ELISHA SERIES

The Steady Prophet

9 Outlines

 

 

1 Kings 19:16, 19, 2 Kings 2:1-14

STEADY IN PREPARATION

LIFE OF ELISHA, THE STEADY PROPHET - #1 of 9

 

SERIES INTRODUCTION:

There was a changing of the guard. The job of prophet was being based from Elijah to Elisha.

There was a change in personalities. Elisha had a fiery personality. Elisha, as a friend of mine once said (Bob Smith of Sweet Valley, PA), was "steady".

There was no changing on God's part. Times change, leaders change and situations change. God does not change. Malachi 3:6

 

INTRODUCTION TO THIS LESSON

When God has a job for someone to do, He does everything necessary to prepare that person.

 

ELISHA'S DESTINY - 1 Kings 19:16, 19 - To be the next prophet in Israel.

 

ELISHA'S DECISION - 1 Kings 19:20-21 - To accept the call of God.

 

ELISHA'S DISCIPLESHIP - 1 Kings 19:21 - He began as Elijah's servant. Elijah would have trained him.

 

ELISHA'S DETERMINATION - 2 Kings 2:1-7 - To stay with Elijah to the end.

 

ELISHA'S DESIRE - 2 Kings 2:8-9 - To have a double portion of Elijah's spirit

 

ELISHA'S DEMONSTRATION - 2 Kings 2:13-14 - This miracle showed that he was the new prophet in Israel.

 

(This outline has been previously shared under the title "The Torch Is Passed")

 

You may find that there is so much material here that you will want to present it in two sermons.

 

 

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2 Kings 2:15-25

THE STEADY MODEL

Life of Elisha #2 of 9

 

Elisha, "The Steady Prophet" was a steady model to those around Him. There is no substitute for a good example

 

HE MODELED WISDOM - Vss. 15-18

Elisha was accepted as the new leader of the prophets. Vss. 13-15 Some wanted to send a search party. He did not think it wise. His wisdom was proved out when a search was made and nothing was found. Notice how mild a rebuke he gave. These men were grieving the loss of their leader, Elijah. He widely went easy on them. Proverbs 19:10 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Elisha modeled this. 1 Timothy 4:12 shows the wise behavior of a Godly pastor.

 

HE MODELED CREATIVITY - Vss. 19-22 I think it is say to say that Elijah had spent some time Jericho and was familiar with the water difficulty. It was Elisha however who solved the problem. Elisha performed few miracles exactly like Elijah. He was original. He was creative. There is nothing wrong with being like someone or doing things the way someone else did. However, God has given us all unique abilities and ways of doing things. We should not be afraid of being creative as we strive to serve God.

 

HE MODELED AUTHORITY - Vss. 23-25 People have wondered how Elisha could be so mean to small children. These were not small children but youths, teens, and/or young adults. They made fun of God's servant, Elisha, and the home going of Elijah. ("Get up thou bald head.") They were being disrespectful and rebellious. Elisha had every right to rebuke them. He used his authority as a man of God. See 1 Corinthians 5, Galatians 6:1, Ezekiel 3:16-21

 

 

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2 KINGS 4:1-7

THE STEADY FLOW

 

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #3 of 9

 

Introduce this sermon by talking about some successful people you know personally.

 

I think that most of us would like to be successful. As Christians, we should desire to be successful in the eyes of God. To be a success in God's eyes, you must be a born again Christian. (John 3:1-16). Also, to be a success, you need to be successful, you must be faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). Thirdly, to be a success, you must be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

 

An illustration of success in God's eyes is found in our text. We often relegate such stories to children's church or Sunday School, but don't consider the value of the story for us adults.

This story tells of a steady flow of oil that continued to flow until all was full. In order for us to be successful Christians, we must have the steady, continuous flow of God's Holy Spirit in our lives. As Christians, we will go through three stages if we experience the filling or controlling of the Holy Spirit. In this story I see pictures of the:

 

THE BANKRUPT CHRISTIAN - Vs. 1

 

Elisha was apparently the chief prophet in Israel at this time. There were schools of training for those who would aspire to be prophets. They were the Bible Schools of their day. Today we might call the students "preacher boys".

 

One of the widows of one of the sons of the prophets came to Elijah. Her husband was dead. She was bankrupt, and creditors were coming to take her sons as slaves to pay the debt.

 

There are many Christians like this women in our story. They are bankrupt.

