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June 28, 2022 12:00 am
Do you think your problems are too small to be noticed by a God who rules over the vast affairs of nations? Do you think your concerns are flying under God's radar? Well this message will cause you to think again!
Gives them the armor that they are aware each piece is detailed in the words strike a full armor of a person who is now ready to do battle.
You don't get to the end of that passage where a believer is now equipped and ready to stand against the wiles of the methods of the devil and he's been told.
Now, make sure your guardian angel was there. After you are ready and dressed says now praying with all prayer and supplication to the spirit S connection with the Holy Spirit of God's word that the angels are know that there spirit beings who work to accomplish God's will and sometimes in the Bible God would allow people to actually see angels we've come to one account in our series on Elisha where that happens.
The mountain was full of angels and what Elisha described as chariots of fire. God opened his spiritual eyes and allowed him to see it.
What can we learn from this account today.
What are some of the things we should know about angels and our relationship with them will explore that today this is wisdom for the heart and today's message is called of axes and angels. I invite you back to our series in books of Kings and Chronicles pages in your Bible that I hope are now permanently unstuck second Kings chapter 6 were going to observe some of Elisha's last recorded acts as we near the end of our study of this man's biography and so let's immediately go to that passage in chapter 6, verse one of second King. Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, behold now, the place before you where we are living is to limit it for us.
Please let us go to the Jordan and each of us take from there, a beam and let us make a place there for ourselves where we may live, so he said go then one said please be willing to go with your servants and answered I shall go before we go further, I will. I don't want you to miss the wonderful implication of their need. The sons of the prophets had outgrown their space. That meant their work was prospering.
There were young man applying for the ministry. It was only a few chapters earlier where we saw the prophets hiding in caves for fear of their life from Queen Jezebel. Now Elisha is a welcome figure in the courts of the new King and the sons of the prophets are flourishing and as a result, their space is somewhat cramped going to verse four, so Elisha went with them and when they came to the Jordan.
They cut down trees. But as one was felling a beam. The ax head fell into the water and he cried out and said alas, my master, for it was borrowed. You need to understand that this was no small matter for this young prophet to to us is the loss of an act said we can run down to our helpful hardware man and replace the situation to this man.
It was a very big deal by well.
The text tells us. For starters, in verse five that he borrowed the acts word borrowed is in the Hebrew the word that we could easily render back creates an impression then that this young son of the prophet, went to a neighbor or some man that he knew who had this piece of equipment and he asked him can I borrow your acts, I'm going with the other sons of the prophets were gonna cut down some trees and the first response was no. He came back a little later and maybe rephrase that any asked again.
No. Somewhere along the line he began to beg please won't you let me use that I want to join my comrades in building a bigger space for the prophets. Please, won't you, and finally implied. Reluctantly, he said all right, probably added the words guarded with your life. So we took it and when it began cutting down trees and joining his crew. In doing so now we also need to slip back into this culture and understand that an iron act, said was in that day. State-of-the-art equipment. It was the latest. It was the best.
It was expensive and losing then asked that he had been until he received it would mean that he this poor son of a prophet would never ever hope to be able to come up with the resources to replace this accident and the man of God said in verse six, where did it fall and when he showed them the place Elisha cut off a stick and threw it in their made the iron float now periodically for recreational read a liberal scholar and they suggested that the stick that Elisha put into the water was really held by his hand and he simply felt through the water and stuff that stick through the hole in the accident and lifted it up the side of the prophet to retreat good so God included this account in the Bible, just so we know Elisha was coordinated enough to snag the accident with a stick and lifted to the surface. I don't believe so.
The iron, the text says floated the stack was merely the symbol visible of what Elisha was wanting God to do with the iron float like that stick and like that piece of wood. God miraculously. Maybe by dispatching an unseen angel. The lift that to the surface or maybe miraculously reversing the properties of iron. We don't know what we know is a miracle if floated.
It came to the surface.
