Summary: King Joash learns a valuable lesson on perseverance. . . an ungodly king that decides to give God a “try”. He learns that “trying” is not enough.
THE TRAGEDY OF JOASH - 2 Kings 13:14-19 (NKJV)
Illustration - In 1935, Charles Darrow brought his invention of Monopoly to Parker Brothers. The experts at Parker Brothers rejected the game for "containing fifty-two fundamental errors."
The persistent Charles Darrow had spent the year after his rejection demonstrating the potential success of the game by selling numerous editions of the board game himself.
One year later in 1936, Mr. Darrow was well-received by Parker Brothers who helped make the unemployed heating engineer from Germantown, Pennsylvania, a multi-millionaire. Since that time, over 100 million copies of Monopoly have been sold in 31 countries. Each year Parker Brothers prints more than $40 billion worth of Monopoly money--more than twice the amount printed annually by the U.S. Mint. Monopoly’s success has produced 3.2 billion of those little green houses, enough to circle the globe.
* Monopoly Board Game, 1985; "The Game of Life," Lee Strobel, Seeds Tape Ministry, July 28, 1991
TALK ABOUT THE REWARDS OF PERSEVERANCE!!!
As we travel through the book of 2 Kings, we come upon a notable correspondence one king had with the prophet Elisha . . . In this we discover that King Joash learns a valuable lesson on perseverance. . . an ungodly king that decides to give God a “try”. He learns that “trying” is not enough. We too, must persevere.
I. BATTLES ARE NORMAL
A. Normal enough that his weapons were nearby!
15And Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and some arrows." So he took himself a bow and some arrows.
B. Our battles are normal enough to keep our weapons nearby. Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
II. OUR WEAKNESS MUST BE EMPOWERED
16Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
A. ELISHA WAS TRYING TO TELL THE KING THAT HE DID NOT HAVE TO RELY ON HIS OWN STRENGTH - JUST OBEY GOD!!
B. We must realize this as well! 2 Cor. 12:9-10 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
III. WE CAN’T FEAR THE OPPOSITION
17a And he said, "Open the east window"; and he opened it.
A. SYRIA WAS EAST OF JOASH!
B. FEAR — False Evidence Appearing Real
C. We can have assurance . . .
Isaiah 26:3 Thou will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on Thee, Because he trusts in Thee.
1) Sin Is Our Greatest Opposition! Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
IV. THERE ARE WEAPONS THAT MUST BE USED
17b Then Elisha said, "Shoot"; and he shot. And he said, "The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek (a’fek) till you have destroyed them."
A. Joash didn’t get it - These were the "LORD’S" arrows!
B. Our weapons... 2 Cor. 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds
C. God’s Word / Truth / Faith / Righteousness / Prayer (Ephesians 6:11-18)
CONCLUSION – Joash had already given up - His lack of perseverance was evident . . . 18Then he said, "Take the arrows"; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground"; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19And the man of God was angry with him, and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times."
WHEN THE BATTLE IS RAGING, GOD SUSTAINS HIS OWN . . .
Psalm 37:23-24 (NKJV) The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.