Let’s turn to II Kings, chapter six. In the sixth chapter, we have recorded, just some of the incidental miracles that surrounded the life of this exciting man, Elisha, the prophet.
To me it is interesting that miracles often took place in very ordinary kind of circumstances. It’s great I think to learn to trust God in the every day issues of life. We’re getting to the age, where we forget where we put things, and I think it’s rather sad to spend half of your life looking. For what you forgot where you put it. So often when you put it there, you had in mind the thought that, “This is a great place, cause I’ll surely be able to find it here”. I get frustrated looking for things that I know I set right there. Now it used to be when the kids were around the house, you could always say, “Well, they must’ve moved it”, but the kids aren’t there anymore.
But you know we’ve learned, before we hit the point of frustration, just to say “Lord, you know where that crazy thing is, show us please. Don’t want to waste a lot of time looking for it, got to have it. Lord, please show us where it is”, and it’s glorious the way the Lord can just lead you right to something that you’ve misplaced. And just to, well, the Bible says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”. Now often times I think we take sort of a hyper spiritual kind of attitude, “Well I don’t like to bother the Lord with such, you know trivial little things”. But it is interesting to me that God is interested in the trivia in your life. Talk about trivia, how many hairs do you have on your head? The Lord knows. He’s interested in that kind of trivia. If He’s in that kind of trivia, He’s interested in every aspect of your life, and loves to be included in every aspect of your life. Oh that we would just take God into account! In everything, “In all your ways acknowledge Him.”
So, as we get to this portion of II Kings, we find how that God is involved in the everyday kind of things of life. And, interestingly enough, the first thing is something that was lost.
And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold, the place where we are dwelling here is not large enough for us. [These were the prophets down near the, down near Jericho, the school of the prophets down there. They said,] Let us go, we pray thee, unto the river Jordan, and take from there every man a beam, that we might make a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go (6:1-2).
So these schools were evidently growing in size, and as they were the school in Jericho had outgrown its quarters. As Elisha came to visit, they said, “Hey this place is too small for us. We’re too crowded here, how bout us going down to the Jordan river, cutting down some trees, hewing the beams, and making us a place to stay down there, that we might have larger quarters”. So Elisha encouraged them to do it.
But one of them said, I pray thee, go with your servants. And he answered, [“Okay”,] I’ll go. [Elisha’s just a real neat, kind of an easy going fellow. Far different from the character of Elijah.] And so he went with them. And they came to the Jordan river, and there they cut down wood. And as one of these young men was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed (6:3-5).
So as he was hacking away at the tree, the axe head fell off of the shaft, and went sailing out into the water. He came to Elisha and said, “Oh man, I’m in trouble! I had borrowed that axe head from another person. How am I ever going to explain how I lost it!”
And so Elisha said, Where did it fall in the river? And so he showed him the spot where it fell. And so he cut a stick, and cast it in there; and the iron did swim. And he said, Grab it, and so he put his hand out and took it (6:6-7).
Now you have trouble with that? Some people do. Some supposed Bible scholars, suggested that he took the stick, and sort of made a spear out of the thing, and threw the stick on into the uh, axe head area. You know, where the stick went through, and it stuck in there, and then the stick came up with the axe head, or the stick floated and he was able to grab it. Someone else has suggested that he took the stick, and put it under, and fished the axe head out.
Those are explanations of men who have trouble believing in God, that God can do anything. The God who created the universe. The God who is able to, if He so desires, not violate the laws of nature, but to enact other laws that we do not know. I have no problem with God, uh causing the axe head, the iron axe head to swim, to float. Doesn’t shake my theology at all. It really sort of confirms the fact that God can do anything. And that God is interested in the smallest detail of your life.
Now the king of Syria was warring against Israel, and he would counsel with his captains, and he would say, In such and such a place; we’re going to set up camp. And the man of God, Elisha would send to the king of Israel, and say, Beware that you don’t pass such a place; for the Syrians have come down there. And so the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and he saved himself there, not once nor twice (6:8-10).
Several times Elisha saved the king of Israel from the ambush that was set for them, by the Syrian troops. So many times that…
The heart of the king of Syria was troubled; he called his men together, and he said unto them, Alright [“Fess up!”] which one of you is for the king of Israel? [“It’s impossible that he can know our plans, unless one of you is spying for him.”] One of his servants said, It’s not so, my Lord: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, is telling the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber (6:11-12).
