Beggars Can be Choosers: Will it be Feast or Famine?
October 4, 1998 2Kings 6:24-7:20
Famine: 2Ki. 4:38 begin
2Ki. 8:1 end
Covenant Curse: Lev. 26:19ff
God was working both Aram and Israel against one another because of their idolatry to Baal. And he had shown mercy to both (Jew and Gentile). But neither had understood his message. The famine was given to further soften their resistance so that they might understand God’s overwhelming grace.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘beggars can’t be choosers ---’.
We are all like beggars - as are all in this story.
1. There is a relationship between spiritual and physical famine. (vv. 24-25)
Pr 26:2 ¶ Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
What are we hungry for?
Are we in an unholy famine?
Is it a famine of the words of the Lord?
Am 8:11 ¶ "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
2. People blinded by their unholiness cannot see this relationship. (vv. 26-27)
3. A failed relationship with God causes social relationships to fail. (vv. 28-29)
4. A failed relationship with God doesn’t take God seriously. (v. 30)
An adopted pose - “I feel your pain, but I won’t do anything about it.
Joe 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Ps 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
5. A failed relationship with God seeks to transfer guilt and seek revenge. (v. 31)
Ro 8:7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
Re 16:10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony
Re 16:11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
6. But the righteous have nothing to fear. (v. 32)
Pr 1:33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
Ps 112:7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Ps 31:15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
Note that the elders are with Elisha and not the king.
7. While the unrighteous have given up on God and take things into their own hands. (v. 33)
8. The righteous propose the grace of God. (v. 1)
9. But the unrighteous seek only judgment. (v. 2)
They are in a vicious cycle of judging and being judged.
Such will be the doom of unbelievers when they see the redeemed feasting at the marriage supper of the Lamb - a supper of which they have no part because of unbelief.
Note that the king withholds his action for another day.
10. We are all like unclean beggars who have no hope but God. (vv. 3-4)
At least the beggars did something, realizing the hopelessness of their case.
11. 1Cor. 2:6-9
Ps 33:10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
Are you a born again beggar?
Beggars can choose to save themselves.
Beggars can choose to save others.
We are nothing more than one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread.
Eze 22:14 Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.
Pr 28:1 ¶ The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.