Lessons From II Kings

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 3:16 (5/29/19)

Making a Miracle • 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)

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

Three Ways to Lead with Value • 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)

Go to God First • 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 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 5:13-14 (5/30/19)

Good Leader • 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)

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 6:17 (5/30/19)

Chariots of Fire • 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.

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.