“That fellow knows everything you talk about. Even what you say to your wife when you go to bed at night. I mean you can’t hide anything from him.” As I mentioned last week, Elisha did seem to have a very close contact with God. So much so, that he was surprised when God didn’t show him things. I’m always surprised when God does show me something. I get all excited. “Wow! God showed me something!”, you know thrilling! It sort of surprises me when God shows me things. This guy was surprised when God didn’t show him!
So the king said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore he sent there the horses, and the chariots, and a great host: [And so, he sent the tank, the chariots, the cavalry units, the horses. Then he also sent the infantry to capture Elisha.] then they came by night, and encircled the city where he was. And so when the servant of the man of God was risen up early, and was gone forth, behold, the host of the Syrians had encircled the city both with their horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do (6:13-15)?
It’s sort of, “Alas Elisha, we’ve had it man! They’ve surrounded us”. Alas is a term of despair, of hopelessness. It’s sort of uh, what we would in our modern vernacular, they sort of came in and said, “We’ve had it”, you know. The term of alas, is just, “It’s all over. We’ve had it”.
Elisha answered, and said, Fear not: for those that are with us, are more than those that they have. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (6:16-17).
There is the spiritual realm of which, for the most part, we are unconscious. But, it is a very real realm. There is the physical, there is the spiritual. We live in the physical, and unfortunately we get so involved in the physical, that often we lose sight of the spiritual. Paul the apostle said, “We look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen, are eternal”.
But unfortunately, living as we do in this material world, we get so involved in the physical, material things of life, that, that’s all we ever see. We lose sight of the spiritual. We get so concerned about the opposition that is facing us. The power of the enemy, especially when we begin to fight the forces of the world. We see the power of the various planned parenthood groups, and things of this nature. We, we see how clever they are, we see the power of the various lobbying groups, and all. And, we think, “Oh there’s no way we can withstand them!”. Because we get involved in the physical aspects of this battle. “But greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world.” And Paul, writing to the Romans, asked the question, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” But, we forget that sometimes, and we begin to panic. We see the activities of the enemy. We see the power of the enemy, and we’re prone, like the servant of Elisha to cry, “We’ve had it! There’s nothing we can do. Their forces are so powerful. They’re so well entrenched! They’ve taken over! We’ve had it!”
Oh may God open up our eyes, that we might see the spiritual. When the eyes of the servant were open, that he could see the spiritual aspects, he saw that the angels of the Lord were surrounding the Syrians, the horses and chariots of fire surrounding the Syrian army. What a difference it made in his whole outlook. You know, when only you look at the material things, so often you say, “We’ve had it!”, but when God opens your eyes, and you see the spiritual dimension, it changes completely. You say, “They’ve had it!” So with the servant of Elisha, he came in and he said, “We’ve had it, we’re surrounded!” Elisha said, “Lord, just open his eyes”. He went out and looked again, he says, “They’ve had it! They’re surrounded!”. Oh that we would see the power of God! The powers that God has made available to us. Those resources that our ours in the realm of the Spirit.
So when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, Lord smite these people, with blindness, I pray thee. And so the Lord smote them with blindness according to the request of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, [“Hey fellas!”] You’ve come to the wrong city, I’ll lead you where you want to go: follow me, and I’ll bring you to the man that you’re looking for. So he led them to this strong fortified city of Samaria. And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, [“Okay”] Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they might see. And they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. [In this powerful city.] And the king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them (6:18-21)?
The king didn’t really know what to do. Here’s his enemy delivered right into his hands you know, and uh, “Shall I smite them?”
But he answered, Don’t smite them: would you smite those that you’ve taken prisoners of war with the sword and with your bow? [“Feed them and give them a feast, and,”] set bread and water [In the Hebrew, it’s really, “Set a feast”] before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. And so he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel for a time (6:22-23).
In other words, they had been on these marauding excursions, they had been harassing and attacking, just almost daily. This ended that daily kind of harassment, and for a time there came peace.
But it came to pass [in time] after this, that Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged the city of Samaria (6:24).
In those days it was difficult to take a walled city. So the way that they would capture a walled city would be to surround it, to cut off all supplies, not letting anybody in or out. And, after a period of time, you would just starve the city into submission. So that became the practice of warfare in those days. When you would come to a heavily defenced walled city, you’d just set up your troops all around the city, cut off anybody from coming in or going out, and in time, you would just starve the city into a surrender. So he began to besiege this city of Samaria, and it was successful.
