2 Kings 2:19-21 (6/2/16)
SALT • June 2, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• If the land would be healed then the spring that fed the land had to be purified - it needed salt. • We are to be salt in our culture if we want to see our land healed. • The aspects of SALT: • 1) Sustains - put it on a steak and it preserves the steak. • 2) Seasons - it brings out the natural flavors of what it’s applied to. • 3) Startles - smelling salts wakes up the unconscious person. • 4) Sanitizes - gargle with lukewarm salt water when you have a sore throat. • 5) Stings - when it’s cleaning it burns. • 6) Sacrifices - it gives its life for what it’s applied to. • 7) Scatters - salt isn’t meant to be put into a pile. • 8) Small - you never just use one crystal of salt - you need a lot of them. • 9) Strengthens - hikers bring salt tablets to give them strength for a long journey. • 10) Melts Slugs - put salt on a slug and watch what happens.
2 Kings 2 & 4 (7/4/14)
Influence • July 4, 2014 • Benham Brothers
* On two ocassions we see the prophet Elisha being called on to fix something that was broken. * 2:19-21 - The land in his city would not yield any produce because the spring that watered the land was bad. * So what did Elisha do? Notice four things: * 1) He didn't focus on the land - he went directly to the spring. This was the source of the problem. * Clean hands come from a pure heart. * 2) He added salt to the water - Christians are called to be the salt of the world. * Salt enhances and preserves the substance of what it's applied to. * 3) He "threw" the salt in the water - he was aggressive with the evil in the water. * We have to get aggressive with the way we deal with any sin in our hearts. * 4) The salt lost its life! Once you put salt onto or into something you never see it again! * 4:41 - There was famine in the land and one of the prophets added an unknown plant to the stew. * The stew became poisonous - there was now death in the pot. * Notice three things: * 1) The very thing that was supposed to nourish now brought death. * The stew itself wasn't bad - it was the one wild root. We can't let this into our hearts either. * 2) There was already flour in the stew, but it wasn't put there by Elisha. * This is just like christians - we need to "mix" in with the world and bring life to it. * 3) Elisha didn't pour the stew out and start over - he used what was already there but just added life to it. * We must bring life to every situation and person we come in contact with - to breathe life! * Salt influences - if we're not influencing the environment around us we're not being salty.
2 Kings 4:3 (6/1/17)
Opportunity • June 1, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* The widow was told to “borrow empty jars” from her neighbors. * She was to borrow - to give them back when she was done - they were not to become hers. * They were to be empty - she wasn’t to ask for the oil, just the jar that could potentially hold it. * Borrowing empty jars represented the opportunity to fill them with oil. * God told her through Elisha to look for an opportunity, not a handout. * She wasn’t entitled. * An entitled person would have asked for the oil. * After all, the neighbor had enough to spare, right? * An entitled person focuses on what others have and what they want. * When it comes to making a living, we should look for opportunities, not hand-outs. * When we do this we’ll end up being a blessing to everyone and a burden to no one.
2 Kings 5:9-11 (6/1/17)
Expectation • June 1, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Disappointment is the gap between expectation and reality. * Naaman didn’t expect to be told to dip in a muddy river to be made well. * Because of this he went away angry and disappointed. * It would be like opening a Coke only to spit it out when you taste Sprite. * Sprite could be your most favorite drink, but if you’re expecting Coke it will taste awful. * When Naaman died to his expectation he was able to receive healing. * Often times our ambition leads our expectation. * We play out scenarios in our heads of how things are going to work out. * When they don’t we experience a drop in emotion that cause us to do dumb stuff. * You have to die to your ambition first, then put your expectations to bed - then your emotions won’t spin out of control and you’ll allow God to work things out as He sees fit.
2 Kings 5:20-27 (6/1/17)
Don't Run After It • June 1, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Two men in the same business but with two different goals. * Elisha’s end goal was that God would be brought glory. * Gehazi wanted God to get the glory and himself to get the gold. * Gehazi called Naaman “the Aramean,” fully recognizing he was an enemy to Israel. * He may have thought, “Isn’t the wealth of the wicked stored up for the righteous?” * This was true, but the righteous never have to chase it. * Elisha refused the reward - it was not “the time” to receive rewards. * Elisha’s services weren’t for hire - he was simply to obey God’s command. * But Gehazi had witnessed Elisha’s ossum power for a long time and new now he could cash in. * Notice - the reward came to Elisha - he didn’t have to go after it (even though he refused it). * Gehazi had to run after it - and it was his running that proved his motive - he wanted it bad. * Elisha didn’t say receiving a reward was wrong - he just said it wasn’t the right time. * Gehazi wanted Naaman’s stuff so he got Naaman’s stuff. * He got to keep the gold but he had his leprosy to go along with it. * The same will happen to us when we allow our ambition to take the lead. * If God wants us to have something He’ll bring it to us in His time in His way.
