1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you for tuning in to this broadcast
3. If you are joining these broadcasts for the first time, we have been looking at “The Blessings of Surrender.”
4. We come to the next to the last portion in this series of messages.
5. Let us just review very quickly
6. First, . . .
7. From II Kings 4: 1-7, . . .
8. we learned that we must empty ourselves of self-will.
9. For, when we are empty, God has the opportunity to fill us to overflowing.
10. Then, in II Kings 4: 38-44, . . .
11. we learned how our own spirit of control can poison the pot.
12. But, Jesus can absorb the poison . . . if we let Him.
14. in II Kings 5: 1-15, . . .
15. we saw how the obedience of Naaman . . . healed him from leprosy.
17. in II Kings 6: 1-7, . . .
18. we learned how the branch of David, the Lord Jesus Christ . . . can make our life float above inadequacy.
19. Then in II Kings 6: 8-23, . . .
20. we learned the secret of victory in spiritual warfare.
21. Do you remember it?
22. The secret is to remain at the center of the will of God.
23. Today, we will be challenged about the urgency of our message.
24. To millions of people, life is all about pleasure . . . and profit making.
25. But, we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are challenged in our daily life.
26. What is the challenge?
27. That God became man
28. and died on the cross to save us from the horrors of judgment that is coming upon the world.
29. This is the urgent message:
30. Millions of people are heading for hell and judgment.
31. And we have the responsibility of sharing with those who are heading for destruction . . . the message of life and salvation.
32. The urgent message is that those of us who know where the source of life is . . .
33. must share that it with those who are starving to death . . .
34. eternal death.
35. The urgent message for us who know where true happiness and joy are found, . . .
36. is that we must tell it to everyone who seeks it.
37. Today's story is a microcosmic look at this urgent message.
38. Please turn with me in your Bibles to II Kings chapter 6 beginning at verse 24
39. Let’s read it together
TRANSLATE AND HAVE ANNOUNCER READ HERE IF TIME PERMITS
24 Some time later, Ben Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria.
25 There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey's head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.
26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, "Help me, my lord the king!"
27 The king replied, "If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?"
28 Then he asked her, "What's the matter?"
She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we'll eat my son.'
29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son so we may eat him,' but she had hidden him."
30 When the king heard the woman's words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and there, underneath, he had sackcloth on his body.
(30) 王听见妇人的话，就撕裂衣服。(王在城上经过) 百姓看见王贴身穿着麻衣。
31 He said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!"
32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, "Don't you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master's footsteps behind him?"
33 While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. And [the king] said, "This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"
7:1 Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria."
2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," answered Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it!"
3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die?
4 If we say, 'We'll go into the city' the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die."
5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there,
6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!"
7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
9 Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace."
10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, "We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there not a sound of anyone only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were."
(2 Kings 6:24 7:10 NIV)
40. Let’s summarize this passage again
41. There was a new king in Syria by the name of Ben Hadad.
42. He was flexing his muscles and threatening his neighbors.
43. Ben Hadad decided to conduct a siege around Samaria and shut it down.
44. People could not go out or come in.
45. They could not go out to trade . . . or herd their cattle.
46. They could not go out of the city to tend their farms or bring food.
47. In time, they began to starve to death.
48. Women were devouring their children.
49. There was so much depravation and misery that is too horrible to describe.
50. But, believe me, they were nothing in comparison with what will take place in the day of judgment.
51. In the Day of Judgment, the Savior of the world will become the judge of all mankind.
52. Judgment Day is the day when the cute baby of Bethlehem sits on the judge’s bench.
53. In that day when the one who hung helplessly on a cross will be arrayed with majesty and splendor.
54. The world does not want to hear about that day.
55. The world does not want to hear about the justice of God.
56. The world does not want to hear that the God who came into the world to save us . . . will one day . . . judge us.
57. People often ask:
58. “how can a loving God judge people and send them to an eternal hell?”
59. In fact, Christ judges because He is a loving God.
60. He gives each person an opportunity to hear and to respond to His message of salvation.
61. If He would not judge on judgement day, . . .
62. then why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven and become a man?
63. Why did He live a perfect life, . . .
64. then die the death of a criminal?
65. If everybody is going to be in Heaven at the end, regardless . . . whether they believe in Jesus or not, . . .
66. then Jesus died in vain.
67. It has been said that if it was not for the River Nile . . .
68. the land of Egypt would have become the most desolate desert in the universe.
69. It is the same way with Christ.
70. There can be no salvation without the River of life.
71. But let’s get back to this historical even in the Old Testament.
72. When things got bad in Israel . . .
73. the king did not get on his knees and pray
74. Instead, he began to blame everybody else for the problem.
75. He blamed the people.
76. He blamed God.
77. He blamed Elisha and wanted to kill him.
78. But isn't it amazing . . . that when things begin to wrong in our life we begin to blame others.
79. We take it out on God.
80. Or, we take it out on the children.
81. Or, we take it out on anyone we know.
82. Instead of getting on our knees and examining ourselves . . . and repenting of our sins, . . .
83. we love to blame our problems on somebody else.
84. In verse 32 of Chapter 6, . . .
85. Elisha knew what was going on.
86. And when the king sees Elisha face to face, his anger diminishes a little.
87. But still, out of frustration, the king denounces God . . .
88. "Behold," says the king, "This evil is God's doing."
89. My radio friends, please listen carefully.
90. We are all prone to lash out at someone out of frustration.
91. But don't ever forget . . . that our extremity is always God's opportunity.
92. Elisha was asked by the Lord to announce the good news!
93. And this was welcome news
94. The siege . . . will be over.
95. Poverty and hunger . . . will be no more.
96. Captivity . . . will be broken.
97. Freedom . . . is possible.
98. Joy . . . will be restored.
99. Anxiety and fear . . . are groundless.
100. Isn't that the message of Isaiah?
101. In Isaiah 61, . . .Isaiah proclaimed 700 years before the Lord Jesus Christ was born, . . .
102. And 700 years later, the Lord Jesus Christ, quotes this in Luke 4
103. "The Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted . . .
104. “ he sent me to bind up the broken hearts
105. to proclaim liberty to the captives
106. and the opening of the prison to those who are bound
107. to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
108. But, the skeptics who lived in the day of Elisha were no different from the skeptics who live in our day.
109. Those who cynically refused to believe the good news then . . .
110. are not unlike those who refuse to believe the good news today.
111. The chief of the army of the Israeli . . . made fun of that good news.
112. He made fun of the promise of God.
113. In II Kings 7:2 he asked, “Is God going to make a window in heaven?"
114. How many times have you and I heard such skepticism and cynicism?
115. And that is why in the same verse, . . .Elisha tells the important general . . . that he will see the fulfillment of God's promise, but will never experience it.
116. Sure enough, when God sent His blessing to save the people of Israel
117. the general gets trampled under-foot.
118. No one can mock . . . or ridicule God . . . and get away with it.
119. It might not look like it now, but the day of judgment is coming.
120. And on that day of judgment . . . God promised that His people will be blessed and redeemed, . . .
121. while those who have made mockery of God and His Christ . . . will have to face the judgment.
122. Let me please urge you to tune in to our next broadcast to find out what God did to those that made a mockery of Him.
123. And between now and our next broadcast, I want you to be asking yourself this question:
124. “If today were the day of judgement, where will I be?”
125. Until then I wish you God’s richest blessings