There came a great famine in Samaria: and, they besieged it, [Or they held the siege against it.] until a donkey’s head sold for [sixty, or,] eighty pieces of silver, and a fourth part of a cab of a dove’s dung was sold for five pieces of silver. [Terrible, the hunger, what hunger will do to a person, and what it will reduce you to, eating a donkey’s head. Probably all you can do is boil it for soup. But, it still doesn’t sound appetizing to me.] And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman saying unto him, Help, my Lord, O king. And he said, If the Lord doesn’t help you, how can I help you? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? [“You think I have food in my barn? Do you think that I still have wine in my winepresses? Man, I’m hurting too lady. I don’t have anything.”] And the king said unto her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, [“Okay”,] Give your son that we may eat him: and she has hid her son (6:25-29).
Now there’s an interesting prophecy, back in Deuteronomy, chapter twenty eight, verses fifty six, and fifty seven, where God warned Israel if they turned from Him, and they began to worship and serve other gods, that He would bring them into distress. And He said, “The tender and the delicate woman among you, which would not venture so much as to set the sole of her feet on the ground, for delicateness and tenderness”. These you know, society women. “Her eye shall be evil toward her husband of her bosom, and toward her son and toward her daughter. And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet. And toward her children which she shall bear, for she shall eat them, for want of all things, secretly in the siege, and in the straightness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.” Prophesied. “These very things will happen to you.” The women who were once so delicate and all, that they wouldn’t even set their foot on the ground. Out of the straightness of the siege, the hunger would actually turn to cannibalism, eating their own children.
This happened three times in the history of the nation of Israel. At this siege, by Benhadad. Later, it happened in the siege of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah records it in the fourth chapter of Lamentations, verse ten. The women eating their offspring when Jerusalem was besieged by um, Nebuchadnezzar. Then finally, Josephus speaks about it in Jerusalem’s final overthrow by the Romans, in 70 A.D., as the Romans were besieging the city of Jerusalem, things became so severe, that again cannibalism. Women began to eat their own children.
Josephus, as I was mentioning Thursday night, as we were in the prophecy of Jesus, concerning the things that would transpire in Jerusalem. Jesus was prophesying of the destruction and the horrible things that transpired. We made reference at that time, to the seventh book of wars, by Josephus, in which he gives a very, uh gory kind of details of the horrible atrocities that were happening in Jerusalem, during the time of the siege of the Roman troops, under Titus.
So, when the woman said this, the king was so shocked. And it is an abhorrent, I mean it’s just one of those things, that it’s, it’s, you know, our body, our whole minds just sort of are repulsed by the very thought of it. The king, he ripped his clothes; As a sign. his outer garment He just took, and ripped it which is in those days, it was just a, a custom, to show your complete consternation, or, or feelings of despair and hopelessness.
So when the king heard the word of the woman, he tore his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. [Now whenever a person really repented, or when a person was uh, in great straits, in sorrow, or despair, they would often wear sackcloth. It was a rough, scratchy cloth. Actually it was the wearing the camel’s hide with the hair in. So it would irritate and scratch you constantly. The whole idea was to afflict yourself. So to their dismay, here was the king, under his outer garments, was wearing sackcloth. The people were surprised he had sackcloth upon his flesh.] Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat stands upon his head this day (6:30-31).
So the king made an oath to kill Elisha. Now unfortunately so often when we are guilty, and we begin to see the judgements, in a sense, come upon us for our guilt, or things begin to turn, rather than accepting our guilt, and saying, “I was wrong, I should not have done that.”, we try to then project our guilt onto others. “They did it! It’s their fault!”, so here he is trying now to blame the prophet of God, for this horrible condition that existed there in Samaria.
Now Elisha was sitting in his house, with some elders that were sitting there with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but before the messenger came to Elisha, Elisha said to the elders, See how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: [“Open the door, and just pin him with it, hold him with it.”] for he said, Behold, is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him (6:32)?
Elisha, again this interesting guy. God spoke to him, and he had this uh, he was tuned in. Now I am convinced that God does speak to man. I think our problem is that we’re not really tuned in, to hear the voice of God. Of course in this day and age, we can understand a little bit about tuning in. Because we know that in this room tonight, there’s all kinds of music. Horrible kind of acid rock music, and then there’s classical, semi-classical, all kinds of music, right here in the room. All you need to hear the music, is a tuner. And, tune in on various frequencies, various bands, and you can hear voices speaking in German, and Chinese. Short wave bands, and so forth. All kinds of voices, all kinds of voices in the air tonight, and to hear them, you’ve gotta be tuned in. So here we sit, and we don’t hear all of this raucous music, or we don’t hear all of this beautiful music, according to your opinion of the types of music. But you don’t hear that, because we’re not tuned into it. I believe in the same token, God so often speaks to us, but we’re just not tuned in on that spiritual wavelength, on that spiritual frequency.
