Date: 06 November, 2016
Text: II Kings 6:8-23
Title: THE MAN OF GOD
People who think the Bible is a boring book, have never read it. It contains incredible true stories of men and women of God.
Elisha was an amazing servant of God.
· His great teacher, Elijah, was taken from him in a chariot of fire.
· He got a double portion of the Spirit of God that was upon Elijah.
· He's mocked by wicked young people and mother bear attacked 42 of them.
· He helped a widow woman pay her debts with miraculous vessels of oil.
· He promises a motherless woman that she would conceive a son.
· He raises that boy back to life after what appears to be a brain anurism.
· He makes poisonous food edible.
· He heals a Syrian soldier, Naaman, of leperosy.
· He makes a borrowed axe head float for a seminary student.
AND THEN COMES OUR STORY. (One of my favorites)
The first name given to Elisha in our story is, "The man of God." It is a very appropriate name.
This man is characterized by WHO HE BELONGS TO - HE IS GOD'S MAN.
Men of the world are worldly. Men of God are Godly.
Elisha joins good company with this title as he joins men like....
Moses - Deut. 33:1 Moses the man of God
Elijah - I Samuel 9:7 the man of God
David - I Chronicles 8:14 the man of God
note: This title is used more of Elisha than any other man.
This is not just an OT title. Paul challenged the preacher, Timothy....
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
This morning we are going to learn from the man of God, how to to deal with the enemy of God.
God's word is clear - that behind the human enemy is a Satanic enemy.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We will consider both the unseen enemy and the visible enemy this morning in our text,
II Kings 6:8-23
The man of God...
I. Finds his enemies' traps.
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.
exp. In Israel's day they were constantly on guard against an enemy invasion. The Syrians were their enemies. Israel - had God on their side. He had his servant, Elisha, on the ready to to help protect his people.
exp. We TOO ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD. We have an enemy as real as the Syrian army this morning.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Re 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
app. We are deceived this morning if we don't realize that we have an enemy as real as the physical enemy which faced Israel in Elisha's day.
A. The man of God gives warning to avoid these death traps.
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.
exp. God revealed the enemies plans to Elisha who gave warning to avoid this death trap.
ill. We are fighting a new war in the 21st Century. It is a war against terrorism.
The French interior minister described the country’s fight against ISIS as “intense” and said that the main objective of this “war” was “to protect the French”.
"We have arrested 293 individuals belonging to a radical terrorist group, jihadists arrests France, "
Bernard Cazeneuve, French interior minister These 293 arrests prove how hard the French government has been fighting ISIS, said Mr Cazeneuve: “And we are not letting our guard down anytime soon. Us being 100 per cent cautious does not mean there is zero risk of another attack.”
exp. We expect our governments to be vigilant because the enemy is always plotting. They must move on any information they receive BELIEVING THAT THE THREAT IS REAL.
app. God has warned us that THE THREAT IS REAL. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Satan has traps - Rock Music, Pop Music, Pornography, bad entertainment, wicked friends, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, false science, unbelief, social media....
THESE ARE DEATH TRAPS.
Jas 1:15 Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
app. Heed the warning!
B. The man of God gives diligence to ALWAYS avoid these death traps.
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.
exp. Again and again, Elisha said to the king..... avoid this place... What if he hadn't - he would be dead.
Pr 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
ill. Evangelist Ed Carter - American football player for Marshal College
I had traveled to Texas to attend my father's funeral, and I did not make the trip with my team because my mother pleaded with me not to return to make the trip.in his family and he was at the funeral. The plane was carrying 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, 9 members of the coaching staff, 25 boosters, and 4 flight crew members.
The plan was returning to tri-state airport under adverse weather conditions. They descended 300 feet lower than instructed - hit the tops of trees on a mountain - the plane burst into flames and every person on that aircraft died.
exp. Ed Carter heeded the warning of his mother. If he had not, he would be dead.
app. God is speaking to you young person, adult - where will you be if you don't heed his warning. Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
II. (The man of God) Frustrates his enemies' plans.
exp. The king of Syria is not excited that every time he plans to capture/ kill the king of Israel - he avoids his clutches.
ill. I imagine the Pharisees and chief priests in Jesus day felt the same frustration as Jesus was delivered from them until God's time for him to die.
A. It bothers the enemy.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing;
exp. This verse makes me smile. Oh how he hated the fact that all his planning was of no purpose.
ill. I believe that empty tomb really bothers Satan. Satan had tried to kill Jesus at his birth. (Herod). He had tried to kill him at his temptation. (Cast yourself off of the temple.) He tried to kill him many times during his ministry. AT THE CROSS HE FINALLY SUCEEDED - BUT THEN REALIZED HE FAILED.
app. God help us to frustrate the enemy - by miraculously (by God's grace) avoiding his traps.
B. It makes th enemy think that he has a traitor in his ranks.
and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
exp. I picture this king a bit like King Ahab. He is pouting and pleading with his servants to expose the traitor. (None of them were for Israel - BUT GOD WAS!)
C. It makes them come to the conclusion that God is against them.
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.
exp. The finger of God is seen as the whispered words of the king in his most private place is revealed to the MAN OF GOD. He is fighting against an omnipresent/omniscient God and he is going to lose.
