Title: Get out of debt
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7
Introduction: With the mortgage crisis and fuel cost, debt is increasing at alarming rates. But we as believers, not only we have a God who paid for our sin debt in full, he can help us get out of financial debt through His miraculous power. This is what our text is about today.
I. Seek help v. 1
Here in our text, we see a certain woman with a problem. Her husband had died which left with no means for an income to pay debt and now the creditor was coming to take her sons. This must seems strange for a creditor to come and enslave children but in the biblical context the creditor could do 3 things under Mosaic law: take your land, your house or your children. Even though her husband was a prophet of God, he still had debt to pay. This tells us as believers today even though we are under grace, we still have to be responsible and pay our debts so our families won’t suffer. But this woman now has serious problem. The creditor is coming to take her children in bondage. So she does something. She seeks his help. She cries out to Elisha the prophet. My beloved when we are in trouble you are it is not time to be proud. It is not time to be silent. It is time to cry out. Let somebody know that you are in need of some help. Our problem is that we are too proud. You got a choice you can be proud and suffer or tell somebody and may be get some help. But if you are going to seek some help follow what this woman did when she cried out to Elisha. Elisha means God is my salvation. In other words, cried out to the God of your salvation. Elisha is a type of Christ. God always hears his children’s cries. David cried out to the Lord and he heard him! That is why He is our first option when we get into trouble. Seek ye first… So don’t pick up the phone, go to throne! Jesus wants to set you free!
II. Tell him your current situation and what you need v. 2
When the women cried out to the prophet, He asked her what shall I do for you, and tell me what is in your house? In other words, what do you what me do to do and what do you have in your possession in your current situation. We have not because we ask not. So the woman humbles herself and tells him her situation has what she has. She says, I have nothing except a pot or jar of olive oil. This is no time to front! Don’t act like you got together. You have to let God know we you are. Tell about your credit etc…He knows anyway. I believe that God wants us to tell him just to see how serious we are.
III. Allow Him to formulate a plan v. 3, 4
After the woman tells the Elisha here situation, the prophet formulates a plan. He tells here to go borrow from your neighbors some vessels. Come back home and shut the door and pour the oil and set aside the full ones. This is the woman plan from the man of God to get out of her dilemma. When look at the text, some may have a problem with this women borrowing from her neighbors. But the borrowing is not the issue. First of all, this is her plan. God has an individual plan for all of us. That is the point. God will have a unique way to bless you that is different from blessing me. Jer 29:11… God has way! Our problem is that we don’t surrender our will for His will. But remember it is our will that most of us in our current situation.
IV. Follow the plan out to the detail v. 5
But with any of God’s plans, we as believers have a responsibility. We have to be obedient and have faith following out this plan to the detail. We can’t cut corner for his grace. Look at what the woman does. This woman had to go from house to house asking her neighbors to borrow a few vessels. This tells us if we want God help, we first have to submit to his plan. This submission will cost us! It may cost you to humble yourself. It may cost you deal with public shame because now may have go on welfare. It may cost you some embarrassment. But if you humble yourself under God, he will exalt you in due season! Your obedience unlocks God favor! Do want you have to do for now but know God is going to bring you out! The woman gets the vessels and comes home and shuts the door with only her and her sons in the house. She cut off any distraction. She cut off anybody with unbelief. She cut off the world for privacy so God can work. This reminds of what Jesus said in the gospel when you enter in you prayer closet shut the door. This woman was in need of a miracle. So God wanted her alone just those who the miracle would impact. No spectators! Your private miracle will have a public manifestation! Some of us all need to shut off the world so God can bless you! So she does it. Then she poured the oil as the prophet said. This sounds and looks ridicules. One bottle of oil is going to fill all these vessels. However, if I look at my situation, it also looks and sounds ridiculous. So if I have do something that God told me that looks ridiculous to get me out of my ridiculous situation, I am going have ridiculous faith and do what God wants me to do! And when He blesses me I am going to get more ridiculous and give me ridiculous praise!
V. Expect the results v.6
The text in verse says that “it came to pass”, when the vessels were full…That means it happen(ed). This phrased is used over 453 times in the bible. These are shouting words. This means God did it! Some of you can think of a situation that you asked God to help you and it came past…. This is our encouragement today! When we go to God for help and follow his plan we can celebrate early knowing it shall come to pass! The woman in our text got the help she needed. God took her least and made it increase! When all the vessels were full, she asked her son for another. Her asking for another vessel tells us that this woman had expectation. As believers we have to expect God to do what he said he will do. Expectation is synonymous for faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. He rewarded them that diligently seek Him! This woman had faith enough to know if she had another vessel God was going to fill that is expectation! My beloved expect God to bless you! Faith activates God’s increase!
VI. Start the pay off process v. 7a
Now, after God blesses you start the pay off process. Look at the text. Then she told the man of God and he said “go and sell the oil and pay thy debt”. This tells us first that God is going to bless us with the resources so we can be responsible and pay off our debt. This text teaches us to be good stewards. Good stewards honor God by paying their bills.
VII. Living off the reserves v. 7b
But lastly, even after we pay our debt. The Lord has a way of spoiling us by giving us a little extra. Look at the text. “and thou and your kids live off the rest…” God seems to always gives us something on the side. The woman and her kids were going live off of the overflow! My beloved we serve a God the overflow. His blessings overflow when we are obedient! When ask for that job and follow God’s plan to get it you may have agreed on one salary but when you went to sign the agreement, God gave you more than you asked. You went to buy that car you we ready to sign for once price but the Lord lowered the interest and saved you some money! When we are obedient God has a way of bless you on the side.
Close: But as I was studying the text, I saw something else. The church is debt. Not only financially but in souls. Let me show you. This text is full of types that point us to the Christian Church. In biblical typology from the text, Elisha is a type of Christ that represents salvation. Many theologians suggest that “certain woman can point to the Church”. Husband is symbol of witness or protection. Vessels are souls. 2 sons are the next generation. The house is the physical church. Oil is the Holy Spirit. Pouring out is prayer. Creditor is the world. Now let us retell the story. Now there was a certain church whose witness died and world was coming to put the next generation in bondage. The church goes to Christ for help. Then Christ asked the Church what do you have? The church said nothing but the Holy Spirit. That’s enough! Then go get some souls (vessels) shut the door and pray for them so they can be filled with the Holy Spirit. The more bring the more resource you have. They more power you have… The debt will be paid because souls are filled and you can live off of God’s favor!!