Verse seven and he said take it out for yourself. So he put out his hand, if you can imagine that and he took the accident that was floating on top of the water now rather quickly. The scene of chapter 6 changes from an enjoyable building project to a national crisis, for the sake of time, let me overview and in fact, earlier I thought of doing two different studies on these, but as I study further. I realize guarded with them together to make a point.
I'll try to show you why later the Aramaeans are are continuing their their their raids into the little villages of Israel. Smaller cities member we studied of one Israelite girl that was taken captive. As a result of one of their raids.
This is becoming more than an irritation to the Israelites. This is becoming a way of life that is binding the hearts of the nation in fear, and they are needing help, perhaps implied in the help of the prophet they are trying to God for help. So Elisha begins now when he does it is he receives from the commander-in-chief information on where the Aramaeans are planning to attack next. He simply passes on that information, so that when the Aramaeans arrived they discovered to their horror, that the king of Israel has already dispatched soldiers who are now waiting for them and their raids are routed. You can imagine being of the king of Rome. In fact, let's look at his response. He thinks there's a trader and working to verse 11. Now the heart of the king of Iran was enraged over this thing. He spoiled time and time and time again and he called his servants and said to them, will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel.
In other words, all right, who's the trainer here didn't to write what he think they do confess he asks the question in one of the servant said in verse 12 know my Lord.
Okay, it's Elisha prophet who is in Israel, he tells the king of Israel, the words you speak in your bedroom there was any secret hidden when the servant was, but I wondered could it have been name who had learned personally firsthand God, the God of Israel knew the hearts and thoughts of every human being. Well, the king then thinks the only thing he can do is dispatched an army to capture Elisha is interesting to me because if Elisha knew where they were going to raid while you follow me here. Okay verse 14 and he said horses and chariots, and a great army. There and they came by night and surrounded the city now you need to understand this is an unexpected attack. There are no there aren't any forces within the city defend themselves against such a strong enemy of of commando troops. Elisha was the only one really that they wanted on what you observe the factor in verse 14 that they did not attack the city. They just surrounded it that that's an implication that we don't really want to fight you. All we want is Elisha thinking perhaps that the inhabitants of Dothan would voluntarily surrender the profit to them. There would be no war clashing of sword. They get the man they wanted. Maybe that's what the they wondered or they thought verse 15 now and the attendant of the man of God had risen early going out behold look an army with horses and chariots was circling the city and his servant said to him, alas, my master, what shall we do, can you imagine the terror of this site. Imagine being that servant. I think prayer would be the last thing on the servant's mind. In fact, right now, his heart was captured by everyone but God and will discover that Elisha's heart is captured by no one but God for 16 so he answered, do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
I can imagine that servant looking around really thinking perhaps that Elisha needed a refresher course in mathematics, even if I exaggerate Elisha, I'm still coming up with you and me and and you and me to against an army. Elisha has a different set of mathematics that allows him when faced with a crisis to say there's more with us and there is with them. There comes in verse 17 and Elisha prayed and said, oh Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the servant's eyes and he saw, and behold, look, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around the light shining is interesting that all I said the nest that he see where you think Elisha learned that the sky was filled with an angelic host. Chapter 2 when he saw his mentor Elijah transported to heaven via fiery chariots. The angelic host if we had the ability ladies and gentlemen to see is that servant sought to have the blinders of this dimension pulled away, we would see about house in here and angelic host Paul says curiously looks into what we believe. Can you imagine seeing now visible, tangible evidence of the unseen world.
Would it make a difference. Let's talk about angels for a minute there is any doubt that our society today is enamored by the world of angels that unseen spiritual world that Elisha's servant at this moment was able to see if you and I will be able to say one day.
The trouble is a ladies and gentlemen what's going on today with regards to angels is outside the standard of God's revelation, while angels are mysterious and powerful and involved in the arrangement of God's plan and purpose in this age as well as past ages. What is being attributed to angels today is a far cry with what the word says I want to break down this caution into three different statements number one, while angels are sent to minister for us.