Ge 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
question: Who told God what they were thinking? God knows.
app. We don't have to be defeated today by the enemy. We have one with us who knows exactly what is taking place and who won't allow us to face anything we can't overcome by His grace. 1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
III. (The man of God) Fears none of the enemies' tactics.
A. The enemy is a great tactician.
1. He is observant.
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.
ill. When you shoot a gun - you have sights or a scope. Both train the weapon upon the target. The weapon is now going away from the king and focusing on the man of God.
ill. Hearing Tom Farrell preach at a large church in the USand challenging the people to pray for their pastor - because the more you do for God the higher value you are as a target.
app. Praise God, Elisha was doing enough for God's people to warrant the attack of the enemy - and yet he didn't have to be afraid.
2. He is confident.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
exp. He sends a huge army. He sends them at night. He surrounds the city. Wow - he spared no expense in seeking to secure this preacher.
ill. John Knox - Burk Parson " Although Knox had been imprisoned and enslaved, and though he was often infirm and under threat of persecution, he consistently lived out his theology, believing that “one man with God is always in the majority.” As such, the prayers of one man heard at the throne of God were a threat to the throne of Scotland. During the time of the sixteenth-century Scottish Reformation, Knox’s ministry of preaching and prayer were so well known that the Roman Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, is reputed to have said, “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”
app. Elisha is just a preacher - but the Syrian king acts as if he is the greatest weapon Israel possessed.
B. The man of God has great protection.
note: Any normal person would panic to find that the Syrian army was at his front door with all their weapons trained upon him. But, not this servant of God.
1. Even though he can see the enemy.
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. This is a young man (v.17) and he hasn't seen the power of God like Elisha. He also does not have the spiritual eyesight of Elisha.
ill. The disciples of Jesus panicked at this arrest - They grabbed for their swords and then fled. Jesus didn't panic. He just asked his enemies why they were arresting him in the same way Elisha was being surrounded.
app. How well do you handle the attack of the enemy? When a trying circumstance comes, do you hit the panic button - or do you respond by faith?
2. He remains confident in what is unseen.
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
exp. Elisha could see something the young man could not see.
ill. Jesus could see something (by faith) that his disciples could not see. It was the 1,000 of angels gripping their weapons and leaning forward from Heaven ready to come if Christ said one word. (I just want to pause and say, "Can you imagine the spiritual strength of the Lord not to say that one word that would have delivered him?)
app. Do you believe today that you are on the winning side or do you just know that is what the Bible teaches? 1Jo 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. Ro 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
IV. (The man of God) Fights his enemy on His knees.
A. He asks God to open the eyes of his fellow believers.
17 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.
note: We are often like the man in the seige of Jerusalem who doubted God's ability to provide cheap food the next day.
2Ki 7:2 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 he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
app. We need God to open our eyes as he opened the eyes of this young man to understand the powerful army that surrounds the servants of God!
ill. Darlene Diabler Rose - Asking a saved thief after the war - why didn't you rob us - because of those men dressed in white surrounding the house.
app. Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
B. He asks God to close the eyes of 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.
exp. Elisha just prayed - "God please make them blind" and God did according to the man of God's Word.
ill. Brother Andrew - was a Bible smuggler. He would pray as he smuggled Bibles into countries, "God who made blind eyes to see, make seeing eyes blind."
app. What has God done because of your prayers? John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
V. (The man of God) Fools his enemy with God's way.
A. He leads the enemy astray.
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.
exp. This blindness appears to be a mental blindness that is not physical. It seems a type of confusion that allows him to mislead the enemy. (Similar to what Brother Andrew prayed.)
app. Our world is in the wrong way - seeking the wrong things because they are deceived. WE NEED TO LEAD THEM TO THE MAN WHOM THEY MUST SEEK.
B. He opens the eyes of the enemy.
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. God in his mercy led this army from their errand against him. I wonder if any of these Syrian soldiers changed their minds about the God of Israel because of this experience.
ill. Saul thought he was serving God (but he was the enemy of Jesus) - until God blinded him to open his eyes to the love of Jesus.
app. Friend, it would be the mercy of God to LEAD you INTO THE WAY OF HIS GRACE. Let Him open your eyes!
Isa 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
VI. (The man of God) Feeds his (human) enemy with God's love.
exp. Elisha was vindictive against those who would not have treated him as kindly.
A. He doesn't press an unfair advantage.
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?
exp. The kind of Israel wanted vengeance on those who had sought his life. But, Elisha protected these men from destruction.
note: Our Lord didn't seek vengeance.
Lu 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
app. The enemy may be have a human face - but we are to love them.
Matthew 5:44 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;
Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
B. He takes care to meet their need before sending them home.
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.
ill. Witnessing to people - "Religion causes all the problems, wars, etc." YES - FALSE RELIGION.
LOOK AT THE CONTRAST BETWEEN ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY.
Those who blaspheme Mohamad are killed.
Those who blaspheme Jesus are forgiven.
app. If you don't care for your enemies, you are in disobedience to God.
Elisha - the man of God - WHAT A TITLE FOR GOD'S SERVANT.
Are you a man of God?
Have you found out the enemies traps?
Have you frustrated the enemy by avoiding them?
Are you afraid of the enemies' attack?
Does the enemy fear your prayers?
Are you leading any into the way of God?
Do your enemies know that you love them?