Not Troubled Not Afraid . Sermon from John 14:26-27
A statement from the Kirk Session in the light of the current guidance on COVID-19.
'Chan eil dìteadh sam bith'
(There is no condemnation) A Gaelic service from Romans 8:1
with singing from Psalm 16 :8-9 and Psalm 133
Tag Archives: Character in a time of crisis
This series of daily Bible notes ends for a time after the biblical fortieth day, in looking once again at the ‘Friends in High Places’ who protected Elisha and his servant. We have seen over these forty days how Elijah and Elisha, two unique individuals had a purpose in God’s plan. They showed character in the times of crisis in which they found themselves, and as such, they leave us with much to think about and follow in our own time of crisis today.
I believe that what we are shown in these verses should be a great comfort, as we are shown that no matter our circumstances, no matter even how we might feel; we are not alone. If we can take to heart Elisha’s rapid faith-filled prayer, we are shown that God’s help is indeed only a prayer away. Continue reading
What I am referring to is what the Bible calls’ ministering spirits’, powerful beings that we cannot ordinarily see, but who exist to do God’s will, and to help God’s people.
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
These Verses in 2 Kings 6 bring home the reality of these ‘friends in high places’ to Elisha’s servant. It is only when his eyes are opened that He sees what he hadn’t before. He can discern God’s firewall around him, ( vs 17) He sees what Elisha could see, he sees what God wanted him to see, and also what the devil didn’t want him to see! The prophet’s servant is shown the reality of Angelic presence, of a spiritual dimension of which we are often unaware. But before this – things were different! Continue reading
Naaman’s Confession in 2 Kings 5:15 does in some senses read like other similar confessions in the Bible. “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.”
This is a statement of Naaman’s Faith, but we must notice it is a fledgeling faith. It is an immature faith ( vs 17). He is so impressed by this God who is able to heal, as no other could that he determines that he will worship this God, ( read vs 17) Two mule loads of earth seem to show Naaman’s ignorance of this God. He knows this God, but very little. He seems to have a mixed Polytheistic view that this God is like other gods, who would prefer the earth of his own land, believing that God could only be worshipped on his native soil. His God is small, and his knowledge of him imperfect. Continue reading
Yet Naaman should be thankful for the wise counsel of his servants. They are sensible and wise when their master is not, and they give him this prudent advice
“My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” ( vs 13)
Thankfully for Naaman, he heeded their advice and was healed of his leprosy Continue reading
We sometimes wonder how anything good can come from a bad situation, but God’s will and way are greater than ours, and God knows what He is doing. If she hadn’t been there, Naaman would never have gone to Elisha for help, and would not have been healed.In reflecting on the difficult and challenging times, can we say like Joseph that God meant it for good” “ ( Gen 50:20) I hope we can take comfort from the testimony of scripture,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 Continue reading
I believe that the way God works in the case of the Shunammite’s son is a pattern of how personal God’s care is of hurting people. And also a model for the church to follow in its caring for hurting, grieving people too. There is genuine concern for the woman and her son, in Elisha’s actions. Shutting the door, closing out all distractions, Elisha takes it to the Lord in prayer, in the room the woman had set aside for him. Praying to God seeking the help of the God whom he served, and physically touching the child, giving him the kiss of life. Elisha isn’t acting in ignorance, or with apathy, but with determined purpose, that the woman whom he had given the promise to before would not have her hopes cruelly dashed again. Continue reading
The life of Elisha was full of the miracles and the supernatural power of God. We have already seen the first two. God gave water in the desert to provide for an army, (2 Ki 3) and copious olive oil to provide for a widow and her family(2 Ki 4:1-7). However, in 2 Kings 4: 8-36, we see an even greater miracle, the raising to life of the Shunammite’s son Continue reading
The Story of Elisha and the widow’s oil is not only one of the best known of this prophet’s miracles. It is also an account which has parallels with the earlier passage of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath ( 1 Kings 17:7 ff) – She is along with her son dying of hunger – they have only a little flour and some oil. Which they are going to eat, and then wait to die of hunger. But Elijah asks for a cake. Can we imagine the widow’s thoughts? ‘ We are dying of hunger, and this wild-eyed freak wants a cake!’ No, the widow does as Elijah asks( 1 Kings 17:15) and is blessed. And so here also (in 2 Kings 4:1-7) there is the test of faith. Continue reading
Elisha’s answer to the widow is positive and practical. “How can I help?” He is positive in his response; he’s also practical in what he does. The main issue is getting the debt paid.
All she has is a little oil, probably olive oil in a jar. A little oil was all that God needed. It is fascinating how God works in miraculous ways, in the little things. There are many examples of a little becoming much in scripture. We have the case from the book of Judges of Gideon’s army reduced to a mere handful ( Judges 7) There is the story of David versus Goliath in 1 Samuel 17); we have the account from the life of Elijah, which is so similar to this one ( 1 Kings 17). The flour and Jug of oil of the widow Continue reading
Two very well known Biblical cities are mentioned in 2 Kings 2- Jericho and Bethel. Both in their own way are very well known throughout scripture, but both were in Elisha’s day spiritually dead and far from God. Tomorrow we’ll look at Bethel; today I’d like to look briefly at Jericho.
Finding himself at the river Jordan, Elisha is at the ancient city of Jericho, but it is plain from what the people have to say that things are not good there. ‘Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” (2 Kings 2:19 ESV) Jericho is ‘the city of Palms’ and situated in a pleasant oasis on the Jordan River. It is 800 feet below sea level and enjoys almost perpetual sunshine, excellent fertile ground from the alluvial deposits of the Jordan and a continually flowing spring Ein es-Sultan ( mentioned in verse 21) that irrigates the land. Continue reading