Friday, 8th October 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s anointing because he wanted to understand God more. As the people being called, we must learn from Elisha how to come close to God’s Heart. When we come closer to God’s heart then it’s easier for us to co-work with Him. Why do God co-work with men? To fulfil the God’s Will of this world. God’s Will is for our good and from the past until now, God has been working in partnership with men. Today’s story shows us how we can activate this ability to work together with God!
Section One V1-7 To Humble and Seek
V1 “A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.’” We thought God doesn’t know, but God knows everything, and as a son of the prophets, he had debt and allowed the creditor to come to the door. He didn’t live out a good testimony but let his family pay for his debt. Elisha did not see them as how people see but see them as how God sees. God has mercy for the widow and the orphan. Even though the widow’s husband, as a son of the prophets, did not seek God for help and let his family suffer, but the widow was willing to humble herself and sought help from Elisha. V2 “So Elisha said to her, ‘What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ And she said, ‘Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.’”
The woman only saw she had nothing, but she did not realise how God could help her through Elisha. V3-4 “Then he said, ‘Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels and set aside the full ones.’” Then Elisha gave her instruction to borrow vessels and pour the oil in them, so she went and followed the instructions. Do we also see the oil we have in our lives? Or do we only follow the instructions, living in a ‘doing mode’, and failed to see how God can change our lives through the oil we have? It’s so easy for us to see what we area lacking, we don’t believe miracles will happen to our lives, if we humble ourselves to seek.
V7 “Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.’” The oil was enough for the woman to pay off her husband’s debt. Do we see the abundance in our lives? It’s so easy to see the negative things happening in our lives but, in fact, there are equal amounts of positive things happening at the same time. We must humble ourselves and seek God, ask Him to open our eyes and see that the oil is enough for us!
Section Two V8-37 To be Fulfilled According to Faith
V8 “Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food.” The woman from Shunem was so determined to invite Elisha over. She knew Elisha had the presence of God, but she didn’t recognise him as the prophet. V9 “And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.’” This woman would have been worshipping God to feel the presence of God with Elisha, she even persuaded Elisha to stay in her house because she longed for this presence of God to stay with her.
V12-13 “Then he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, ‘Say now to her, Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I dwell among my own people.’” She did not respect the man of God and she did not think God could give her more abundant blessings. We must not be settled in our current situation, because God can let us experience more of Him in our lives. We thought we are being godly and humble by not asking God anything, but we compromised with our current situations, happy to stay in the ‘doing mode’, and do not seek to experience more of God’s miracles.
V16 “Then he said, ‘About this time next year you shall embrace a son.’ And she said, ‘No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!’” Even until now, the woman did not see with the eyesight of faith, she did not believe she could have a son because she did not believe the miracles God can do in her life. We are like the woman of Shunem, when God wants to give us blessings, we don’t believe they will happen, and we underestimate what God can do in our lives. She knew Elisha had the presence of God, but she did not know the true God behind Elisha.
V18-20 “And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. And he said to his father, ‘My head, my head!’ So, he said to a servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.” Do not think that having a child is easy and normal, every child is a blessing from God. The Shunammite woman did not believe she would have a child, she did not believe what God could do for her, therefore God allowed her son to die in her laps. Do we treasure the blessings and miracles from God? Everything happens for a reason, and we should always be thankful for what God has done in our lives.
V27 “Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, ‘Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.’” God did not want Elisha to do more than he should, therefore he did not know why she was distressed. Because God wanted the Shunammite woman to seek Elijah, to go a long way, and to build up her faith in God. She was the one, who did not believe she would have a miracle son, so she had to be the one to come and ask God for her son back. But even until this time, she did not repent her unbelief by the way she talked to Elisha. V28 “So she said, ‘Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me?’”
V30 “And the mother of the child said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.’ So he arose and followed her.” These were the same words Elisha said to Elijah, this time the Shunammite woman humbled herself, she held onto God and did not let go. If the woman did not have the determination and completely humble before God, her son would not have come back to life. Even when Elisha wanted to go with her, God might not allow her son to live. She wanted to build up relationship with the man of God, but at the same time, she did not believe what the man of God says in giving her the blessing. But here, she changed her attitude and God gave her another chance.
V34-35 “And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” Elisha co-worked with God, he did his part, then he let God do His part. When God performs miracle through us, we must let people see God instead of us. Do not take the credit from God.
V36-37 “And he called Gehazi and said, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, ‘Pick up your son.’ So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.” When the child lived, Elisha called the Shunammite woman to come and experience the miracle first handed. She completely surrendered to God this time and fell before Elisha. Let us learn from her mistake, do not underestimate God and always be thankful for what He has given to us before it’s too late.
Section Three V38-44 God Provides
Elisha continued to perform more miracles. He fixed the poison soup so everyone could drink. He also performed a miracle to feed a hundred people with twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain. Why do God perform miracles? Because we do not believe how much God can do for us, everything we ask God for are things we can see and think about, but what God can do is beyond our imagination. Let us have this faith and anticipation of the greater miracles of God in our lives!
Worship: I Live for You一生為祢而活 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecP1pf4OmAQ
Prayer & Pursuit
Are we willing to live our lives for God? Are we willing to see the providence of God in our families? We are easy to have a lot of negative complaints, we think that God is not with us but we fail to see God wants to bless us.
Lord, help us to count Your blessings every day, to humble ourselves, to surrender to You, and to see Your presence with us. Lord, bless us to live in Your kingdom. The old has gone and the new is here; we proclaim today is a new day full of Your miracles! Amen.
V3-7 以利沙的回复听上去很不合理 – 一瓶油能装多少器皿呢？妇人其实一开始并不是很相信，所以以一种doing的心态来做以利沙交代她的事，看到最后没有油了就来找以利沙。以利沙的本意是让这妇人回家专心去观看她自己所拥有的是什么。神能够借着那一瓶油改变妇人一家的景况，再不需要欠债，他们是靠着耶和华过活。神在我们家中放了一瓶油，神可以借着这瓶油改变我们的生活，我们看到了吗，还是觉得自己没有什么？我们要谦卑看到神在我们生命中的祝福。
V21-24 这位母亲知道以利沙是神人，所以将孩子放到神人的床上，要 仆人为她备驴，并且在丈夫问她的时候说“平安”。圣经里第一次出现“平安”这个词是在创世纪15：13-15里耶和华对亚伯拉罕说的话。
V25 “远远地看见”- 正如浪子回头的故事里的父亲等小儿子回家一样，以利沙一直在等这妇人回来。妇人从以利沙给她祝福后一直觉得以利沙是在欺哄她，所以直到如今都没有感恩。但人的尽头就是神的开始，妇人的儿子死后，她终于来找以利沙了。