Please click on the following link if you would like to listen to this message.
Date: 15 March, 2019
Text: 2 Kings 6:8-23
Title: Open our Eyes
8 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
13 And he 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.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
exp. There are times in life where without God we would feel like we are in an impossible position. In our text, the man of God, Elisha, and his unamed servant, are in what seems like an impossible position.
Praise God - we serve a God who "specializes in things thought impossible."
ill. Oscar Eliasons - Swedish American Clergyman
"Got Any Rivers" Gospel Chorus
exp. This Gospel Chorus was based on a poem by Berton Braley - originally called, "At Your Service: the Panama Gange" published in 1912 - It became a song that built the Panama Canal, an enthusiastic song that workmen sang everywhere with vim and punch."
Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains, you can not tunnel through?
God specialises in things thought impossible
And He can do what no other power can do
exp. God has the ability to do anything but fail as another chorus says.
"God can do anything, anything, anything, God can do anything but fail. He's the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. God can do, anything, anything, anything, God can do anything but fail. He can save, He can cleanse, He can keep and He will, God can do anything but fail."
ill. Jehovah God said to Sarah - Gen 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
ill. Jesus said to His disciples - Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
exp. Now to return to our story. Why did the servant of the man of God panic when the city was surrounded by the enemy.
HE PANICKED BECAUSE ALTHOUGH GOD WAS PREPARED TO HELP THE YOUNG MAN NEEDED TO HAVE HIS EYES OPENED TO THE FACT THAT GOD WOULD HELP.
How often are we in a panic because of the enemy because our eyes are closed to the fact that God is prepared to help?
exp. Elisha prayed and asked God to open the eyes of his servant.
We need to pray and ask God to open our eyes. Are you panicking or do you see God's readiness to help?
2 Kings 6:16-23
I. Open our eyes so that we are not afraid.
16 And he answered, Fear not:
exp. Because this servant did not see what the man of God could see, he was afraid. If he could see it, he would not be afraid.
ill. Colorado Thunderstorm - echoing down the canyon and past the house. Seeing a verse on the mantle that helped me to rest and not be afraid.
A Psalm of King David -
Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
exp. When my spiritual eyes were opened to the reality of God's presence, I no longer feared the storm.
app. God wants us to have our eyes opened to him so that we are not afraid.
ill. David had his eyes open to God and he wasn't afraid of enemies, of disease, of death, of defeat!
Psa 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
exp. When men see as God desires them to see - THEY ARE NOT AFRAID.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
Psa 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Psa 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
Psa 112:8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
app. Has the enemy made you fearful? We need God to open our eyes this morning so that we are not afraid.
II. Open our eyes to understand who is with us.
...for they that be with us....
exp. There was an angelic army standing in readiness to fight for the man of God.
ill. David's confidence - Psalm 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
exp. Satan misquoted this verse to Jesus as he sought to get him to jump off of the temple. Jesus responded by saying, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
exp. And so - this verse does not teach us that we can handle poisonous snakes without dying. It teaches us that God supernaturally watches over us when we are not overstepping His gracious protection.
ill. Jesus at the crucifixion acknowledged twice that God stood ready to intervene.
His words to Pilate.
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:
His words to Peter
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
exp. A roman legion averaged 5,000 fighting men. God would send around 60,000 angels.
ill. 1 Angel in 2 Kings 19 kills 185,000 men in the Assyrian Army saving King Hezekiah and the city of Jerusalem.
question: Does God really use angels to take care of us?
ill. The Bible does not say that Lot was aware that angels were in his home. However, they delivered Lot out of the wicked city of Sodom.
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
ill. All through the Bible - OT and NT - angels are sent forth from God to do His bidding.
speaking to Daniel, Mary, Joseph, Zacharias
being sent by God to bring judgment to the world in Revelation.
app. We know that Satan's angels are active. We have our eyes closed if we think that God is without ability to use angels today to do his bidding. God open our eyes to understand who is with us.
III. Open our eyes to understand our advantage.
are more than they that be with them.
exp. God had a wonderful army of angels present to help the man of God. The Spirit of God was upon Elisha and Elisha could see this wonderful army WHICH WAS FAR GREATER THAN THAT OF THE ENEMY. THEY HAD THE ADVANTAGE AND HE KNEW IT.
note: Believers - we always have the advantage over the enemy.