They have tired in their own strength to do something for God. They have tried in their own effort to be successful. They have made their own plans to serve God and have met with nothing but disappointment. They have done battle with habitual sin in their lives and have ended up losing (Romans 7:18-21).

 

Please note that this woman was honest. She came to Elisha. She did not try to fool him. She simply told the truth. As Christians, we need to be equally honest. When we sense bankruptcy in our Spiritual lives, we must come and honestly humble ourselves before God (James 4:6-10)

 

THE RESOURCEFUL CHRISTIAN - Vs. 2

Elisha wants to know, "What do you have on hand?" He wants to know, "What are your resources?" What was available for God to multiply? You might recall that the Scripture tells how God multiplied a little meal and a little oil belonging to another widow (1 Kings 17:8-16). We also know that God the Son multiplied a little boy's lunch so that it fed a multitude (John 6:1-14).

 

This lady only had a little oil. It was a valuable commodity, but not enough to get her out of debt.

 

What do Christians have to help them when they sense that they are bankrupt?

They do not have merit.

They do not have strength within themselves.

They do not have ability.

BUT THEY DO HAVE OIL!

Oil is often symbolic for God's Holy Spirit.

We do have the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9, Zechariah 4:6, Acts 1:8,

Like the woman in the story we need to be resourceful. We must realize that we have all we need for success through the Holy Spirit.

 

THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN - Vss. 3-7

 

Vs. 3-4 - Elisha's advice was simple. It was for her to use her resources. She was to borrow empty pots, go home, shut the door, and start pouring.

The victorious Christian will do something similar. We do not need more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit needs more of us. As we provide ourselves as an empty vessel, He will fill us.

 

An empty vessel is one that has confessed all known sin.

An empty vessel is one that contains nothing of self (Romans 12:1).

An empty vessel is one that has an open lid, ready, willing, and asking to be filled (1 John 5:14-15).

 

Vss. 5-6 - The woman did as she was told. When there was no longer an empty vessel, the oil stopped flowing. We must continually present to God an empty vessel, so he can fill it.

 

The results of Spirit filling are seen in Acts 1:8, Ephesians 3:16, 5:18-21 and Galatians 5:22-23.

 

Remember that the steady flow of the Holy Spirit, which gives power, victory, joy and fruitfulness, will stop flowing when we fail to provide an empty vessel. However, the flow of the Spirit will resume when there is again an empty vessel available to be filled.

 

 

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2 Kings 4:10

STEADY MAINTENANCE

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #4 of 9

 

2 Kings 4:10 - Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.

 

Introduce the message by asking the following questions:

        What are some of the things that you use regularly that require periodic maintenance?

        Why is maintenance so important

        Why is maintenance of your spiritual life so important?

        What are some of the things that you do to maintain your spiritual life?

 

In 2 Kings 4:10 we find four things that are necessary for the maintenance of physical and spiritual life.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Elisha evidently passed through the village of Shunem on a regular basis.

A woman, evidently the wife of a wealthy land owner, fed Elisha whenever he traveled past her home. Vs. 8

 

The woman could tell that Elisha was a "holy man of God". Can people tell that we are holy men or women of God? Vs. 9

 

The lady suggested the building of a "prophet's chamber" for the entertaining of Elisha, complete with basic necessary furnishings.

 

THE BED SPEAKS OF REST IN CHRIST - Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 37:7, Mark 6:31

 

THE TABLE SPEAKS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST. Psalm 23:5, John 15:1-7

 

THE STOOL SPEAKS OF INSTRUCTION FROM CHRIST. Deuteronomy 33:3, Psalm 32:8, Luke 10:38-42

 

THE CANDLESTICK SPEAKS OF TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST. Matthew 5:14-16, Acts 1:8, Revelation 2:4-5

 

The basic outline is from 1,000 Bible Outlines by F. E. Marsh, (Formerly published as 1,000 New Bible Readings), Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1953, (This is a reprint. The date given in the preface is 1925), Page 171

 

 

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2 Kings 4:8-37

STEADY UNDER PRESSURE

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #5 of 9

 

There will be times in our lives that we will face pressure.

 

        The pressure of persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12

        The pressure of trials - James 1:2-4

        The pressure of sickness

        The pressure of some dying

        The pressure of family problems

        The pressure of church disputes

        The pressure of financial struggles

        And many more pressures

 

The prophet Elisha faced pressure as well.

Through his reliance on God, he remained steady under pressure.

 

CATASTROPHE - Vss. 8-23

A lady had taken care of Elisha's physical needs and Elisha promised the reward of a child. Vss. 8-16

The child was born. Vs. 17

The child died. The lady went to find Elisha. Vss. 18-23

Talk about pressure!

