Thursday, 7th October 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-12 To Humble and Ask
God continue to show the Israelites how He has been looking after them, even when they didn’t seek Him and pray to Him. V1 “Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah and reigned twelve years.” It was again, the pass of the previous generation and the rise of the new generation.
V2-3 “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.” This was a similar situation to when the Israelites were worshipping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain, they made the idol, which they thought was God, and they worshipped the idol thinking they were worshipping God. Jehoram thought he got rid of the idols and was worshipping God, but he was still sinning against God. The name Jehoram meant “the Lord to be praised” he thought he was doing what pleased God, but it was wicked in the eyes of the Lord.
We can easily give credit to ourselves, we count the things we have done for God, and we thought we are worshipping God, but God is looking at if we really know Him. Do we really know the God we are worshipping? It was the blindness of Israel during the time. This blindness began since Jeroboam’s generation when they were afraid of the people, instead of having the fear of the Lord. V6-7 “So King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. Then he went and sent to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, saying, ‘The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?’ And he said, ‘I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.’” Jehoram wanted to go fight Moab and he called Jehoshaphat to go with him. Because at the time Moab was abundant in the wool of lambs and rams.
V8 “Then he said, ‘Which way shall we go up?’ And he answered, ‘By way of the Wilderness of Edom.’” When they went to fight Moab, they also called Edom to go along with them. But Edom was not the chosen people of God, and because of their selfish desires, they built up this united army, which displeased God. A lot of times we tend to choose the path, which gives us the most benefits, and overlook what really pleases God. We thought we are walking in the path of God’s blessings, but we don’t seek God first. Very soon they came across challenges.
V9-10 “So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched on that roundabout route seven days; and there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them. And the king of Israel said, ‘Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.’” When they faced difficulty, they blamed on God! They did not realise that it was them, who did not seek God in the beginning; it was them, who called Edom to go together; it was them, who chose the path of the wilderness! All along the three kings were the ones, who brought troubles on themselves, but they ended up blaming God. We are also like this, because of our sins and wicked ways, we bring troubles on ourselves, but we tend to blame on God for all the difficulties we are facing.
V11 “But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there no prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord by him?’ So, one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, ‘Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.’” Finally, someone remembered to seek God. Even though Jehoshaphat chose to walk in the wildness of Edom, which led to the drought, but when trouble came, Jehoshaphat did not agree with Jehoram to blame on God, but to seek the prophet of the Lord humbly.
V12 “And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.” When Jehoshaphat chose to seek God, he also influenced the two other kings, and the three of them went to see Elisha themselves. It was different to when Ahab sent his servants to inquiry from Elijah instead of going down himself. When we return to the right path and seek God, we will also influence the people around us to turn to God.
Section Two V13-20 God will Care and Remember
V13 “Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, ‘What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.’ But the king of Israel said to him, ‘No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.’” Even until this time, Jehoram still thought it was God, who brought disaster upon them. He was still in blindness and did not see it was his own wickedness, which brought them troubles.
V14 “And Elisha said, ‘As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.’” Elisha didn’t want to help them, but because of Jehoshaphat he gave them an opportunity to repent. Elisha knew the attitude of the kings were not right, they went to fight Moab because they wanted the wool of the lambs and the rams, then they went to Elisha because they faced troubles. The kings were in a ‘doing mode’, they still try to use their own way to seek God and try to control God. Therefore, Elisha called for the musician to worship with the kings and their servants together. When we worship, we bring ourselves closer to God’s Heart.
When we worship, God’s presence will be with us. God’s spirit came upon Elisha when he worshipped with the three kings and their servants. V16-17 “And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord: Make this valley full of ditches. For thus says the Lord: You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’” Can we see with our eyes of faith that even when there is no rain, we can first dig the fitches and believe they will be filled with water? Miracles are the happening of impossible things, when we are willing to humble ourselves and ask God, He will talk to us, encourage us, care for us and remember us.
Section Three V21-27 To Step Out
The Moabites were prepared for the battle, they knew they were being attacked by the three kings. But because of God’s presence with the three kings, He wanted to show His power and allowed the Moabites to see the water in the ditches as blood. V23 “And they said, ‘This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!’” When we are willing to seek God, God will be with us, even though we made mistakes, even though our initial attitude and intention was wicked, if we turned back, God will be with us. V24 “So when they came to the camp of Israel, Israel rose up and attacked the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they entered their land, killing the Moabites.”
V25 “Then they destroyed the cities, and each man threw a stone on every good piece of land and filled it; and they stopped up all the springs of water and cut down all the good trees. But they left the stones of Kir Haraseth intact. However, the slingers surrounded and attacked it.” God did not want them to stay in the land of Moab and therefore, asked them to fill every good piece of land with stones, and stop all the springs of water, and cut down all the good trees. The land of Moab was wicked, it was filled with sins and witchcraft; they worshipped idols and sacrificed their children to the false gods. What they did was wicked in the eyes of God, and God did not want the people of Israel, Judah and even Edom to stay there.
The three kings’ initial intention was about the abundant wool of lambs and rams in Moab, but the land of Moab was wicked, and they left Moab. A lot of times we thought the failures of our enemy were the blessings for us, but we did not see the wickedness of the land and of the plunders. May God help us to walk in His path and away from all the wickedness and sins.
Worship: Be With You 永遠敬拜 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcwKA9DE84I
V13 以利沙是先知，不害怕得罪人，直接跟以色列王讲真理，把约兰知道的问题说出来 – 他的父母拜偶像。约兰回答说他不会去求问那些偶像。然而他还是冥顽不灵，他在蒙蔽中觉得现在他们遇到问题是因为耶和华的缘故。
V21-24 神要彰显自己的能力，当人愿意谦卑寻求的时候，他的同在就临到他们。 以色列军当时已经能够去到摩押边界，又挖了沟、喝了水，经历了神。摩押王招聚本国子民来边界应战，早上看见“日光照在水上”就以为是三王自相残杀后流的“血”，于是想去以色列营“抢夺财物”。在摩押人过来的“早晨”，以色列人已经起来敬拜神了(V20)，所以能及时反击摩押，致使他们逃跑。当我们清晨愿意一早起来先寻求神，神的荣光就与我们同在。摩押王看到的如血一般的水保护了以色列，正如耶稣基督的宝血能够涂抹遮盖我们一样。
耶和华如此说：“你们要在这谷中满处挖沟。 因为耶和华如此说：你们虽不见风，不见雨，这谷必满了水，使你们和牲畜有水喝。 在耶和华眼中这还算为小事”。今天神对我们说，你的问题和不足在他眼中看为小事。当我们愿意来到神面前承认过去的错误，定意想要来认识神，神就让我们看见我们的谷里是充满水的，我们是满有神的恩典的！