Elisha was tuned in! God spoke to him on many occasions, of many different things. I don’t think Elisha was any different from us, I think that you can develop a spiritual sensitivity, where you can hear the voice of God speaking to you, about many different issues in life. I think that it’s almost impossible in the society in which we live, our minds are so flooded with so many things, to discern the voice of God is extremely difficult.
But here he is, sitting with friends, and he must have been an interesting fellow to be around, for, as he’s sitting there with his friends, suddenly he sort of gets a faraway look in his eye, you know. You’re talking to him, but you know it’s not computing. Then he says, “Can you beat that! Look what that son of a murderer is planning now! He’s sending a guy down here to get my head! Can you believe that? Look, the guy’s gonna be knocking at the door in just a moment. When he does, just open the door, and pin him, because, you know his master’s right behind him.” Man, that’s tuned in! Sure enough! The knock on the door. And, the men opened the door, held him, and then here came Jehoram the king, and he says…
Behold this evil is of Jehovah; why should I wait for Jehovah any longer (6:33)?
Now, there’s part of the story that isn’t told to us. From this, we can intimate that Elisha had probably spoken words of comfort to Jehoram, during the time of the siege, and said, “Don’t worry. God’s gonna deliver you. Wait upon the Lord. Wait upon Jehovah, He’ll deliver.” So the king comes down, and he’s upset now because of the condition. And, he said, “Why should I wait for Jehovah any longer?”
So Elisha answered him, and said, Hear the word of Jehovah; Thus saith Jehovah, Tomorrow about this time a measure [Which is almost a bushel.] of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, [Which is about sixty five cents.] and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria (7:1).
“By tomorrow it’ll all be over. The famine and all will be gone, and food prices will be way down. Instead of a donkey’s head for eighty pieces of silver, they’ll be selling a bushel of fine flour for sixty five cents in the gate of Samaria.”
Then a Lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And Elisha answered and said, [“Fellow”] you’ll see it, but you won’t eat it (7:2).
The problem with this man, the Lord upon whom the king leaned, was that he sought in his own mind to figure out how God might resolve this issue. “How in the world could God do this?” Whenever we face a problem, the first thing that we are prone to do is figure out possible solutions for the problem. I work on it, and if this would happen, and this would happen, then that could happen, and yeah! I see! And, I’m always trying to figure out the possible solutions.
The problem with that is two fold. Number one, when I have finally worked out a solution, then my prayers are often direction prayers, rather than direct prayers. I’m not just praying, “Lord, please supply my needs now, you know the bills that I am facing.” But I’ve got it figured out that, if I just would win the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes, it would all be taken care of, so my prayer is now, a direction prayer, “Lord, help them, help that computer to pull out my number in this five million dollar sweepstakes that I just got news on this week”.
Now, when I figure out a solution, I usually figure out that, that is the best way to handle it. I’ve worked on this a long time. I’ve thought it through. I’ve thought every angle, and I’ve, I’ve got this all doped out, and this is the best way to handle it. So I’m directing God into my solution. The problem is, God doesn’t always follow my directions. And, when God doesn’t follow my directions, then I can get upset with God, and I can begin to make all kinds of crazy accusations against God, like He doesn’t answer prayer. They drew the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes numbers, and my number didn’t come up. God doesn’t answer prayers, and God doesn’t love me. God’s not interested in my needs. You know there’s no way I can pay my bills now, because they didn’t get my number, and I, I’m sunk now! It’s all over now! God didn’t follow my directions.
But often times, when situations like this arise, I find that God suddenly answers the need in my life, but He’s done it a totally different way. I haven’t thought about that. That’s quite simple, isn’t it? I had such a complex thing worked out it took you know, about ten different moves to get it, and God did it with one simple move. Wow! Why didn’t I think of that? You see, our problem is that, in our limited rationale, or intellect, reasoning capacities, they are limited. We don’t have all the facts in hand, and God is able to do things that we didn’t even think about, in ways that we didn’t even think about.
