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II Kings 2 – The Path of Calling 列王纪下 2 – 蒙召的道路

Wednesday, 6th October 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-11 Become the True Disciple

The path of calling is a path we must go, and once we start we won’t be able to stop. To walk on the path of calling, we should first become the true disciples. The first thing Jesus did when He started preaching was to call His disciples. From II Kings, we learnt from the story of Elijah and Elisha about how to be the true disciples.

After Elisha was called, we have not read about him for a while. So, what had him been doing all this time? And what had Elijah been doing all this time? When Samuel chose David to take over from Saul, Saul was jealous and angry, he tried to kill David. So why did God tell Saul that David was going to take over the kingdom? God is a merciful God, but He is also a righteous God, we tend to be afraid of God’s righteousness and judgement, but we must know that God does not want us to be destroyed, but to turn back from our sins. In the same way, Elijah knew Elisha would take over his position as the prophet of Israel, how did he respond to this?

V1 “And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.” Elijah did not face death on the earth, what a great honour it was! Gilgal was the place, where God anointed Saul as king of Israel, then Elijah asked Elisha to stay in Gilgal, whereas Elijah was going to go to Bethel. Bethel was where Jacob built an altar for God as it mentioned in Genesis 31:13 “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.’” It was the place where the Israelites remembered God’s salvation for them. When Moses called the Israelites to go out of Egypt, nobody wanted to go with him, but when they chose to follow and believe, they were able to leave the place of slavery, and they became a strong nation.

V2 “Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they went down to Bethel.” Elisha was a true disciple, he was determined to follow his master, and even though Elijah rejected him, Elisha did not give up. He had a healthy mind and was not being defeated by rejection. In the same way, when Elisha was determined to follow, Elijah allowed him to come.

V3 “Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’” Even though Elijah was afraid of Jezebel and ran away, even though he knew God chose Elisha to take over his position, Elijah continued to train disciples in Bethel. When Elijah’s disciples told Elisha about what was going to happen, Elisha told them to keep silent. When the voices around us seem to be against us, do we also have the faith to tell them to keep silence? We must know that we are following the God behind our authority, and the God we follow will never put us to shame.

V4 “Then Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So, they came to Jericho.” Jericho was the first city the Israelites took down when they entered the land of Canaan, it was a place to remember how God fought for them. Again, Elijah told Elisha to stay; again, Elisha was determined to follow; again, the disciples came to warm Elisha about Elijah’s departure; and again, Elisha told them to keep silence.

V6 “Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So, the two of them went on.” The same scenario repeated for the third time, and Elisha showed his faith, he was not afraid of being rejected and he knew it was God, who he was following.

Why did God lead Elijah from Bethel, to Jericho, then to the Jordan River, which was the opposite route of the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land? A lot of times we tend to ignore what happened in the past, we somehow forgot how the Gospel was preached around the world, through all the prosecutions, bloodshed, and sacrifices. Instead, we enjoyed in our own small circles and ‘church life’. God took Elijah and Elisha back this route to show them the corruption of the kingdom of Israel, and to remind them how God first led them into the Promised Land.

V9 “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’” Elisha was facing great trials, his master, Elijah was about to leave, and as the next prophet, Elisha had to deal with the corrupted nation and the brutal kings, which Elijah was also afraid of. But Elisha didn’t give up, he knew what he had to do and what would need, and God treasured his willing heart.

For Elijah, even though he was afraid of Ahab and Jezebel, even though he ran away, even though he knew Elisha was chosen to replace him, he was still willing to humble himself and came back to Ahab again to bring God’s truth to him. Elijah was a true disciple and Elisha was also a true disciple. They did not give up on God’s calling, despite their weaknesses and failures, they continued to pursue God’s calling for them.

Section Two V12-18 Rise Up to be the Master

V12 “And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!’ So, he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.” Can we see how great our God is? What is God’s Will for us? He did not create us to look like other people, He made each one of us with our own purposes. God’s purpose for Elijah was like the chariot of fire, to fight the idols and false gods in Israel. Elisha saw it therefore he took off his own clothes and put on Elijah’s clothes, then he performed his first miracle.

V15 “Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.” The disciples of Elijah saw the miracle of God performed by Elisha and came follow him. They believed Elisha was taking over Elijah’s position, but they still did not believe the fact that God took Elijah Himself. They were the disciples of Elijah and the prophets of God, but they still thought Elijah’s body was somewhere to be found. Even after Elisha told them not to go look for Elijah, they were still being stubborn and wanted to go search. Elisha was disappointed at them for their eyes were blind.

Why were they blind? Because these disciples followed Elijah with their own earthly desires, they did not want Elijah to leave them, and they saw Elijah more important than they saw God. V18 “And when they came back to him, for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, ‘Did I not say to you, do not go?” Even though Elisha was disappointed at these disciples, he still waited for them until they return. As an authority, we need to learn from Elisha, to give opportunity for his followers, even if they failed.

