Date: 2 October, 2017
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7
Title: How Much Oil is In Your Home?
Elisha is one of the most interesting prophets in the Old Testament. The stories about his ministry are remarkable and interesting stories.
Children being attacked by a bear for making fun of his baldness.
A city surrounded by an army - a servants fear, eyes opened, eyes closed of the enemy, fed and released.
A dead body being put into Elisha's grave - as the corpse touched down he came back to life.
Story today is also very interesting:
exp. Widow of a seminary student: Her husband was called Elisha's servant and was one of the sons of the Prophets.
ill. When I was in University - all those who were studying for the ministry were part of a class called the "Preacher Boy Class." Same idea - sons of the prophets.
exp. She had two children to care for and had no income which had made her a debtor.
exp. The creditor was threatening to take her children into servitude to pay her debts.
exp. God provides an awesome miracle of oil which pays her debt and provides for her family.
Today it is unlikely that anyone here has the same difficulty or that God would see fit to provide the same miracle to meet your need. If we were to ask ourselves, is there something God's Spirit would like us to consider WHICH DOES HAVE VERY DIRECT APPLICATION TO OUR LIFE AND OUR AGE - WHAT WOULD IT BE? I BELIEVE THE ANSWER WOULD BE THIS.
Although you and I do not need the miracle of physical oil, we do need the miracle of the oil of God's Spirit.
God's Spirit is described as oil in the Word of God.
ill. Jesus was anointed with the oil of God's Spirit.
note: When the Bible speaks about anointing - it is anointing with oil.
Lev 8:10 And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.
Lev 8:12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.
ill. King Saul - 1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
AND SO OF JESUS BEING ANOINTED WITH THE OIL OF GOD'S SPIRIT - THE BIBLE SAYS....
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
exp. Oil is "poured out" into empty vessels and God promised to "pour out" His Spirit.
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
exp. God's Spirit like oil was poured out upon the Gentiles and like at pentecost they evidenced the filling of God's Spirit within their earthen vessels.
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
NOW - Again I'm unashamed to declare that we need this outpouring of the oil of God's Spirit in our day. How much oil is in your home?
I. The miracle came to a godly woman who was compelled to cry out to God for help.
1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD:
exp. What a trial of faith this woman was facing. Didn't God know that they were trying to please Him. "Thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord." Now her husband was dead and all she can do is cry out to God through His servant the prophet. She is probably a bit disillusioned by it all. Her children are also wondering what it was all about. The "God fearing family life" wasn't exactly going well.
question: Would we have the story of the miracle without this trial? No - because the trial is the catylist for the miracle.
note: God doesn't get joy out of burdening us.
Lam 3:33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
note: However, God would cut off whatever is keeping us from the blessing.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
ill. Peter had a root of pride and self confidence - Jesus had to take him through the sorrow of failure to bring him out into the wealth of restoration and dependence upon God alone.
PETER KNEW THE FULNESS OF GOD'S SPIRIT AS HE PREACHED AT PENTECOST.
App. Are you willing to let God use a trial to make you desparate for his oil - SO THAT YOU WILL CRY OUT?
II. Without a miracle this God fearing woman would lose her children.
and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
exp. There are two problems listed by this woman.
A. First she had a societal debt that she can't pay without oil.
exp. The creditor was rightly demanding that she pay what she owed - but she had no resource from which to pay her debt.
note: We also have a societal debt that we need to pay. And we can't pay it without God's Spirit.
ill: Paul spoke of it - Romans 1
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
ill. Jonathan Goforth "By My Spirit" -
Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
exp. He couldn't see the "greater works" in his ministry as so few were being saved. He came to the conclusion that the need in His life was more of God's Spirit (the oil of which we speak today.)
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
App. Do you have enough oil of God's Spirit to pay your Gospel debt to society? THE CREDITOR RIGHTLY CALLS OUT TO US DEMANDING GOSPEL SATISFACTION - BUT HOW PITIFULLY WE ARE PREPARED TO ANSWER HIS DEMANDS.
B. Secondly, she faced losing her children to bondage.
exp. This man because of the debt had the right to take her children and put them into servitude.
note: With regard to our application today - we can rightly view the creditor as the devil who is mocking our Gospel debt and threatening to steal our children away as his bondmen - AND WITHOUT OIL THERE IS VERY LITTLE WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
App. Do you have enough oil of God's Spirit to keep your children from going into bondage? So many Christian young people are growing up and walking away from God. Could it be because we don't have enough oil in our home to keep them from the bondage of sin?