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
note: Because we have the advantage - WE ARE ASSURED OF VICTORY.
hymn: Victory in Jesus - by E. M. Bartlett
I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't
To me the victory.
App. Are you living in victory today? Do you understand your advantage because your eyes have been opened? Open our eyes to see our advantage.
IV. Open our eyes that we can see spiritually.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.
ill. Nephew (5 years old) Heston - took him to the eye doctor and found out that he could not see. He needed glasses to open his eyes and make sense of school instruction.
exp. The servant had no problem seeing physically. He was blind spiritually. He needed God's help opening His spiritual eyes.
note: Do you know that you must have God's help to see spiritual things?
1. Man can not get saved without God opening His spiritual eyes.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
app. You may be here today and the Bible seems like a foreign language. God can open your eyes if you ask him to do so.
2. Men can not grow spiritually without God opening our spiritual eyes.
ill. Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
app. Believers, we can't forget that we need God's help in understanding God's Word. We need to pray - God open my eyes that I can see spiritually.
3. Men's eyes can only be opened by Jehovah God.
text - v.17 - And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man;
exp. I believe this young man looked at the hillside and then at the prophet and said, "Now I understand why you aren't afraid and you are so confident in God."
ill. Often in my evangelism people will say to me....
1.) I wish I had your faith.
2.) I can tell that you really believe what you are saying.
exp. What they don't understand is that CHRISTIANS believe this so strongly because WE CAN SEE IT. What they need to understand is that - GOD CAN OPEN THEIR EYES.
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
App. Don't be dull of hearing. Don't refuse to see. Ask God to open your eyes to see things spiritually.
V. Open our eyes to the power of the LORD of hosts.
and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
exp. What a vision of power was upon the mountains. Perhaps King David was referring to this OT record when he wrote Psalm 121
Psalm 121:I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
note: God told Zerubbabel - an ancestor of Jesus
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.
ill. Jonathan Goforth's bio - written by his wife - Rosalind - "By My Spirit" takes its title from this verse. He had become burdened to see the greater works Jesus speaks of in....
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.
app. We live in a day where the enemy seems to be winning the battle. We need Jehovah God to open our eyes to His power.
VI. Open our eyes to the power of Jehovah to answer prayer.
exp. We just saw that in how quickly God opened the eyes of the servant when the man of God prayed. We see it again in how Elisha deals with the enemy.
18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
ill. Seargent York's - crack shot who won all the turkey shoots - converted in 1914 - drafted in the military.
Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), also known as Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking at least one machine gun, killing at least 2 enemy soldiers and capturing 132.
exp. Elisha is the Seargent York of the OT. He takes a whole army captive by prayer.
quote: "Prayer is to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."
Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
note: If you know the power of prayer - you pray. If you don't know - you don't pray.
app. We need God to open our eyes to His power to answer prayer.
VII. Open the eyes of the world to their deception.
20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
exp. This deceived army is suddenly aware that they have been deceived. Their eyes are awakened to the truth.
question: Did you know that our world is deceived and blinded by the devil?
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
exp. It could be you or a family member this morning who think they are right - BUT THEY ARE WRONG. They are convinced that they know where they are and where they are going - BUT THEY ARE WRONG.
Hymn: Open My Eyes that I May see. - Clara Scott
1 Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth you have for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unlock and set me free.
Silently now, on bended knee,
ready I wait your will to see;
open my eyes, illumine me,
app. Are you deceived today? Think the Bible is just a good book. Think that all religions are the same - all gods are the same as Jehovah God? God can open your eyes to your deception if you will ask Him to do so.
VIII. Open our eyes with compassion upon the enemies of God.
21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
23 And 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.
exp. The kings eyes were opened with shock at the enemies of God - "When he saw them...." he wanted to smite them. Elisha wanted him to serve them.
note: I don't know - but I would imagine and hope that some of these Assyrian soldiers came to faith in the true God because they saw God's power and love demonstrated by the man of God.
note: Elisha was like Jesus before Jesus took on flesh.
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
app. Our Saviour died so that they could have a CHANCE to live. We need to feed them God's truth and send them on their way - hoping that they turn to follow the true God.
Elisha and his servant were in (what seemed like) an impossible position. The servant needed God to open his eyes - and so do we.
Open our eyes....
so that we are not afraid.
to understand who is with us.
to understand our advantage.
that we can see spiritually
to the power of the Lord of hosts.
to the power of Jehovah to answer prayer
of the world to their deception.
with compassion upon the enemies of God.