Section Three V19-25 Walk Out the Destiny

V19-20 “Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.’ And he said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him.” Elisha was helping the disciples to deal with their unbelief. He used parable like what Jesus would do, to use a new bowl to represent a new creation. Are we willing to live out a new life, to be the new creation, to get rid of our old ways of doing things and to get rid of our old self? Then God will heal us from the spirit of death and barrenness.

V23 “Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’” Elisha did not deal with the youths himself, he did act in his flesh and rebuke them, instead he let God take over. We must know what our calling and our destiny are, God put us where we are for a purpose, we must see God’s purpose for us and educate our generations. Don’t let God’s anointing stop here!

Worship: Greatest Peace 巨大的寧靜https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFL8RCX5r3g

Prayer & Pursuit

Lord, on this path of calling, give us this anointing that we will receive when we see it. Lord, let us have the faith of Elisha and to be determined to follow You. In II Kings 2:10, it says, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Elisha saw the God behind Elijah; therefore, he received the double portion anointing. Lord we want to see, and we want to receive, Lord take away the things we see from our own eyes, the curses, the death, the failures… and help us to see You, the victorious God, the abundant God, the true God! Lord we want to receive this double portion blessings, change our eyesight, and let us respond to the path of calling. Today we will take off our old clothes and put on the new clothes; to get rid of the old bowl and take the new bowl. We declare that we are renewed in You. Amen.

2021年10月6日 星期三

潘锡安牧师

之前以利亚表现出软弱的时候,神对他说要兴起以利沙(王上19),这有点像当初兴起大卫被兴起取代扫罗。当年扫罗因着嫉妒就一直追杀大卫,但以利亚领受到从神而来的启示后,又是如何回应的呢?神是恩典满满的神,也是公义的,他的公义会帮助人从迷失和堕落中回转过来。蒙召的道路是不能停留的,若不向前走我们就会退后。从以利亚、以利沙的生命我们可以看到如何去走蒙召的道路。

一、成为真门徒 v. 1-11

V1 圣经里只有两次出现神接人升天这样的话语:第一次是以诺,第二次是以利亚。以利亚没有面对死亡就被神接走,是一个非常荣耀的结局。以利亚曾经在面对耶洗别的逼迫时软弱逃跑,为什么神还给他这份荣耀呢?答案在后面的经文会揭晓。“吉甲”是以色列人进入迦南地后第一个安营的地方,也是以色列第一个王扫罗被按立的地方。以利亚和以利沙两人都在这里。

V2 以利亚说神要让他去伯特利,在那里被接升天,他就不让以利沙跟着。伯特利是当初雅各筑坛敬拜神的地方(创世纪31:13,35:1),是以色列人记念神的拯救的地方。以利沙的回复在原文是说,“只要你还有一口气,我就跟着你。”面对师傅以利亚的拒绝,以利沙自己很健康,展现出一个真正的门徒应有的态度。以利亚同意了以利沙的请求,“于是二人下到伯特利”。

V3 “先知门徒”原文有“儿子、孙子”的意思,他们都是从以利亚来的一代又一代的先知。虽然以利亚因着之前的软弱而要被以利沙代替,但是他仍然忠心完成在地上的使命,在伯特利训练下一代的门徒。这些先知门徒跟以利沙说以利亚会被神接走,意思是说以利亚要死去,这样的话没有给人带来盼望,所以以利沙让他们保持沉默。面对周围负面的声音,我们是否也有这样的信心去禁止他们作声?以利沙知道自己跟随的不是人,而是他背后的神。今天我们作为领袖带领门徒,是否让人看到我们背后的神?

V4-5 以利亚再次叫以利沙留在本地,但以利沙给了同样的回复,于是二人一起到了耶利哥。耶利哥是神带以色列人进入迦南地时第一个攻取的城市,让人记起当初神如何带领他们得胜。在耶利哥也有以利亚训练的门徒。

V6 以利亚说自己被神差遣去约旦河,再一次让以利沙留下,而以利沙仍然选择跟随,没有因为自己的师傅赶他走而受伤、苦毒,因为他跟随的不是师傅这个人,而是跟随拣选他的神。我们跟随权柄,不要让权柄的喜怒哀乐影响我们跟随神的心,要看到他们身上值得我们学习的地方。

V8 以利亚使河水分开,又使二人走在干地。神让河边的五十个先知门徒看到当年摩西过红海和约书亚过约旦河的神迹奇事。我们是否在回想起以前伟大的宣教士时就觉得那些是神只在过去会做的事, 而我们现在只是在享受轻松的基督徒生活?神让以利亚带着以利沙,这是一个考验。以利沙看到以利亚能够做的是什么,以利亚的生命又如何。

V9 当一个师傅看到他的徒弟在一次又一次被拒绝后仍然不放弃的时候,以利亚就跟以利沙说:“……你要我为你做什么,只管求我。”神让他们一路从吉甲回到约旦河,忆起当初神是怎样带领以色列人进入迦南地,又看到以色列现在的王和国家如何败坏。这是以利沙被兴起成为下一个先知后要面对的挑战,也是以利亚曾经所害怕的。以利沙知道以利亚的一切恩膏、能力都来自于神。看到师傅过去的跌倒,以利沙对他说:“愿感动你的灵加倍地感动我”。

