Lessons From II Kings

2 Kings 2:19-21 (6/2/16)

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)

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 3:16 (5/29/19)

May 30, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* These troops were literally on the brink of death from lack of water. * God told them to dig trenches to prepare for water. * Do what? * They had to do work BEFORE the miracle came. * But they did their part, so God did His. * God is in the miracle working business, but oftentimes we don’t see it in our lives because we haven’t done our part. * EX: My book “Living Among Lions” - I needed a miracle. * vs 22-24 - not only did the water give them nourishment but it defeated their enemy.

2 Kings 4:3 (6/1/17)

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 4:9-17 (6/10/21)

June 10, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* In business (or work) you don’t need to chase after money. * When you lead with tangible value monetary value will chase you down. * We see this in the story of Elisha and the widow, both of whom brought value to the other without being asked. * Let’s look at the story: * Vs 8 - The widow led with value (Elisha didn’t ask). * She used her wealth to help people (Mr. Dave White). * She lived by the motto, “What can I do to bless others?” * Vs 9-10 - She was always looking for a way to ADD value (to give more). * After she gave once, her motto changed to “What ELSE can I do?” * Vs 11 - How did this affect Elisha? * He said, “What can I do for her?” * Vs 12-13a - Elisha would now give her something of value. * Vs 13b - she was content with what she had. * Vs 14a - Elisha asked “What ELSE can I do?” * Vs 14b - God raised up an intercessor for her. * Vs 15-16 - she had given up hope to have a kid. * She didn’t even want to ask for it - that desire was dead in her. * So many women lose sight of this because they give and give and give. * Vs 17 - she received something of value when she led with something of value. * Ultimately, this son died. And the woman finally asked for something for herself. * And she got it! God, through Elisha, healed the boy. * So how do we lead with value? * 1) In your immediate surroundings, look for someone you can bless. * Ask, “What can I do?” Then ask, “What ELSE can I do?” * 2) In your business, look for problem pools, not profit pools. * An entrepreneur is someone who goes in between a person and a problem with a solution. * 3) In your work, give more in value than you take in pay.

2 Kings 4:20-28 (5/30/19)

May 30, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* The woman had a problem and needed a miracle. * Before she told anyone she brought the situation to God (the prophet). * The prophets represented God at this time in history. * Imagine how heavy a burden this would’ve been had she dumped it on her husband. * Since she took her problem to God she also found her solution from Him. * And it didn’t cost her a strained relationship in the process. * Two points: * 1) Don’t dump your problems on people. Go to God first. * 2) Don’t let others put the burden of their problems on you. Tell them to trust God. * Galatians 6:2 - help people carry their burdens (something too heavy for them). * Galatians 6:5 - people should carry their own loads (stuff they can do on their own).

2 Kings 4:44 (6/24/21)

June 24, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* What you have is multiplied in the giving of it away. * Multiplication is “addition that is done repeatedly.” * God wants us to add to our numbers and repeat it a lot! * One of the first commands in the Garden was to “be fruitful & multiply!” * To be fruitful is to be “productive.” * Fruitful activity adds to what’s already there, producing more of something. * A fruitful couple = kids. A fruitful business = money. A fruitful God follower = disciples. * The secret to fruitful is faithful. * When you’re faithful with what God has give you it will multiply. * Start with your raw material. How do you know what your raw material is? * Talents (you’re born with it), Skills (you’ve learned how to do it), and Experience (you've been through it). * To find your talent, finish these statements: * “I’ve always been good at …” * “I’ve always wanted to …” * “I’ve always felt like I would …” * “It’s always been natural for me to …” * Take your raw material, turn it into something that can be given away (invested). * Vs 42a - it was a time of famine, and a faithful farmer brought his first-fruits. * He brought bread (not seed) - he turned his raw material into something that would bless the priests. * What if he kept them back for himself? No miracle. * Vs 42b - Elisha saw himself as a conduit for blessing. * Vs 43a - You can’t have faith apart from a problem (impossibility). * Vs 43b-44 - Faithfulness multiplies what we have. * They ate and “had some left over” - with God there’s always MORE than enough! * This was the backdrop for Jesus feeding the 5,000. * Matthew 25:14-15 - God has given all of us gifts (raw material). * Vs 16-18 - Two guys multiplied, one guy didn’t. They were willing to RISK. * To give is often “to invest.” * Vs 19-23 - faithful = multiplied. * Vs 24-25 - fear causes you to bury the gift God has given you. * Treasure buried can't be spent. * You’re not supposed to give back to God what He gives you - You’re supposed “be fruitful and multiply!” * Vs 26a - you can be a servant but wicked and lazy if you’re not multiplying!! * Vs 26b-30 - punishment awaits those who do not multiply! * How do you multiply? * Five Steps to Multiplication: * 1) Recognize what you have as a gift from God (talent & skill). * 2) Work the gift! (Hone it to make it presentable). * 3) Put the gift to work! (Use the gift to bless others). * 4) Expect a reward for using your gift. (What you have will be multiplied and who you’ve helped will be multiplied). * 5) Go back to step one.