So it’s best just to lay the situation out before the Lord, and make it a direct prayer, “Lord, I need help!”, and leave it at that. Don’t tell Him how to help you. Just, “Lord, help!”, and He’ll figure out the best way. That way you’re not giving directions, then that way you’re not getting discouraged, and defeated, and angry with God, because it’s not happening like you’ve been directing God to do it. The Psalmist asked the question, or, is it the Psalm?, somewhere the question is asked, “And who has been His counselor at any time?”. I think it is in the Psalms. “Who has been His counselor at any time?” Who’s counseled God? I have. Ha, ha! I’m always counseling God. I’m always telling God how He ought to be doing things. He doesn’t always listen to my counsel, because He has ways that are beyond my ways. And God said, “My ways are not your ways, saith the Lord. My ways are beyond your finding out”. And so, we see the situation here, where this guy in his mind, tried to figure out how God might do it.
Here’s an amazing prophecy. Here’s a glorious promise. The people are hurting, they’re starving to death. “But that’s alright, It’s all over, tomorrow, by this time tomorrow, a bushel of fine flour will be selling for sixty five cents, right in the gates of Samaria!” “Are you kidding man? If there should be windows in heaven, could such a thing be? God going around and pulling open grain chutes in heaven, and raining barley on the city of Samaria, could that happen, could such a thing be?” The price of his unbelief, “You’ll see it, but you won’t eat it”.
There’s a terrible price for unbelief, because it keeps you from enjoying the work of God. Think of what unbelief has cost people. Of the benefits and blessings of God. What people have lost out on, because of unbelief! Think of the great salvation that God has offered to man. Eternal life! This gift of God. Because of unbelief, people are being robbed of this glorious gift of eternal life, their unbelief, in the work of Jesus Christ. The finished work of salvation. Even though they see it, they can’t receive it. “You’ll see it”, the prophet said, “but you won’t eat it”. Now, we’re told about…
These four leprous men who lived at the entering of the gate: [Because of their leprosy, they could not live within the city. It was under the law required that they be placed outside. They lived usually outside of what was known as the dung gate of the city. That gate where the garbage dump was, the trash dump. People would bring their trash out of the dung gate. They would have a place where they were constantly burning the trash of the city. There were the fires that were going on, and it was thus called Gehenna, because of the continual fires in that area. So these fellows living there, surviving as they would rummage through the trash, and the garbage that was sent over the walls, were really hurting because, “Nothing’s coming over the wall anymore”. People are so hungry and starving to death within the city that nothing is being discarded. Everything that is edible is being eaten, and even some things that weren’t edible. So as they were sitting there together, getting weaker day by day,] finally one of them said, Why sit we here until we die (7:3)?
Good question! Why just sit there and die? If you don’t do something about your life, and about the sin in your life, it’s going to destroy you. “The wages of sin is death. The soul that sinneth shall surely die.” Why just sit there in your sinful state, until you die? “Why sit we here”, he said, “until we die?”
If we say, Well let’s go into the city, the famine is in the city, we’ll die there: [“With the rest of them.”] if we just sit still here, and do nothing, we’re gonna die. [“Every avenue is closed. We can’t go back, we can’t stay here without dying. There’s only one possible solution.”] Let’s go over to the camp of the Syrians: maybe they’ll give us something to eat; maybe they’ll kill us, if they do, [Doesn’t matter, because,] we’re gonna die anyhow (7:5).
So reason led them to venture out, to see what might happen. Now, we know what did happen. God had worked. God had done a marvelous work. God had emptied the camp of the Syrians. They had panicked, and they had fled. There wasn’t a soldier in the camp. All there was, was the camp all set up, the food was on the tables, it was dinner time, they were getting ready to eat when panic struck, and they took off on the run, leaving the food on the tables, leaving their horses and donkeys all tethered. Everything was in place. They were so anxious to get out of there, that they didn’t bother to take anything with them. In fact, as they were leaving, they began to throw things off so that they could run faster!
God had done a work. Nobody knew it. Here, the work of God had made the provision for more than what the people could ever devour. Yet, within the city of Samaria, people were hungry and starving. The children were crying and complaining to their parents, about the horrible hunger. The parents themselves, were huddled close, their bodies were weak, as a result of the famine. Dying. Just within yards of them, there’s sufficient food for everybody. God had worked. The work of God was discovered by desperate men. Men who had come to the conclusion that there’s only one answer, “Let’s venture and see. If they kill us, doesn’t matter, because we’re gonna die if we just sit here. We’ll die if we go in the city, we’ll die if we do nothing, we may die by doing something, but we may not.” So it was just a slim little maybe kind of a thing, that caused their venture in faith, and as they did, they discovered the work of God.