They do not minister in us. Only God can do that just because angels are from the spirit world.
Don't confuse their activity with the holy spirit angels do not transform souls. The Holy Spirit does that. The second caution while angels are involved in spiritual work. They are never to receive worship or undue attention. If the possibility of of worshiping angels sounds far-fetched to you and maybe you think I'm being a little overdramatic in this. I consider the words of Paul who wrote a warning to the Colossae or the church at Colossae when he said these words don't tolerate people who insist that you join their obsession with angels. One thing that tells us that this is not a new problem. We are never told in Scripture to ask our guardian angel. Anything we never told to pray to angels. We are never told to pray for more angels third caution while the angelic order is involved in physical protection. Only God can ultimately provide spiritual protection that involves the here and now.
By the way, go to that the epistle Paul wrote to the Ephesians levers and he gives them the armor that they are aware each piece and is detailed and in the words strike a full armor of of a person who is now ready to do battle. You don't get to the end of that passage where a believer is now equipped and ready to stand against the wiles or the methods of the devil, and he's then told now make sure your guardian angel is there no, after you are ready and dressed. It says now praying with all prayer and supplication to the spirit S connection with the Holy Spirit and with the armor of the believer allows you to stand fast. The infatuation by the way, with angels who are supposedly ever ready to help whomever they choose is not true with Scripture for Scripture tells us that angels minister positively to believers only listen to these references. Hebrews 114 says they are ministering agents to those who have inherited eternal life. A David in Psalm 34 says the angel of the Lord encamps about those who love him to protect them from harm.
A Luke chapter 15 tells us that angels rejoice when unbeliever receives Jesus Christ as his or her personal savior. Angels have dramatically delivered those of an infant in the who were in danger of death in acts chapter 5 in chapter 19 and I have read accounts, especially of missionaries on the front lines who have who testified to some rather unusual deliverances by the hands of only those they could say were angelic. The truth is when the unbelieving world finally comes into real contact with the angelic world.
It will not be a pretty sight. The point is, angels are never intended to draw our focus her attention away from God as God illumines it is God's spirit who enlightens it is God who leaves it is God who protects he may dispatch those for the sake of the believer. He alone deserves worship and attention are the skip back on the past and interesting twist occurs in verse 18. The middle part Elisha prays strike this people with blindness.
I pray so God struck them with blindness.
According to the word of Elisha by the way the story is filled with eyes opening and eyes closing and eyes opening. Then Elisha said to them, this is not the way he speaking to this army of her man's courses. The city follow me and I will bring you to the man of whom you see in other words, I'll put you in touch with my earthly authority. The kings we brought them to Samaria capital city. Verse 20 and it came about when they had come into Samaria, and Elisha said, oh Lord opened the eyes of these men that they may see. So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, look they were in the midst of Samaria. Now imagine the enemy army that earlier surrounded Elisha's we had nowhere to run is not taken to the capital city. The gates are shut. Suddenly, they have their eyes opened again and there in the middle of their arc enemies city were to run, nowhere to hide in the king of Israel when he saw them said to Elisha, my father shall I kill them.
Shall I kill that repetition implies his eagerness and I don't get I don't have a guy come. Elisha says I think on down it's in the margin of your Hebrew Bible's condos are.
You shall not kill them, would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword with your bone others. We don't execute POWs said bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master with quite a message with. So he prepared a great feast for them. Imagine this a great feast for them and when they had eaten and drunk. He sent them away and they went to their master, what happened the marauding bands of error.
Man's did not come in the land of Israel again. I guess not. They learned that their strategy could not win against the gods so powerful as to bring blindness has to deliver them into the nest of their enemies, nor against an enemy that could be so gracious feeding them instead of execute.
