"One, With the Master"

08/11/2015 12:46

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Date: 8 November, 2015

Text:  II Kings 2:1-15

Title:  Filling Big Shoes

 

Introduction:

Elisha and Elijah are two of the most dynamic prophets of the Old Testament. The stories about their ministry are packed full of power.

 

Elijah called down fire from Heaven several times. Mt. Carmel, 2 captains and their regiments of 50 soldiers.

2Ki 1:10  And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

 

Elisha saw angels around the city protecting him and smote an army with blindness.

II Kings6:16-17  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  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.

These men are not just alike in name. They are alike in what they did as prophets of the Lord!

 

Like Paul and Timothy there is a precious father son relationship in these two men.

 

There is also a spiritual sense in which there is a Master/Servant relationship between them. (Not unlike our Lord and his disciples.)

 

Elijah was the chief leader for God in his day.

·         He had more of God's power than other men of his day.

·         He had a stronger stand against evil than other men of his day.

·         He had started schools for prophets and had greater spiritual education than other men of his day.

·         The hand of God was upon him like no other man in his day.

 

Elisha yearned to be like his master, Elijah. He had to be like him because HE WAS STEPPING INTO HIS SHOES. He couldn't do his master's work without his master's power.

 

My message this morning is, "We need to be one, like the Master." Our Master is Jesus. Christians, we are stepping into big shoes. We can't do our Master's work without our Master's power. Do you yearn to be like your Master, Jesus?

 

How are we to be, "One, like the Master?"

 

I. Be one who will not leave His Master.

1 ¶  And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2  And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

4  ...He said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee....

6  ...As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

exp.  Nothing was going to separate Elisha from his time with his master. He knew that his time was short and would lose none of it. They went on together.

ill. Jonathan's desire for a cat. Cat showing up at our home and following us to school the next day. It followed us everywhere. (It adopted us.) We couldn't get rid of him and didn't want to. That was our cat for the next 16 years.

exp. Elisha is like that cat. He would not go away. Elisha probably with misty tears in his eyes, begged him to stay and he would not.

question: How close are you to your Master?

ill. Ruth and Naomi - Ruth is the daughter in law. Both of their husbands have died. This is a time of great sorrow in both of their lives. Naomi insists that her daughter in laws return. (Orpah does so.) Ruth 1:16  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

app.  If you would be like your master, you must be often with Him and never leave Him. Luke 9:62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

 

II. Be one who is concerned about His Master's concerns.

3  And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

5  And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

question: What thoughts are going through the heart and mind of Elijah (the Master) on this day? (Perhaps they would run something like this.)

·         Is Elisha ready to take my place?

·         What about the schools?

·         What about the nation?

·         What about the unfinished work of God?

·         I will no longer be able to strengthen my servant Elisha.

question: What thought are going through the heart and mind of Elisha (the Servant) on this day? (Perhaps....

·         My master is deeply burdened about his departure.

·         My master does not want undo attention to his departure.

·         This is my last opportunity to show my love for my master.

exp.  And so, Elisha is quick to silence the other prophets out of loving concern for His master. He didn't want to make the day more difficult than it already was.

question:  How concerned are you about our Lord's concerns? What would his concerns be today?

·         Who will go and tell the world about my death and resurrection? Isaiah 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

·         How will my church be guarded from the sin of the world? John 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

·         What will be the condition of the church upon my return? 2 Peter 3:14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

app. Elisha wasn't feeling sorry for himself and focused on his problems. Even though he had great burdens on this day. What are you concerned about? Is it your cares or the cares of your Master?

 

III. Be one who goes anywhere His Master wants to go.

2  And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

4  And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.

6  And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

8  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

exp.  Elisha wasn't in charge of their journey. If they were going to go, it was at His master's pleasure. Even when faced with an obstacle which was impossible to cross, he just continued on with His master and let His master take care of the obstacle.

ill. Abraham - Hebrews 11:8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

ill. Hudson Taylor was burdened of God to go for God to China.

Gladys Aylward was the same.

Isobel Kuhn as well.

note: I never would have imagined that I would leave the United States and go to a different country because of God's leading. But, there is no other explanation for our being here. I was a shy kid who didn't want to go to college. My mom is still shocked that God has allowed me to do this with my family.

app. Where will you go if your master wants you to go? How much do you look to God for direction? Proverbs 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

note: Servants don't get to make the travel plans - they just get to follow them.

 

 

IV. Be one who sees the power of God upon His Master.

7  And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.

8  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

exp.  The mantle of Elijah was the outer garment of the prophet. He boldly removed it and struck the waters. Apparently nothing was said but something miraculous was expected. Only a bold old prophet of God could do such a bold work for the Lord expecting God's power to do the impossible.

ill.  Israel had seen a similar miracle when they had crossed over into God's promised land with Joshua as their leader. Jos 3:17  And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

question: Are you close enough to the Master to see the miraculous?

ill. The disciples saw -

·         5,000 men plus women and children fed from a little boys lunch.

·         Jesus and Peter walking on water.

·         miraculous healing of those whose healing could not be faked.

·         an empty tomb and a risen Lord.

note: We ought to anticipate opportunities to see the miraculous power of God because of the power of our Master.

ill. Mary Slessor stepped between warring tribes and had them set down and sign a peace treaty. Mary wasn't greater than others. She just had a close with with her Master.

ill. Hudson Taylor and George Mueller often saw miraculous provision fromGod. They weren't greater than others. They just had a close walk with their Master.

app. Are you willing to walk with your Master up to Jordan rivers expecting them to part by His power? Are you one who sees the power of God in your Master?

 

V. Be one who desires the same blessing as His Master.

9 ¶  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

10  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

exp. He has just freshly experienced the miraculous power of God with his master. With that experience on his mind, he asks for the same blessed power to accompany His ministry.

note: The double portion represented the blessing of the first born son. The father could not give more than he possessed but the inheritance to the firstborn was greater than to any other child.

exp.  It was inheritance time and Elisha wanted as much of God's blessing from Elisha as He could get.

ill. Jacob wrestling with God.

Genesis 32: 24 ¶  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27  And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28  And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29  And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

exp. Jacob pictures prevailing prayer to us. It seemed as if God was resisting him and yet he was not. He was ready to bless if Jacob would only prevail!

question: How much do you want the blessing of God upon your life?

app. Elisha would not stop following and watching until he received it. Will you do the same with your Master?

 

VI. Be one who yearns after His Master.

11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

12  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

exp. The chariot has driven between them and his dear spiritual father and master is taken to glory. When he was separated from his master, he was like one who sorrowed for the dead. Elisha was clearly taken to heaven by the will of God, but Oh the bitterness of that cup for Elisha.

question: Scripture is somewhat silent as to the feelings of the disciples at the departure of our Lord? But we are given a similar idea of their sorrow when the angel lovingly speaks to them at His ascension saying....

Acts 1:11  Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

app. Jesus is with us spiritually not physically. (Mt 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)

But, have you a deep desire for the physical return of the Lord?

ill. The Apostle John - Revelation 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

 

conclusion:

Elisha was like His master Elijah. The Word of God emphasises his likeness ....

13 ¶  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

14  And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

15  And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

 

What about you? Are you like your Master Jesus? Are you seeking to be?

1.) Are you unwilling to leave Him?

2.) Are you concerned about His concerns?

3.) Are you going wherever He wants to go?

4.) Are you seeing His power?

5.) Are you seeking His blessing?

6.) Are you yearning after Him?

 

Oh, may it be said that the Spirit of Jesus rests upon us when men see the likeness of Christ in us. We need to be one, like the Master.