1Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
God still works the same way. Here was someone needing God to do a work in her life, but the conditions needed to be right. God took what she had, her oil, and then used her preparation of gathering the other vessels and filled them up. Far too often we think to small. If we are going to do ministry, we need to think bigger. We always must have another classroom open, another parking spot empty, a few more chairs available for guests to sit in. I’ve seen it over and over in 20 years of ministry, there’s a great surge of activity and people are coming. Every seat is full, all the parking spots are taken “isn’t this great!!!” Well, inevitably a few months later the situation is very different. “Bring me another vessel” and the oil stopped flowing. We must be prepared for what we believe God is going to do, and we must believe God is going to move big. Why wouldn’t we want God to reach people through us? Isn’t that why we’re here?
And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Elisha and Elijah were walking along. Protégé and mentor. And then it happened, and Elijah knew it was coming, God took him. He had spent a life of faithfulness to the Lord and investing in Elisha, he was ready. It’s going to happen to all of us… probably not in chariots of fire, but the Lord will come for each of us one day… will you be ready? Have you invested in others? How sad would it be if we stand before Jesus one day and all we have to show for our Christian faith is how well we sought to understand Him more through Bible study, or how faithful we were through church attendance, or service… but we never bring others with us. I can only imagine Jesus saying “now, help me understand how you were making disciples… baptizing… and teaching them.”
16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.
Usually just after God has done something significant in your life, like Solomon building and dedicating the temple, that’s when the wheels fall off. Just go ahead and expect it. God shows Himself to be real and working in your life, thats when division, distraction, or depression can set in. Stay true to the Lord. Keep following him whether you feel like it or not. Don’t abandon His word or His people. Keep the mission your goal, making more and better disciples in all the earth. He’ll stick with you.
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.
When people hear that you’re a Christian, or maybe when you decide to get real with your faith, they will seek to test you. It’s not so much a desire on their part to tear you down, they too want something real. They’re testing you because you’re a witness to them. If it’s real for you, perhaps it could be real for them. You are the message.
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart
Solomon’s prayer is still valid today… God keeps his covenant and shows not simply great love, but steadfast love. God doesn’t change and if you know Him through His Son Jesus Christ then you are His, forever! You are loved!