 

CHARACTER - Vs. 9

It was obvious that Elisha was a "holy man of God."

If we expect to bring to remain steady under pressure, we need to have a similar character.

 

CONCERN - Vss. 24-30

Elisha was genuinely concerned about the well being of this woman and her family. Vss. 25-26

He understood that the woman was hurting. Vss. 27-28

He sent Gehazi, his servant to help. Vs. 29

He went himself. He was willing to get involved. Vs. 30

Many people want to withdraw when there is pressure. We need to follow Elisha's example and get involved.

 

CRY - Vss. 31-33

Gehazi was unsuccessful. Evidently there was no prayer on his part.

Elisha got alone with God and the problem and cried out in prayer.

Crying out to God is of ultimate importance when we are under pressure. Jeremiah 33:3, Mark 11:22-24

 

CLOSENESS - Vs. 34

After prayer, Elisha got involved with a dirty problem. He was dealing with a corpse. He got close anyway. Often God will require us to get close to unpleasant problems in order for them to be solved.

 

CONTINUATION - Vs. 35

Elisha stuck with the problem until it was totally solved.

There will be times we will have to bear long with a problem until the pressure is relieved completely!

 

CONCLUSION - Vss. 36-37

The pressure was relieved!

The boy came back to life!

 

 

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2 Kings 5

STEADY REASONING

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #6 of 9

 

We as Christians are expected to demonstrate steady reasoning. That is we should have the ability, with God's help, to think things out clearly and logically.

 

2 Kings 5 presents us with a good example of the importance of steady reasoning. The way people reacted to the leprosy of Naaman and his appeal for healing give us some examples of good thinking and examples of bad thinking. Our outline shows us types of thinking that lead to steady or not so steady reasoning.

 

BACKGROUND - One of the enemies of Israel at this time was Syria. According to verse 1, the general of the Syrian army was a man named Naaman. The Lord, who controls governments, had given a great deliverance to Syria through Naaman. His name means "pleasant". Naaman was stricken with the dreaded disease of leprosy. Leviticus 13:3, 45-46

 

FAITHFUL THINKING - Naaman's Maid - Vss. 2-3

The Syrians had sent raiding parties into Israel. The little maid was taken captive and made a slave to Naaman's wife.

Instead of being bitter, she was faithful to God and to those in need in her thinking.

She spoke of Elisha, the prophet, who she felt could heal Naaman.

 

FEARFUL THINKING - The King of Israel - Vss. 4-7

Naaman himself reported the words of the maid to the King of Syria.

He sent expensive gifts and a letter to the King of Israel, requesting that Naaman be healed.

When the King of Israel received the letter, he panicked, and was sure that the King of Syria was trying to pick a fight. Instead of relying on God, the King was overtaken with fear! This is a king of thinking which we also need to avoid. Proverbs 29:25

 

FEARLESS THINKING - Elisha - Vss. 8

Elisha the Prophet was not afraid. His confidence was in God. He simply sent to the King of Israel asking him why he was so upset, and assured him that he, God's prophet would handle the matter. I'm sure the king gladly sent Naaman to Elisha. Isaiah 41:10

 

FAULTY THINKING - Naaman - Vss. 9-12

Elisha didn't even come out to meet Naaman when he arrived.

He simply sent a messenger to Naaman and told him to go wash in the river Jordan seven times.

Naaman got upset. He thought Elisha would heal in a more dramatic way. Vs. 11.

He was upset that he had to wash in the Jordan and not a river in his own country.

He was in a rage because things weren't going the way he planned. Sound familiar?

 

FACTUAL THINKING - Naaman's Servants - Vss. 13-14

Naaman's servants reasoned with him, and convinced him that the prophet was not asking for much. It was simple request. Naaman should do it.

Naaman did as he was told and was healed.

 

FINANCIAL THINKING - Gehazi - Vss. 15-26

A grateful Naaman offered gifts to Elisha. Elisha refused.

Gehazi, Elisha's servant, chose to deceive Naaman and take some of the gifts.

Gehazi was judged for his sin of greed. 1 Timothy 6:10

 

 

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2 Kings 6

STEADY AGAINST THE FOE

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #7 of 9

 

As Christians, we will have enemies for the sake of Christ. 2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:19

How we deal with our enemies will be an indication of how closely we are walking with God.

Enemies tend to scare us, but God wants us to be fearless before them. Proverbs 3:5-6, 29:25

The prophet Elijah was fearless before his enemies. We can learn from his example.