Now, just what the Syrians heard, we don’t know. But they interpreted what they heard, as chariots, and horses, and armies. The Syrians, in that dusk, in that evening darkness, thinking that the king of Samaria had hired the Hittite kings, and the Egyptian kings to come with their armies, and chariots, they began to flee. Leaving their camp intact, so that when the four leprous men came to the first tent, pulled back the flaps, not a Syrian there, but there was a table full of food, not a Syrian there. They went in and they began to eat. They weren’t worried that maybe the Syrians were gonna come in and catch em’ and kill em’, they’re gonna die anyhow. “Let’s die full.”
There were golden vessels and silver vessels, and they began to bury those. They went to the next tent, began to take the food and began to bury the treasures of the next tent.
And one of them said, [“Hey fellows”,] this isn’t right. Glorious things have happened. We do not well: this day [verse nine] for it is a day of good tidings, and if we hold our peace: and wait until the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: therefore come, let’s go and tell the king’s household what’s happened. [“Let’s tell the king what God has done. This is a day of good news. God has worked.”] So they came and they called to the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, behold, there’s not a man there, neither the voice of man, the horses are tied, the donkeys are tied, and the tents are as they were. And so the porters went; and told it to the king. And the king arose in the night, and he said to his servants, [“I’ll tell you what’s going on!”] Those Syrians know that we’re hungry; therefore they’ve gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we’ll catch them alive, and then we’ll get into the city (7:8-12).
Here is the tragedy now, God has worked, the king has heard the good news of the work of God, but still he can’t believe. He would hold the people back from the work of God, through unbelief. Tragic thing. People hear the good news, “God has provided for your salvation. You don’t have to die in your sins. God has given to you the gift of eternal life.” And people say, “Oh I can’t believe. It’s a trap. You know they just want to get you in there, and then they’re gonna start pushing you for money. Watch out you know, it’s a trap!”. And people get all kinds of weird ideas. Unbelief that holds them back from the work that God has done. Deliverance, plenty, salvation, eternal life. God has worked. God has scattered the enemy. God has brought victory and salvation. But unbelief keeps a person from entering in to the glorious provisions of God, that He has made for those who would trust in Him.
One of the servants answered, and said, [“Look,”] Let some I pray, take the five horses that remain, that are left in the city, and let’s send them out and find out if this is so. So they took two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, Go and see. [“If you can find them.”] So they went after them all the way to the Jordan river: and, lo, all of the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king. And the people went out, and they spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So that a measure of fine flour was sold for sixty five cents, and two measures of barley for sixty five cents, according to the word of Jehovah. And the king appointed that Lord on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate: and the people trampled on him in the gate, so that he died, [They trampled him to death.] and thus the word of God from Elisha was fulfilled, who said, That it shall come to pass that two measures of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria: And the Lord that had answered the man of God, and said, If God should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And the prophet answered, Behold, you will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat it. And so it happened to him, just like God said: the people trampled him in the gate, and he died (7:13-20).
Again, the tragedy. God worked, God did a work, God kept His word, God fulfilled His promise, but because of his unbelief, he saw it, but could not partake.
Unbelief will rob you of the work and the blessings of God. Unbelief will keep you from partaking of the provisions that God has made. Oh God help us, to throw off the shackles of unbelief, and trust the Lord. To trust the Lord completely. Shall we pray?
Father, we thank You tonight for the lessons that we can glean from history. Help us Lord, that we might take to heart these lessons, trust, and faith, in Your word. Lord we thank You for Your interest in our lives, and the trivia of our lives, and in the major issues of our lives, in every aspect of our lives; Lord, help us to see Your hand in all things. Help us to hear Your voice. Help us Lord, to live after the Spirit, and walk after the Spirit, and seek after the things of the Spirit. Free us Lord, from carnality. Free us from the flesh, the desire for material things, and open our hearts, O Lord, fully, to the things of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Next week we’ll take chapter eight, and nine.
May the Lord be with you, and may His hand be upon you this week. May you have a glorious week, and may God help you to partake of the glorious work of God. May you enter into the blessings, and the provision that God has made for you. May God help you, that unbelief would not rob you of the work that God has wrought for you. But, may you venture out in faith, believing and trusting the work, and the promises of God. May you thus experience the discovery, the glorious discovery that God has worked marvelous things, and may you come into the discovery of those exciting things that God has wrought for you, as His child. In Jesus’ name.