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War Won in the Trenches

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Sermon on 2 Kings 3

Title: Battle Won in the Trenches

Theme:  God brings life to his people in surprising places

Goal: to encourage God’s people that he brings life in the surprising places.

Need:  we often don’t trust God to provide with blessings from the surprising places.

  1. Israel’s political environment
    1. Make up of God’s People

                                                               i.      How many tribes in the North?  10

                                                             ii.      How many tribes in the South? 2

    1. Success Stories in Israel

                                                               i.      Who was the greatest king of Israel according to the Old Testament….  None they all sinned and went against God.

                                                             ii.      By the worlds standards, Omri was the greatest king of Israel. 

1.      The Omride dynasty- the political environment created during the time of Omri carried on through the time of Ahab and Jezebel.

    1. Alliances                                                                i.      Judah- the 2 tribes have promised to help Israel.  1 Kings 22:4.  Jehosephat says, My people are yours and My horses are yours.  The two nations are allied together.

                                                             ii.      Edom-  Historially Edom is the descendants of Esau.  This is an uncle nation to Judah, and a brother nation to Israel.  They are allied with Judah.

                                                            iii.      Moab-

1.      Used to be a vassal nation.  Maybe it was a set up similar to the oppression of the British over the US.  They promise protection and help, but the taxes are enormous. 

2.      In return for not being completely destroyed, vs 4.  100,000 lambs and wool from 100,000 rams.

  1. Revolution and Taking Up Sides. 
    1. Moab decides to challenge that agreement.  They Start the Moabite Revolution without a Boston Tea party. #. Much like the alliances of WWI and WWII,  Judah joins on one side so then Edom also joins on that side against this rebellious Moabite group.
    2. By Jehoshaphat’s suggestion they go to attack Moab from the less well defended border on the south.  Through the desert of edom.
  2. Problem- Water.  And water means life!
    1. In the desert they are without water.
    2. The Faith of Joram is made evident

                                                               i.      Who brought the armies to the Desert of Edom?  Jehoshaphat.

                                                             ii.      Who does Joram blame?  The LORD.

                                                            iii.      Joram has done some good, getting rid of the idols of his father but will not put his trust in the LORD.

                                                           iv.      Who in the Bible does his complaint sound like?  Verse 10.  Like the Israelites going through the same desert.

                                                             v.      Joram’s faith in God is more about having God as a convenient one to blame when things don’t seem to be working out.

    1. Faith of Jehoshaphat

                                                               i.      Asks if there is a prophet of God around.

                                                             ii.      What is Elisha doing there??

  1. Solution: themes of Elisha’s life.
    1. Verse 11 and 12-- Elisha is the prophet who has the Spirit of Elijah with him.                                                                  i.      Water is important in the dry climate.  Elisha was the one who probably carried the water for preparing food, for washing and for drinking for Elijah the prophet.

                                                             ii.      He was the one with Elijah. 

                                                            iii.      He has the word of the Lord in him according to Jehoshaphat.

1.      evident in the way he rebukes Joram.  Go worship the baals like your parents.

2.      But Joram insists that it is the Lord that brings the kings together.

3.      Elisha agrees to tell them what God says because of the presences of the king of Judah.

    1. Verses 16-17, 20--  God provides life from surprising places.

                                                               i.      Ditches were dug.

                                                             ii.      No rain or wind were experienced.

1.      Some say a cloudburst that was so sudden no one expected it.

2.      Some say the ditches were able to capture the water that came from the plateaus or hills of Edom.

3.      It doesn’t matter which way it happened.  The passage doesn’t make it clear. 

a.       What it does make clear is that God accomplished it in a surprising way.

    1. Verses 18-19--  God brings judgement on those who oppose him                                                                i.      Water is simple.  Destroying the enemy is just as simple for God.

                                                             ii.      Equally as surprising as life.  Destruction of the enemy comes through the enemy thinking the water was actually blood.

                                                            iii.      Verses 26-27

1.      Military failure for Israel.

  1. New Testament reminders
    1. Take the prophet of wisdom and the word of God with us to every circumstance #. Blood and water.  The water turns to blood in the pouring out of judgement on the earth in the bowls of judgement in revelation.
    2. Life comes from God.  Often in the surprising places.  Trust that the driest places will have blessings.            
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