2 Kings 5:2-4 (7/1/21)

July 1, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* The most powerful weapon in our arsenal is our testimony. * When things go bad in your life, it’s testimony that pulls you through. * A testimony is a story of how your faith intersected with God’s faithfulness, and now you have a God story that’s a part of HIStory. * When your faith intersects with God’s faithfulness your faith grows (Andy Stanley). * It’s not just your own testimony, but others as well. * Businesses use this all the time - it’s called MARKETING! * The best marketing uses the power of story - both yours and others - to show how your product/service can solve a problem. * NY Times said, “Marketing is the art of telling stories so well that people lose track of their wallets.” * KEY - God wants all of us to have testimonies. But they’re voluntary. You have to act in faith - and faith is always a choice. * Three truths about a testimony: * They’re PRACTICAL - they are the result of a simple decision to trust God. * They’re POWERFUL - they have the power to break chains in your life (Revelation 12:11). * They’re PROVEN - all through Scripture we see it. * But here’s the beauty of testimony - it’s not just for you, it’s for others. * Backstory - The story of Naaman! * Vs 1 - God’s favor was on Naaman to deal with the wicked king of Israel, but he had a problem (leprosy). * God’s favor didn’t just give Naaman victory in battle, but it gave him a disease on his skin! Why? * So Naaman could have a testimony - a God story that is now a part of HISstory. * Vs 2 - A bad thing happened to this young girl - she didn’t choose this path. * Imagine how her hope for a future was dashed to the ground. * But she surrendered to her season … * … and she became a blessing to those God put in her life. * Vs 3 - She remembered the stories she had seen with her own eyes! * She borrowed others’ testimonies (you can do that!). * She saw Naaman as “her master” - this is key. She surrendered to the authority in her life and that cleared her memory! * How did this turn out? * Vs 14-15 - Naaman now had a testimony! * Notice - both Naaman’s external (felt need) and his internal (true need) were met through the power of testimony! * The best marketing touches the external and internal needs. * A testimony doesn’t just solve your problem - it changes who you are! * A testimony has three parts: * 1) The thing that happened - this is the involuntary part. * 2) How you respond to what happened - this is the voluntary part. * You have to choose to place your faith in God. * You can go through a hard time but not have faith and you won’t have a God story. * Or, God did come through for you but you don’t give Him credit. * 3) How you use it - to help yourself and others. * You have to “remember” it, otherwise it loses its power (Men of Issachar vs Men of Ephraim). * You have to share it - it’s called “word” of your testimony. Speak it to yourself - “remember that time …” and speak it to others - “I remember a time …”

2 Kings 5:9-11 (6/1/17)

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 5:13-14 (5/30/19)

May 30, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* We often think of Naaman the leper, not Naaman the leader. * This little exchange shows the type of leader he was. * When he got miffed at Elisha he allowed his servants to speak into his life. * He let them help him make a wise decision. * As a result, he was healed. * This shows truly humility on the part of Naaman. * He shows the reward for a leader who walks in humility - blessing!

2 Kings 5:20-27 (6/1/17)

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)

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)

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 6:8-12 (7/8/21)

July 8, 2021 • Benham Brothers

- Your success in life is tied to the amount of time you spend in the secret place with God.  - First, define success. Then, get into the secret place.  - Definitions:  - Riches - abundance of a valuable possession (Holy Spirit).  - Profit - not the financial surplus in your bank - it’s anything that leads to life.  - Wealth - the constant flow of riches and profit.  - Success is when you use your riches to generate profit that leads to wealth.  - Success is not about revenue, but relationships - are you breathing life into the relationships you have?  - BACKSTORY - Israel was at war with the Aarameans (always a battle).  - The king of Aram would make his plans, God would listen in … - … Elisha would get alone with God, then God would download the king’s plans to him.   - Elisha would reveal those plans to the king of Israel, thwarting the plans of the king of Aram.  - Vs 8-12 - Israel was winning because they were listening to God!   - They didn’t have some secret strategy on how to win or how to spy on the king.  - God’s man simply got alone in the secret place and received the download - the exact plans they needed in order to WIN!   - APPLICATION - God wants you to win, He wants you to succeed!   - But it’s tied to your diligence in getting alone with Him in the secret place.  - Keys to the Secret Place: - 1) Get alone - Jesus did it early.  - 2) Make it a habit - not like an appointment you can’t miss, but a date you can’t wait for.  - 3) Empty your mind - drive out the “busy-ness” like Jesus with the whip in the temple. (To listen, you have to turn off the noise.)  - 4) Write it down - like George Mueller.

2 Kings 6:17 (5/30/19)

May 30, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* When Jezebel pursued Elijah to kill him he ran. * God ended up replacing Elijah with Elisha. * When an army came against Elisha to kill him he didn’t run, he resisted. * How? * Think back to Elijah telling Elisha could have a double portion of his spirit if he saw him taken up into heaven. * Then, an angel in a chariot of fire took him, and Elisha saw it (2 Kings 2:11). * Elisha now had eyes to see what was true about the spiritual realm. * So when this army came, Elisha had eyes to see what was really happening - he was surrounded by chariots of fire - the same thing he saw come from heaven. * He walked in faith, not fear, because he had a testimony of what he saw. * vs 32 - Elisha resisted the Jezebel spirit; Elijah ran from it.