The hero of these stories is not an angelic host isn't even the prophet of God or servant hero of these stories is Almighty God, a way of closing, I want to give you a couple of wonderful truths about our wonderful Lord we can glean from this passage and I think implied in these truths is the reason these stories were put together side-by-side number one God not only intervenes in matters of national importance he intervenes in matters of personal concern. You can take your pencil or pen and encircle verse five and then draw a line down the margin toward verse 15 chapter 6 and you'll notice they include the same exact words are spoken by two different men to different situations and yet they both cried out to Elisha. Alas, my master are what shall we do so now. While one traces could be considered personal and petty in and I said come on and another issue is of national importance.
If we were to vote this morning which one would God intervene in we know about all the national crisis learned here God intervenes and concerns of national importance, but he also intervenes cares about matters of personal concern.
Your concerns are God's that you need additional proof, but you look skeptical. Would you take your Bibles and turn to first Peter chapter 5. You can leave that text we won't return until another time first Peter chapter 5 verse seven Peter is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with tremendous confidence here, he says, casting all your care or anxiety upon him for he cares for you. The word anxiety is defined one Greek scholar. What ever monopolizes your heart good your chairs are what ever at this moment are monopolizing your heart you came in to the service and you you set down and and maybe you you let out a sigh and nobody knew why they be to your own conscious mind. That was just the expression of how you're feeling. Maybe. Maybe this hour is the first time you sat down quietly in a long time. Some of you will come in and your hearts are monopolized that his every waking moment is consumed by this anxious thing this crisis in any walked in thinking will God you know are you aware are you concerned we can learned here is Peter writes God cares casted on Christ word casting by the way, is a rare New Testament word. It only appears one other time the gospel of Luke where the disciples are going to get that young colt in the past, their garments on that cold Jamaica saddles for the Lord. Can you imagine the humility of God's love for you and for me. You bring whatever monopolizes your heart and you put it on my draw on their pittance shoulders and carry it for you. I'm capable casted on me. A carrier bird part of our problem and the reason were so excited about answered prayer, whatever form it may take is because there's an element of shock.
There one of our problems is when were involved in the personal crisis, when were overwhelmed with his anxious thoughts. We think all this.
This is this is ax head stuff.
God doesn't care. He does the second thought, I want to give you is this God not only cares about great profits who are in danger.
We we would buy into that. Sure, the great prophet God to the rescue, but he also cares about anonymous servants who are afraid the name of this servant is never given, but can you imagine being the Lord for just a brief moment and and being able to display your power only a few times and recorded Scripture does is ever occur or someone can see the wonder of heaven, the unseen world. The angelic host and you get to pick one person that you'll allow to see that wonderful display who would you pick. I think somebody from Channel 5.
They need a good dose of make sure the cameras rolling. Tom's but the one anonymous small piece of the human puzzle with nobody else looking just because he's afraid. See, that's a wonderful truth about the God that we so often forget accident way. Truth is in the family of God. No one is insignificant. No one is an important no one is overlooked.
One more thing I want you to turn back for the sake of time, but remember when Elisha was confronted by his servant in the service of the last master what shall we do that Elisha did not pray for God to send help.
It was already there he prayed that his servant would be able to simply recognize in other words, he prayed that his servant would be given a perspective that there is another dimension. There is another reality there is a host of heaven is already there largest literacy. Maybe that's what David meant when he wrote in Psalm 34 our God is an ever present help in time of trouble, therefore, will not be. That was a lesson. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Dave Huron wisdom for the hearts wisdom for the heart is a ministry of wisdom international. If you have a comments question or would like more information you can send us an email if you address it to firstname.lastname@example.org we have a special place on our website were Stephen answers questions that have come in from listeners like you.
If you come across the passage that's confusing or you encounter a teaching that you need to have clarified Stephen would like to help you. In fact, you might enjoy going online and looking at what other people have asked in reading those answers it might be that someone had the exact same question you have. But anytime you have a question regarding the Bible or the Christian faith send that question to email@example.com. Once Stephen has answered it will add it to the collection. That's all for today, but join us next time here on wisdom for the heart