2 Kings 5:26 (6/8/17)
Wisdom Grid • June 8, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Elisha never said you can’t receive gifts. * Gehazi’s timing was off because his heart was off. * From this we see a three-step wisdom grid. * When in doubt, ask these three questions: * 1) Did it come to me? * Often times our ambition jumps out and makes things happen instead of waiting for God to make it happen. * 2) Is the time right? * God’s “yes” may not be His “go.” * 3) Is it from God? * Satan is good at presenting opportunities that look like they come from God. * These reflect the nature of your heart. * The opportunity to have gold came to Gehazi because he already wanted it in his heart. * How do you know if it’s from God? * Your heart will feel humbled and grateful for the opportunity.
2 Kings 6:6 (6/26/14)
When You've Lost Your Edge • June 26, 2014 • Benham Brothers
The prophets were building a new facility for themselves and they all pitched in for the work. One of the prophets borrowed an axe and the head fell off and landed in the river. Without an edge, he wasn't going to be able to pitch in and help in the work - he was useless. He could continue in the work and beat the tree with the handle, but that would have led to frustration. He had no clue where it was and no way to pay to buy a new one - he needed a miracle of God. Here are three observations of what Elisha (who represented God) did: 1) He made the man point out where he lost his edge. He had to go back to the place where he lost his edge and start there. 2) He took a stick and threw it into the water - many commentators believe the stick was from the same type of tree that Jesus hung on. When you find out where you lost your edge you need to claim the blood of Jesus over it - seek His forgiveness. 3) The axe-head floated to the top - it did what was contrary to its nature. When God's super-nature enters the picture we are now able to do that which is beyond our nature.
2 Kings 7:1-7 (2/9/16)
Reality • June 9, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• What you hear is not always what you see. • When you’re asleep and you hear something - you know someone has broken in…… • Your brain doesn’t always line up with reality - say MOP five times. • VS 1-7 - The Aramaens were besieging the Israelites. • God promised a miracle, but the Israelites couldn’t see any way it would happen. • The soldiers heard the sound of an army, but it wasn’t reality. • This caused great fear in them and they left. • What’s the only way to overcome this fear? To search it out! • You have to discover the truth (Proverbs 25:2 - glory of God to conceal….) • As Christians we are in the searching business - diligently searching in God’s Word for truth. • We will gain eyes that see and ears that hear - the truth!
2 Kings 7:15 (6/18/13)
It will come to you • June 18, 2013 • Benham Brothers
Aarameans besieged Samaria: * Whatever it is that you have your heart set on, stop focusing on it. If you do then you will end up going after it. If it's God's will for you to have it then it will come to you and God will use others to make that happen! Other people can have the labor and headache of the "thing" but you will enjoy it's benefit. Just look at how many people in America in the past few years have fled from their luxury homes leaving so much stuff behind only for the house to be bought for pennies on the dollar. They had the headache but someone else reaps the benefit. When you're tempted to pursue, wait. God will bring it to you if it's His will!
2 Kings 7:15 & 8:15 (6/26/14)
God will bring it to you • June 26, 2014 • Benham Brothers
The Aramaians were camped against Israel but then God caused them to flee, leaving behind all their stuff. It was a TON of stuff - good stuff! Articles of silver and gold, etc. The Israelites could have gone and gotten that stuff by sending troops to Aram, but they didn't. God brought it to them! Imagine the army of Aram carrying all that stuff to Israel only to give it to them! This is what happened. Whatever you have your heart set on don't focus on it - otherwise you'll go and get it. Just let God bring it to you - you'll get to enjoy the blessing of it without the headache of it! If God wants you to have it He'll bring it to you. 2 Kings 8:15 - Tale of two kings: Hazael and David. Both guys were told they would become king. David stayed and tended sheep and let God bring the kingdom to him. Hazael went out and made it happen, thus leading him into murdering the current king to make it happen. Either you are going to be blinded by your ambition or you are going to die to it - one or the other will happen.
