Summary: God and His Word may dictate that we do things we would rather not do or be involved in unpleasant situations we would rather avoid. It is when we obey but don’t feel like obeying that we really honor God the most.
When You Have to Do What You Don’t Want to Do
(2 Kings 8:1-15, 9:1-10, 13:14-25)
1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
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. [Larry Freeman] * "The Game of Life," Lee Strobel, Seeds Tape Ministry, July 28, 1991
2. Sometimes, what you have to do is not just self-marketing, sometimes it is awful. Some of you may have war or police stories that come to mind.
3. This is our last message on the Life of Elisha, and it ends with so summary miracles that were pure duty.
Main Idea: God and His Word may dictate that we do things we would rather not do or be involved in unpleasant situations we would rather avoid. It is when we obey but don’t feel like obeying that we really honor God the most.
I. Let’s Take A Look At Elisha’s DISTASTEFUL Duties (8:1-15, 9:1-10, 13:14-25).
A. EVICTING a widow (1-6)
B. Anointing a Syrian king who would be worse than his PREDECESSOR (7-15)
When Hazael heard the prophesy, he denied that he was the type of person to commit war crimes and act as a barabarian.
C. Anointing a king who would replace a king FRIENDLY to Elisha (9:1-10)
The curse on Ahab, Jezebel still alive.
Joram better, but still not good. Elijah was to anoint new king, passed on to Elisha.
Elisha didn’t want to do it, IMO.
He sent his disciple to anoint Jehu.
D. Having his grave DEFILED to perform a posthumous miracle (13:14-25)
Elisha had received a double portion of the Spirit’s power than Elijah had. Although his soul was with the LORD, he was one miracle short of double, until this one. 14-28
Andrew Drury writes, “This is the final reference to Elisha's ministry of 50 to 60 years, after 10-15 years of his apprenticeship to Elijah.”
II. God Ways — Even When Difficult — Are the BEST.
A. This drama called life is not without PURPOSE.
The forces of good vs. the forces of evil. We know who will win. Our personal goal: to glorify God by loving Him and loving others, esp. via the Gospel of atonement.
B. People CHANGE and are not aware of their own evil inclinations.
All of us who are people have this problem, in varying degrees
Hazael, who would become king of Syria, could not believe he would become barbaric and cruel in war. Lust for power, control, self-exaltation.
1. A seminary professor told his class: some of you will deny everything you now profess to believe…
2. Many people would never have dreamt where they have ended up
3. Not only do some change radically, but all of us forget the truth that we have changed. We do a revisionist history on ourselves.
4. When someone takes a wrong path, it is better to think, “There go I but for the grace of God.” None of us are fully aware of our capabilities toward evil.
C. The real test of how YIELDED we are is when we do what we would rather not because God demands it
1. Parable of the Two Sons
2. 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Luther didn’t want to start a split.
3. Jesus didn’t feel like dying on Calvary.
4. Maybe you didn’t feel like coming to church today.
Matthew 10:34-39, ““Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
D. Elisha in many ways foreshadows the ministry of JESUS.