 

HIS PROBLEM WAS CAUSED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS - Vss. 8-14

Elisha was sharing Syria's war plans with the King of Israel. Elisha's knowledge came from God.

When the King of Syria discovered that Elisha was doing this, he became Elisha's enemy.

He sent soldiers to apprehend him.

Elisha got in trouble for doing what was right. We need to realize that when we do what is right, we will also make enemies. We must make sure however that we are doing what is right. 1 Peter 2:19-20, 3:16-17, 4:15-16

 

HIS PROTECTION CAME FROM GOD - Vss. 15-17

Elisha was not upset because he knew God was protecting him. He asked God to show his servant the great heavenly host that had them protected.

We must remember that God has promised to protect us and He is able to take care of us even through "impossible" circumstances. Isaiah 41:10, 1 John 4:4, Hebrews 2:13-14, Jeremiah 32:27

 

HIS PRAYERS CLIMAXED IN VICTORY - Vs. 18

Elisha's prayer that his enemies would become blind was answered. This prayer did not result in permanent difficulty for his enemies, but enabled him to be delivered from their power.

We must trust that God will answer our prayers. Luke 18:1, James 5:16-18

 

HIS PLAN CALLED FOR LOVE - Vss. 19-23

Elijah "blessed" his enemies feeding them and sending them home in peace.

Our Lord Jesus expects us to act in like fashion. Matthew 5:43-48, Romans 12:18-21

The end result of the kindness Elisha showed was a cessation of raids made on Israel's towns.

 

 

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2 Kings 6:24-7:20

THE STEADY WITNESS

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #8 of 9

 

In this story I see the lepers as a picture of the born again Christians.

Eventually the lepers spread the good news that the famine was over and there was food, clothes, and money available.

As Christians we are to spread the word of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. We are to be steady, consistent witnesses for Christ. After giving the background of the story in 2 Kings 6:24-7:2, point out that these lepers remind us Christians of:

 

THE PAST (The way we were.) Vss.3-5

Hurting Vs. 3 - We were hurting because of our sin.

Hungry Vs. 4 - We were Spiritually hungry for something better.

Honest Vss. 4-5 - No one gets saved until they honestly admit they are

sinners and turn to Christ in faith.

 

THE PRESENT (The way we are.) Vs. 8

(Vs. 5-7 tell of the fate of the Syrian army.)

Rich - We have great riches in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Satisfied - We have great satisfaction in what Christ has done for us.

Selfish - All too often we keep our joy in Christ to ourselves.

 

THE PROMOTION (The way we should be.) Vss. 9-20

These lepers were:

Convicted - Vs. 9 - We need to be convicted that we shouldn't keep

silent about our salvation. (Psalm 107:2)

Convincing - Vss. 10-11 - We need to be convincing others of the

joys of salvation. (1 Peter 3:15

Converting - Vss. 13-16 - As a result of the lepers' testimony, many were fed. As a result

of our testimony, many will come to Christ.

 

 

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2 Kings 13:14-20

STEADY TO THE END

Life of Elisha, The Steady Prophet #9 of 9

 

Elisha was an old man who was on his deathbed. However, Elisha was still steady, challenging Joash to a deeper faith.

 

POWER NEEDED - Vs. 14

Joash was probably lamenting the eminent death of Elisha, and realized that his power as a prophet in Israel would be missing. The King evidently realized that the loss of a godly man was equivalent to a loss of God's power. See 2 Kings 2:12. We have probably lamented the death of a godly man or woman who showed the power of God in their lives. We have probably wondered who would replace them.

 

POWER COMMUNICATED - Vss. 15-16

Elisha placed his hands on the king's hands, indicating that the power was coming from God. We must remember that power has been communicated to us through the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8

 

POWER PROMISED - Vs. 17

The king was to shoot an arrow in the direction of the enemy.

The arrow was symbolic of the victory that God would give over the enemy.

 

POWER NEGLECTED - Vs. 18

Elisha told the king to smite the ground with the arrows. Perhaps he was to shoot them into the ground. Instead of using up all his arrows, he showed his limited faith by only hitting the ground 3 times.

 

POWER LIMITED - Vs. 19

Elisha was unhappy with Joash's lack of faith. The king should have hit the ground more often and he would have had total victory! Each time the King hit the ground was symbolic of a battle won over the enemy. We are limited in our victories over Satan by our lack of faith. The more we use our faith, the more we will have the victory!

 

 

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