V10a 在神没有难成的事,问题的关键在于以利亚是否相信神。之前以利亚因害怕耶洗别而逃跑,也知道自己要被以利沙取代,但在后来他还是回来继续对王传讲神的话,又训练先知门徒。人是会跌倒的,然而神给我们悔改回转的机会。神看重的是我们的心,不是我们生命中有多少污点。我们要像以利亚一样,成为生命的斗士,跌倒了也要爬起来,永不放弃。以利亚和以利沙都是真门徒。

V10b 当以利亚被接走的时候,我们看到的是什么?以利亚提醒以利沙要专注去看,“你若看见我,就必得着”。

二、起来做师傅 v.12-18

V12-14 以利沙看见的不是以利亚消失了,而是看到以利亚是被神拣选为以色列争战的。我们看见的是其他大牧者个人和事工有多厉害,还是看见他们背后的神?正如以利沙,他看见的不是以利亚自己能行多少神迹奇事,而是看到以利亚是“以色列的战车马兵”,一生跟偶像争战。他的看见就让他加倍得着感动以利亚的灵。以利沙撕下自己的衣服,代表他离开自己的过去。他拿起以利亚的外衣,就行了第一个神迹。

V15-17 住在耶利哥的先知门徒虽有职分,但是他们没有看到以利亚已经被神接走了。之前这些人说以利亚会死,现在他们又说以利亚有可能被“投在某山某谷”,这都是被魔鬼利用而说出的话。他们逼着以利沙打发他们去找以利亚,以利沙看到他们被蒙蔽,心里很失望(“难以推辞”)。这些先知门徒跟从以利亚是有自己的目的,所以不能接受以利亚的死,他们靠车靠马却不倚靠神。

V18 从世界的角度来讲,人可能早就撇弃这一群人,另外找更好的人训练,但以利沙体恤他们的软弱,在耶利哥等那群先知门徒回转过来,给他们机会。他果然领受了加倍的灵,兴起做师傅。我们是否愿意给我们带领的人机会?

三、行出命定来 v.19-25

V19-22 以利沙在耶利哥继续牧养关怀那群先知门徒,那城的人就来告诉以利沙当地的问题。以利沙让人预备一个新瓶和盐,借着这些物件医治了水。耶稣基督也说过新皮袋和盐的事。我们是否能够跳出旧有的框架,拿出新的瓶子、新的皮袋,成为那有医治能力的盐吗?

V23-25 “童子”原文指少年人,他们在本来该敬拜神的地方耻笑、藐视先知。以利沙没有用血气来报复他们,而是将一切交给神,所以神派了两只母熊,“撕裂他们中间四十二个童子”,但没有吃他们。在伯特利这里也有先知门徒,但他们没有办法影响当地的少年人。我们现在也是服事少年人,是否能影响他们的生命呢?神将我们放在这个城市,呼召我们出来,我们是否看到神给我们的命定,还是只想着自己的事情?我们回应呼召时,是否马马虎虎,还是认真对待?神预备给我们的不是要做很多的事情,而是祝福。神爱我们,所以要祝福我们,一代又一代,直到 万代。

*追求和回应

在这蒙召的道路上,求主给我们紧紧跟随到底的心志,给我们看见都得着的恩膏。以利亚对以利沙说:“耶和华差遣我往约旦河去,你可以在这里等候。”以利沙说:“我指着永生的耶和华,又敢在你面前起誓:我必不离开你!”在这蒙召的道路上,主你给以利沙一个试炼,你也给我们一个试炼,是否愿意紧紧跟随牧者权柄。

我们当中是否因为权柄过去的拒绝而受伤?我们里面是有什么拦阻了我们来跟随神?主耶稣的宝血是大有功效的,让我们一起来到神面前,将里面的一切交给神。

正如以利亚所说:你若看见,就必得着。以利沙看见了以利亚争战得胜的能力,而不是以利亚的退缩或失败,以至于最后得到那加倍感动的灵。以利沙看见了“这城的地势美好”,不是“水恶劣,土产不熟而落”。我们来到神的面前,要求主将我们面前的帕子挪去,我们是否看见的是贫瘠、环境的恶劣、还是死亡?求神给我们以利沙的眼光,看见我们牧者背后争战得胜的神,看见神应许给我们的是坐落在佳美之地的美好!

主啊,你说看见的就必得着。求主挪去我们眼睛看见的不利、不能、咒诅和死亡的东西,打开我们属灵的眼光,看见的是争战得胜的神,主给我们的产业是美好的,盼望是真实的!我们要领受一个加倍的恩膏,那感动我们牧者的灵要加倍感动我们!主你给我们的应许是坐落在佳美之地。我们看到的不再是死亡、恶劣的水、或不熟而落的咒诅,主你要给我们丰盛的祝福。给我们坚定不移的信心,主我们愿意紧紧跟随,脱下我们的外袍,穿上新袍,让新酒新油新皮带充满我们的生命。我们的眼光不再一样,让我们承载你加倍的恩膏,因着我们愿意看见争战得胜的主。