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18. Elisha’s Miraculous Ministry-Part I

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Kings 4:1-47

Outline:           I.     God Saves                                               II Kings 4:1-37

                              II.    God Provides                                        II Kings 4:38-47 

Context/Discussion/Comments: 

                One of the prophets serving under Elisha dies and his creditor wants the widow’s two sons as slaves to pay the debt.  She asks Elisha for help and he learns she has nothing left except for a little oil.  Elisha tells her to collect all the empty jars she can from her neighbors and then take what oil she has and fill all the jars.  When completed, Elisha tells her to sell the oil and pay her debt.  She is rewarded and secure because her debt has been paid.  Her two sons are free and will be able to care for her needs as she ages.  Without her sons, she would most likely live in poverty.  So instead of having to beg for help from her neighbors, she begged for help from God through Elisha.  Her sons have life and she has life. 

                A wealthy woman feeds Elisha in her home whenever he visits or is traveling through from Bethel or Jericho to Mt. Carmel.  Because of her generous hospitality, Elisha sends his servant to ask her what can be done for her to make her life more comfortable.  He learns her only need is for a son because her husband is old.  Elisha tells her she will have a son within a year.  What she believes is impossible becomes a reality.  With God, all things are possible [Mark 9:23-24; Mark 10:27].  The boy grows and begins helping his father in the fields.  One day he complains that his head hurts.  He is brought to his mother and he dies.  She brings her dead son up to Elisha’s room and lays him on the bed.  She leaves home immediately with a servant and goes to find Elisha at Mt. Carmel.  Shaman is a town nearby the Jezreel valley so it isn’t far from Mt. Carmel.  Elisha sees her coming and sends his servant to meet her and find out what has happened.  She tells the servant all is OK but Elisha senses differently.  Elisha knows it is about her son and sends his servant running to place Elisha’s staff on the boy.  The woman will not leave Elisha’s side so they start out for Shaman too.  Elisha’s servant meets them saying the boy does not respond.  Elisha arrives and goes to the boy alone, prays, and gives him mouth to mouth resuscitation.  The boy responds and is brought out to his mother who bows in honor and thanksgiving to Elisha.  Her son was dead but now lives.  She has an heir, one who will care for her if her husband dies before she does.  Again, Elisha is called upon to intercede to the Lord for those who love God, bringing life and hope for the future.

                 Elisha returns to Gilgal to meet with the prophets there.  There is a famine in the region so when they made stew with unknown vegetables and roots they become very ill.  Elisha grabs some flour, pours it in the pot, and the stew became good to eat.  Another time Elisha received 20 loaves of bread and wants to use it to feed at least 100 men [most  likely the prophets].  Elisha sets out the bread and they even have some left over.  God provides for His people.

                 II Kings 4 tells of four miracles by Elisha all having to do with preserving life.  A widow is given a means of saving the lives of her and her son after her husband had died.  An heir of a Godly woman is saved from death.  God’s prophets are fed and spared from the effects of famine.  And others are fed with bread, the bread of life.  The message of II Kings 4 is GOD SAVES and GOD PROVIDES for all those who love Him and place their faith in Him.

                 These recollections remind us of many of the miracles Jesus performed; the water into wine, the raising of the dead son at Nair, the feeding of the 5000, and many more.  We see Elisha as a type of Christ, a prophet of the Lord whose work is to save and provide for God’s people.  They also remind us of many of the phrases Jesus used in His prayer; lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, thy will be done, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. God wants what is best for us.  He wants to give us life, eternal life.  He wants to provide for our needs on earth.  [Romans 8:28]  He also wants us to depend on Him and call on Him.  Our needs may not be life threatening but God still promises to provide and care for us [Matt. 6:25-33].  If we truly love the Lord, seek to follow Him, and do His Will, we are to call on Him.  He will answer because He loves us.  He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die for our sin so that we might have abundant life [John 10:10].  Do you love the Lord?  Then call on Him.  Tell Him you are depending on Him.  Call on Him with urgent expectation, anticipating His blessing.  When He answers, bow down before Him with thanksgiving and worship Him.
  2. Regardless of what is going on between nations and within nations, God has a faithful “remnant” of believers dedicated to serve Him and to be His witnesses.  As a member of His Body, the Church, gather together to learn about God, to worship God, and to receive His blessings.

  

God Saves, God Provides

Believe!

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!

[Acts 16:31]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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