2 Kings 8:15 (6/9/16)
Ambition • June 9, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• Consider two people God said would become king - David and Hazael. • David went right back to tending sheep, being faithful in the little right where God placed him. • Even when he was fleeing from Saul he twice refused to kill him when he could have. • He lived a life of principle, not pragmatism. • God’s promises always require a period of waiting where He makes us into the people who can handle the call. • Consider Hazael - he took matters into his own hands after Elisha said he would become king. • Ambition jumped out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat. • He began to operate by pragmatism and not principle. • We are either going to die to our ambition or be blinded by it. • We need to be willing to wait for God to bring about what He’s called us to.
2 Kings 11 (7/4/14)
King / Priest • July 4, 2014 • Benham Brothers
In the OT kings & priests were two separate offices. The king represented justice - he took dominion and rule and swore to protect the people. The priest represented mercy - he represented the people to God and God to the people. In Revelation we see that we are a Royal Priesthood, which means we are BOTH (just as Jesus was). In 2 Kings 11 & 12 we see a picture of how both work together: Joash was the king, Jehoiada was the priest. Jehoiada hid the king from the wicked queen and ultimately presented him as king to the people. Jehoiada lived in the palace with the king - so long as he was alive the king did what was right. Joash had the idea on how to complete the repairs of the temple - so the king was acting like a priest! When the king/priest worked together everything was good, but when the priest died Joash's ambition got out of control. Joash used temple treasury to pay off a wicked king - bad move. Joash wasn't buried with the kings yet Jehoiada was! You need the king/priest working hand-in-hand in your heart for you to accomplish God's purpose in your life. Jehoiada had the hert of a king in the role of a priest / David had the heart of a priest in the role of the king.
2 Kings 11:17-20 (6/11/15)
King / Priest • June 11, 2015 • Benham Brothers
When the priest acted as the priest and the rightful king was placed on the throne: 1) The altar of Baal was torn down. 2) The people rejoiced. 3) The city was quiet. When Christians act as priests of God and place Jesus as the rightful king on His throne, we'll do the same. We need to rediscover our calling as priests - those who represent Christ to people. 2 Kings 12:6 The house of God needed fixing and the priests were the men for the job, but they wouldn't do it. The service of the day kept them preoccupied. It took the king to step in - the man who had dominion and authority. The king walked in his authority and the building was fixed so the service could move on. If the king didn't do this then the service would have stopped because the building would break down. Today, the church model is in need of repair. We still have a temple model. But many of our spiritual leaders are preoccupied with the service of the day they are not repairing it. It will take people walking in dominion and authority to step in and help in the process.
2 Kings 12:18 (7/4/14)
Duty / Results • July 4, 2014 • Benham Brothers
2 Kings 12:18 - Joash had helped build the temple so he probably felt comfortable about using the temple treasury to pay a debt. Joash used God's money for an ungodly purpose, and it worked! Joash was Pragmatic in his thinking, but he should have been Principled in his thinking. Pragmatic people think about what will WORK / Principled people think about what is RIGHT. 2 Kings 16:8 - Ahaz tried the same thing, and it worked! 2 Kings 18:16 - Hezekiah tried the same thing, and it didn't work! In all these situations these men didn't trust God - they trusted what God had given to them. Often times God asks us to go the opposite direction of what works in the natural so He can show us what He'll do in the supernatural. Pragmatism must bow before Principle. Duty-driven people focus on obedience / Results-driven people focus on what works. Duty-driven people operate in the heart / Results-driven people operate in the mind - it just has to make sense. Consider all the kings that paid off evil kings - sometimes it worked but it wasn't based on obedience to God. In man's world the ends justify the means, but in God's world the means justify the ends - why? Because God is in charge of the ends. A sense of duty regulates your pleasures - you can say no regardless of outcome because it's not your duty. A sense of duty regulates your emotions - you don't get too high or too low because you know it's just your job! John Quincy Adams - "Duty is mine, results are God's." Acts 20:22 - "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there." Paul had a sense of duty! "And now I am on my way to building this business, not knowing how it's going to turn out." "And now I am going to have another baby, not knowing how I'm going to feed her." "And now I am going to tell the truth, not knowing if it's going to cost my job." "And now I am going to expose the lie, not knowing what's going to happen to my reputation." "And now I am going to stand and fight, not knowing if I will win or lose."
2 Kings 14:27 (6/7/18)
God's Man • June 7, 2018 • Benham Brothers
•Jeroboam wasn’t a good man, but he was God’s man. •God, through this evil king, brought peace and prosperity to Israel. •In America today, and with other leaders around the world, we need to keep this in mind. •God can use anyone He wants however He wants. •You don’t have to be a good man to be God’s man. •He’ll get the job done however He sees fit.