Summary: During Elisha’s ministry, the Jordan River parted instantly, poisoned waters were healed, the borrowed iron ax head flowed to the surface, dead children had been raised to life, but the miracle Israel needed now would be difficult. This miracle will require a sustained effort.
What a great blessing Elisha had been to the nation of Israel. He faithfully used his God given double portion for the benefit of others. Israel was facing another persistent enemy, the Syrians. Prophet Elisha is on his death bed, over 80 years old in a weakened condition, yet God’s people are still on his mind. The king of Israel, Joash visits Elisha concerned and almost in despair. He seems to be wondering, what will we do without Elisha? How can we move forward without Elisha? Elisha had been the protector of the nation. In spite of wicked and sinful leadership, Elisha continued to pray for Israel. Elisha addresses the problem with solution before King tells him what’s wrong. Many victories in Israel’s past were resolved quickly. During Elisha’s ministry, the Jordan River parted instantly, poisoned waters were healed, the borrowed iron ax head flowed to the surface, dead children had been raised to life, but the miracle Israel needed now would be difficult. This miracle will require a sustained effort. The pandemic has been that way; for some the struggle continued for weeks and months; for others the struggle is still not over. If we are going get complete victory we must give a sustained effort. Taking proper precautions, getting the vaccine, wearing masks, must all be a part of the plans as we face the future. This has not been easy or quick. This will require a sustained effort by all of us.
Some believers fail to receive the promised blessings of God because they fail to put forth and maintain the necessary effort needed to receive the desired reward. The word sustains means to carry or support, to undergird or stand strong. Some believers’ faith weakens, their effort lags, and they give up. They stop believing, stop praying, and stop working. Others start well, but will not continue in their well doing. The word of God is true. Everything God promised in His word, He will bring to pass.
Ps 119:89-91 “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.”
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
God word is settled and his promises are yes. You and I must agree or add the Amen! That does not mean that it will be easy or quick, but it does mean that we will receive if we faint not. God will perform His word and we must agree by saying “so be it!”
Ga 6:7-10 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
God gives us an unchanging Law: We will reap what we sow, if we faint not. God will not be mocked. This is a passage of responsibility and reward. The only thing that can cause an individual to miss the harvest is to become weary, give up or fail to put forth a sustained effort. You did run well, but who hindered you. (Gal. 5:1) Christians may become discouraged with spiritual sowing or doing the right thing, because the harvest may be delay. Others become weary and will not put forth the needed effort. Yet some are too lazy to receive the harvest. The harvest is sure and will come at God’s appointed time.
2 Kings 13, illustrates this point. King Joash visits the sick and weakened prophet Elisha on his death bed. This text shows us that even great men of God, faithful and loyal, are not immune from the troubles of life. 80 years of toil has taken its toll. Despite his personal trauma, Elisha strengthens himself to give the king a word from the Lord. There are countless blessings waiting in the presence of Godly people nearing death. Paul encouraged Timothy while nearing death. 2Ti 4:7,8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Here Joash is encouraged during Elisha’s dying hour.