III. The miracle required introspection.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house?
exp. This woman could see very little of value as she looked inside. Her circumstances made her honestly evaluate her resources.
note: If we are honest today in our examination of our heart - we'd see little of value to God. The problem with the church today is THAT SHE IS A SPIRITUAL PAUPER AND SHE DOESN'T KNOW IT.
JESUS WOULD RIGHTLY SAY TO US WHAT HE SAID TO THE CHURCH AT LAODECIA - Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
app. It would serve us well, if we got on our face before God with an acknowledgment that we see very little hope of paying our debt from what we possess already.
IV. The miracle was a multiplication of what was already possessed.
And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
exp. What she did possess was just a little oil. She probably looked at it with sorrow, wishing it was so much more than it was. But, at least there was a little pot of oil.
question: Have you ever been struck that Jesus would often use things present to work miracles.
ill. Feeding of the five thousand - a wee lad's lunch.
A coin from the mouth of a fish to pay their taxes.
Mud to put into a man's eyes.
Water to be turned into wine.
exp. Our hope today - rests on the fact that we have a little oil. God hasn't left us without the Comforter. HOWEVER, do we have the fullness of God's Spirit of which the Bible speaks.
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
note: They had already been filled at Pentecost.
Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
app. We're too content with a little oil. However, do you see the value of the LITTLE YOU POSSESS?
V. The miracle depended upon the WORK OF FAITH of the recepient.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
exp. What a command that depended upon the faith and diligence of the recepient of the miracle.
ill. Joash, King of Israel, 2 Kings 13:
16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. 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 thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
app. If oil was only poured out upon the scope of your ministry, "work of faith" how far would it go? Jesus often said, "Be it unto you according to your faith."
VI. The miracle was contained within the room where the vessels were gathered.
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
exp. When God blessed and allowed the oil to be poured out, the extent of his pouring was exact and complete. Only empty vessels in that room were filled.
question: Did you know that there have been days of God's blessing where people didn't want to miss the service LEST THEY MISS THE BLESSING WHICH GOD WAS GOING TO GIVE?
Ill. Remember the parable of the virgins - when the bridegroom came - only those with prepared and oil filled vessels departed with him. The others in a panic had to go try to get their lamps filled with oil.
app. As we pray for the miraclulous outpouring of God's Spirit, you ought to desire more and more to be in the house of God - so that you don't miss the blessing. The miracle of the oil was contained within those walls.
VII. The miracle was given privately but would be revealed openly.
5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
exp. I would have loved to have been in the room watching the miraculous pouring forth of this oil. The community was unaware that this miracle was taking place, but it would soon be evident - THAT GOD HAD DONE SOMETHING WONDERFUL FOR THE WIDOW WOMAN'S FAMILY.
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
ill. D. L. Moody - whom God so used in Scotand - tells about his own experience - two older ladies who would tell him nightly that they were praying for him - for a definite baptism of God's Spirit - He began to pray with them for the baptism of God's Spirit - God wonderfully worked in his life one day as he was walking down Wall Street - in NYC - rushed to a friends house and spent hours in sweet communion with the Lord. After this God began to bring much fruit into Moody's ministry.
app. We need God to work privately - SO THAT IT WILL BE SEEN OPENLY.
VIII. The miracle of oil benefited her community and her family.
7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
exp. the oil she received went out as a blessing to her community and satisfied her creditor.
Question. Ought we be suprised that the DEVIL MOCK OUR GOSPEL POVERTY? But, when the oil flows from God - the devil will no longer be able to mock.
exp. the oil she received guarded her children from servitude.
NOTE: The devil has bound men in chains that only grace can break. We need the oil of God's Spirit to AFFECT THEIR SALVATION FROM SERVITUDE.
Jesus was annointed with the oil of God's Spirit. God has promised to pour out the oil of His Spirit upon us as he did upon the EARLY CHURCH.
Do you feel compelled to call out to God today for the miracle we need?
Do you fear losing the next generation if we don't get this miracle?
Are you willing to search your heart to see what you have of value?
Will you trust God to multiply what you have?
What labor of faith will you do believing God that the miracle will come?
If God sent that miracle to the church house, would you be here to receive it?
Our community needs to see publicly what God does privately!
The community will benefit and so will our families!
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
Let's pray to God to give us the miracle of the oil for our home, church and community!