The Bible speaks of the; works of faith, walk of faith, words of faith, and specifically Jesus spoke of little faith and great faith. Our lesson speaks to a "Look with Faith."
1. Prophetic Ministry . . from the Look with Faith
The prophet, minister of the Lord, needs to receive a word from the Lord. This occurs only as he spends time with the Lord. In the text Elisha qualifies as a fine example. He regularly got a word from the Lord, and repeatedly passed the word on to his king. I am sure this kind of activity occasionally takes place today, and we do not hear much about it. I have heard about advice Billy Graham has given to presidents, but in today's political correctness the news media will not report such experiences. The ACLU would have had trouble with Elisha and his prophecies.
A. The Prophet . . Getting A
Word from the Lord. v 8
8 When the king of Aram was waging war against Israel, he conferred with his servants, "My camp will be at such and such a place."
B. The Prophet . . Giving A
Warning from the Lord. Vs 9-10
9 But the man of God sent [word] to the king of Israel: "Be careful passing by this place, for the Arameans are going down there." 10 Consequently, the king of Israel sent [word] to the place the man of God had told him about. The man of God repeatedly warned the king, so the king would be on his guard.
2. Provocation . . from the Look of Faith. Vs 11-14
The failures caused by the prophetic words of the man of God provoked the King of Aram to become enraged. Then an extraordinary word comes from his soldiers as they tell him "Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom." How can the King of Aram fight against that? He can't, but he will try. He is motivated to try and enslave Elisha. Why did he think Elisha would not know about this? While writing this lesson I broke away for supper at the local restaurant. A new friend came and sat with me. He shared before he got saved a preacher knocked on his door and invited him to a revival. Bob and his wife returned to their Scrabble game, and Bob drew out six tiles that spelled REPENT. A little later he drew four tiles that spelled HELL. They started to church the next Sunday, and a little later got saved.
A. An . . Enraging Provocation.
"The king of Aram was enraged because of this matter, and he called his servants and demanded of them, "Tell me, which one of us is for the king of Israel?"
B. An . . Extraordinary Means
of Provocation. v 12
"One of his servants said, "No one, my lord the king. Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom."
C. An . . Ensnaring Motivation
from the Provocation. Vs 13-14
13 So the king said, "Go and see where he is, so I can send [men] to capture him." When he was told, "Elisha is in Dothan," 14 he sent horses, chariots, and a massive army there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
3. Protection . . from the Look with Faith
Elisha's look of faith provided protection that was unseen by his servant. He prayed for God to unveil the host of angel warriors so the servant would know of God's control in this situation. All of us are privileged to receive, on many occasions, the unseen protection of our Lord. Every time I see Dr. Sam Cathy I ask him to repeat the story written in one of our publications concerning his involvement with angels.
A. The look of Faith's . . Unseen
Protection. Vs 15-16
15 When the servant of the man of God got up early and went out, he discovered an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. So he asked Elisha, "Oh, my master, what are we to do?" 16 Elisha said, "Don't be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them."
B. The look of Faith's. . Unveiled
Protection. v 17
17 Then Elisha prayed, "Lord, please open his eyes and let him see." So the Lord opened the servant's eyes. He looked and saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
4. Provisions . . from the Look of Faith. Vs 20-22
God's provisions through His prophet caused a kind of blindness on the enemies' soldiers and they surprisingly found themselves in Samaria. Their presence in Samaria also startled the king, and he asked the prophet if he should kill them, and then exclaimed he would. This gives Elisha the opportunity he needs to supply food and kindness to his enemy. Elisha wants these men to return to their king with another message that His God is more powerful than the so called gods of the king. Elisha did not walk by sight but truly by the Look of Faith. Amen? Amen!
A. Provisions from the Look
of Faith . . Surprised the Enemy. V 20
20 When they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "Lord, open these men's eyes and let them see." So the Lord opened their eyes. They looked and discovered [they were] in Samaria.
B. Provisions from the Look
of Faith . . Startled the King. v 21
21 When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, "My father, should I kill them? I will kill them."
C. Provisions from the Look
of Faith . . Supplied the Prophet. v 22
22 Elisha replied, "Don't kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master." (HCSB)