F1RST – (9 o’clock)
This series is really based on the words of a dad in Mark 9 who had a conversation with Jesus when he needed a miracle. Jesus told him, “Anything is possible for those who believe,” and the dad said back to Jesus, “I do believe, but help my unbelief.” We claim those father’s words as our own.
So let’s jump right in to a story in 2 Kings 6.
2 Kings 6:24-25
Sometime later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria. As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver.
What God is going to do in this story is truly unbelievable, and before we get very far in the story, they want you to know just how bad things are. This is not some situation that is bad but could be worse. This is not something that is unpleasant but tolerable. The author wants us to understand that things have gotten so bad, the people are so hungry and desperate that a donkey’s head is going for 80 pieces of silver, and dove’s dung is selling for 5 pieces. It’s bad!
But here’s what I love about God, He does His most miraculous works in the darkest most desperate times. Everybody wants to experience a miracle but no one wants to have to need one. Sometimes God’s best miracles are reserved for the most desperate situations.
Let’s keep reading.
2 Kings 6:33
. . . the king said, “All this misery is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
The king is mad and he blames God. Isn’t it always the case that we blame God when things go wrong but forget to thank God when things go right? The king is tired of waiting on God to fix this desperate situation, and he thinks it may be time to take matters into his own hands.
We’ve all felt what the king is feeling. There are seasons or trials in life where it feels like we can’t take it a minute longer.
- I can’t be in this marriage another second longer,
- I can’t work this job,
- I can’t fight this addiction,
- Why hasn’t God done something about it yet?
It’s so tempting to try and manufacture your own miracle isn’t it? You can’t wait any longer for Mr. Right so you decide to find Mr. Right-Now and hope for the best. You’re not making financial progress as fast as you want, so you load up on Powerball tickets.
Can we just all admit, because we’ve been there and bought the t-shirt that when we try to fix our problems ourselves we just end up causing more problems?
Now I’m not talking about being lazy or doing nothing, you know that. Sometimes my step of faith or obedience is what starts the miracle, but when you feel yourself getting that urge to try and get out in front of God you have to stop yourself and wait.
Let’s keep reading…
2 Kings 7:1-3
Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.” The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”
Elisha tells the messenger the miracle that God is going to do, but it’s just too much to believe. Who can blame the messenger really? I mean when things are so bad that donkey heads and dove dung is a luxury food item, it’s nearly impossible to believe that God is going to change scenarios and outcomes overnight.
But I think it’s important we stop right here and make a notice what Elisha said to the messenger after he doubted. The messenger says, “That could never happen” and Elisha says, “You won’t experience it.” The messenger disqualified himself with his words.
I believe we underestimate the power of our words. When the Bible says we reap what we sow, it’s not just talking about money. Some of us are living the life that looks exactly like the words we spoke years ago. Hold that thought for a second . . .
There’s an interesting conversation that happens between God and Moses in the book of Numbers when 12 spies came back from spying on some land God told them to go and capture. When the 12 spies return from their trip 2 of them are ready to attack but the other 10 convince everyone they can’t win the battle. They spread bad news, and God was not happy about it, and He tells Moses that those who spread the bad report will never be allowed to enter the land. Then notice what he says . . .
“Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.”
I want you to let that sink in for a moment. God says, let them know they are going to experience the things they are predicting. They were saying things like God has brought us out into the desert to die, and our enemies will defeat us, and God said, ok then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Please understand I’m not claiming that God is a genie in a bottle and that you’re guaranteed whatever you say. If you have the flu, you can say all you want, “I’m not sick, I’m not sick, I’m not sick,” but guess what, you’re sick! Here’s is my point, I’m convinced many of us predict our own demise, because if you keep looking for bad news long enough you’re going to find it. It’s self-fulfilling prophecies.
- I’m never gonna be happy
- I’m never gonna have enough money
- I’m never gonna beat this addiction
- I don’t have any friends
- No one cares about me
What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and all day long you just kept talking to yourself and saying, “today is gonna be a good day!”
- I serve a big God
- I am loved by God
- God is going to use me to help someone today
Our words matter, they have power.
Have you ever been there? You know God wants you to take the job that pays less, but it doesn’t add up. You know God wants you to go on the mission trip, but it doesn’t add up. You know God wants you to go back to school, or adopt, but it doesn’t add up.
Too often we let how get in the way of what God is wanting to do.
There is NOTHING God can’t do!
“What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” – AW Tozer
So when you think about God how big is He? Is He big enough to rain 105 million quail from the sky? Is He big enough to make a closed womb open up? Is He big enough to provide the money you need? Is He big enough to bring that son or daughter home who left? Is He big enough to fix a broken marriage that seems unfixable?
There is NOTHING God can’t do!
So let’s pick back up with Elisha and the famine. Elisha has now broadcasted that God is going to do something unbelievable in the next 24 hours.
Let’s keep reading…
2 Kings 7:3-4
Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.
I love this for so many reasons. First I love that God decides to use 4 outcast lepers on the outside of town to do His miracle. It just reminds us that you never know who or how God is going to do the miraculous things in your life.
But the second thing I love about it is that they’re desperation drives them to action. They have 2 choices: take a risk or die. Innovation is usually the result of desperation, and I can’t prove it but I’ve heard enough stories to know that sometimes God will let us hit bottom because he couldn’t move us any other way. Sometimes things have to get so bad that any idea seems like a good idea. Sometimes misery is God’s best tool to get us to change when we never would before.
Let’s keep reading…
2 Kings 7:5-9
So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there! For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!” they cried to one another. So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives. When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it. Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”
So the 4 men go back to town and report what they’ve found, and after some investigating… skip down to verse 16.
2 Kings 7:16
Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that six quarts of choice flour were sold that day for one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had promised.