted.
• It was so severe that even a donkey’s head (without much meat) and a little seed pods (or dove's dung) were sold at exorbitant prices.
• Actually the donkey is considered an unclean animal (according to the Law, cf. Lev 11:2-7) but nobody cares in a famine.
• Even a donkey’s head, the least edible part, was sold at a high price.
And as if this wasn’t bad enough, we were told of a case of cannibalism.
• The King was walking along on the wall of the city when a woman cried out for his help.
• His scornful reply was, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” (6:27)
• What can we do if God chose to ignore our sufferings and not to help us? There was a hint that it was God’s fault.
This insinuation was incorrect. We have seen God helping the helpless and providing for His faithful ones, just in the last few chapters.
• God did not abandoned His people. It was the other way around.
• Israel has abandoned God, when she chose to worship Baal and reject Him.
• What they were facing wasn’t just a war with the Arameans but the disciplining judgement of God.
• This crisis was a wake-up call for them to turn back to God and seek His face. Heed God’s Word and repent! Seek God and wait for His deliverance!
God does not spring surprises. Judgements of God are always forewarned.
• God has clearly stated His will for them right at the beginning (cf. Deut 28), before they entered the Promised Land. God made a covenant with them.
• Israel would enjoy the blessings of God in this land for their obedience, and suffer the consequences for their disobedience.
• And God repeated these words many times through the prophets.
We’ve been reading through the book of ISAIAH every Sunday.
• They are prophetic warnings of God for Israel/Judah of impending judgments to come because they had rejected Him.
• God warns before He disciplines. God states His will before His judgements.
• WHY? Because He takes no pleasure in punishing people. God is not out to harm you but to save you. God disciplines those He loves. He disciplines us for our good. (cf. Heb 12)
We take God at His Word. GOD’S WORD REVEALS WHAT IS RIGHT
• Israel transgressed God’s commands and suffered as a result.
The King heard this messed-up story of the women taking turns to eat their sons.
• This is the result of living without God and His Word. Don’t blame it on the famine or the difficult circumstances; it’s sin.
• Sin depraves and corrupts man. Sin leads man to evil.
By God’s grace, we can live righteously even in harsh circumstances.
• We have sure victory IN Christ and only IN Christ.
• 1 Cor 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
• Sin can never be justified under any circumstances.
The King was outraged at what he has just heard and tore his robes in anguish.
• The author revealed that he was actually wearing a sackcloth - a coarse material usually made from goal’s hair.
• In those times, it means a time of sorrow and repentance. Elisha might have told the King of the need to repent and return to God, and seek Him for deliverance.
• We believe Elisha might have spoken the Word of God to him because he was angry with Elisha and wanted to kill him. He felt Elisha was to be blamed for all this.
We did not see any genuine repentance, only unbelief. There was an unwillingness to believe God and seek Him.
• The King lost patience with God and with Elisha and ordered that he be beheaded that very day (6:31).
• But by God’s sovereign grace, the King was led to have second thoughts.