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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1215

Could This Happen?
Part One

January 17, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1215 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, we certainly have been on again, off again this morning and we’ll just trust the Lord to help us, and He does, doesn’t He? He’s merciful to our weakness. And that’s all we’ve got to offer Him, is weakness.

But I was thinking…one of the themes, it seemed like, that just stuck out to me in our prayer meeting the other night, was the idea that God is the God of the impossible, and that we don’t need to stagger in faith at the things we’re praying about, things we’re concerned about, things we’re anticipating, hoping and trusting the Lord to do.

And, you know, I just kind of meditated on that a little bit and thought about different scriptures, looked up a number. And, it just seemed like my mind settled on one and so, I’m just gonna go ahead and turn to 2 Kings, chapter 6 and 7, I guess. There’s a historical event that might be a good take-off place for sharing some thoughts that I feel like are really relevant to us.

It’s not just a history lesson we need, is it? And, this was a period of time when, you remember, the kingdom of Israel had been split after Solomon. The Northern Kingdom set up their own capital in Samaria and they basically adopted heathen religions, pretty much, and never did serve the Lord. God sent them prophets like Elijah, and now Elisha was on the scene.

And you remember Elisha, before Elijah was taken away, his prayer was, Lord, I want a double portion of what Elijah had. And it seems like the Lord answered that prayer because he had a tremendous miracle-laden…well, miracle-attended ministry. He was known throughout the world, really. This is a man of God, if he says something, it’s gold, you better listen. And so, this was the period of time and this was chapter 6.

You remember how we had the incident where the Arameans are attacking Israel and no matter what they try to do, strategy-wise, Elisha knows about it, tells the king, don’t go here, and the guy’s totally frustrated. And so finally, he decides that the only thing he can do, he’d better do something about Elisha. So he goes and finds out where he’s at, surrounds the city, and they wake up one morning and Elisha and his servant look out, and there’s the city surrounded and his servant says, what are we gonna do?

And Elisha says, don’t worry, there’s more with us than with them. And, about that time, the army begins to close in and so Elisha says, Lord, blind their eyes. And all of a sudden, the entire army was blind. And so, he leads them right into the capital of Samaria. And the king says, hey, should I take this opportunity to kill them? And he says, no. They wind up, basically, feeding them a feast and sending them home, and that was the end of that little war. So, God used the faith and the miracle power that He was manifesting through Elisha to stop a war.

But then, later on, we’ve got this other incident that happens…it’s more than an incident, where the Aramean army, under Ben-Hadad, attacks the city of Jerusalem and they surround them, and as was so often the case, you had walled cities, and one of the strategies of war was to trap them inside and try to starve them into submission. And so, that’s where they were at.

And so, that begins, after verse 24…I might read a bit but I don’t want to just read it all and take the time. But anyway, basically, they’re beginning to run out of food. And food gets, what little there is, is expensive and things get desperate. And, you know, the Lord sometimes allows that. You know, we got a little taste, for just an hour or so this morning, of how dependent we are on society and it operating normally. Lord have mercy! We need to be a people of God that can serve Him regardless of the conditions.

( congregational amens ).

You know, we live in a ‘house of cards’ more than we realize. That’s not what the service is about, but, it’s the truth. And our grandparents knew how to be self-sufficient. It’s something to think about. What would we do if things really change? Because that’s what happened to this society. They were going along, rocking along, everything was great, food was cheap, things were…and all of a sudden, they found themselves in a desperate situation!

And the Lord allowed it to get very desperate. And it got so desperate that one incident is recorded. And the king is going around, and all of a sudden a woman calls out and says, my lord, king, help me! And he said, what’s the trouble? And what it boiled down to was that she and another woman had agreed to eat their children! I mean it sounds incredible to our modern ears but we don’t know what’s in us!

( congregational amens ).

I’ll tell you, if society were to totally break down, it would be chaos, not within days but within hours, if it became evident that society was gone, law and order was gone, provision was gone. It would be chaos! We don’t know what’s in people. And sometimes…well, not sometimes…these things tend to bring out what’s in people. And my prayer is, God will so work in our hearts that whatever happens, what comes out of us will be a trust and a faith!

( congregational amens ).

But anyway, that was the situation. This woman says, let’s eat your son today and tomorrow we’ll eat mine. Well, they went through the first half, and the second half, the woman hid her son and so she’s complaining to the king. And that was kind of the last straw for the king. And basically, what he wound up saying, down at the end…the summation of what he was thinking is the very end of chapter 6. “Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?” (NIV).

There are a lot of people that try in their own strength to have faith and to trust God and to wait upon God, but it’s not really faith. Have you ever experienced that in your own life, let alone watched somebody else? Okay, I’m trusting God, I’m trusting God, I’m trusting, God…He’s not doing anything, I better do something here.

There’s a lesson in that for every one of us. Faith doesn’t quit! It doesn’t suppose that lack of action means that God doesn’t care, that He doesn’t have a purpose, that He’s not in control. You know, we talked about those things recently. Those are lies that the enemy embeds in humankind, because of human nature, it’s in harmony with our fundamental unbelief.

But here was the situation. And the king, now, has run out of patience and his reaction to this tragic situation is, I’m gonna take Elisha’s head off! I’ve got to do something! Let’s just take his head off! So, he dispatches a messenger. And of course, the Lord warns Elisha. He’s sitting there with some of the elders. And he said, there’s a messenger coming, lock the door. His master will be right behind him. He’s a murderer, he’s bent on murdering here.

And so basically, that’s what happens. There’s a standoff at the door. But the Lord reveals something to Elisha. In the beginning of chapter 7 it says, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah…” or about…the margin says something like two pounds or so, roughly, “…of flour will sell for a shekel and two…” Same amount…well, I guess it’s double that amount. “…Of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” So now, “…The officer on whose arm the king was leaning…” Sounds like he was not a young fellow…Ron, he was like us.

( laughter ).

Getting to where he needed somebody to lean on. But anyway, “The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” That’s kind of the thought that brought me to this passage, but I’ll just go ahead and briefly summarize the rest of the story.

And there were…at this point, there were four men who were lepers, and they were kind of hanging around the entrance of the city. They weren’t welcome inside, of course, because of their disease. And somehow, it comes into their minds…I can’t imagine how this would happen! The Lord has a way of working things out, doesn’t He?

But somehow the thought got planted in their mind. They were assessing their situation and said, look, if we stay here we’re gonna die. If we go into the city we’re gonna die. So, our only chance is to go and surrender to this army, and if they kill us, we’re still gonna die. But there’s a chance that they’ll feed us and all of that. So, they take off in the early evening and they get to the enemy’s camp and there’s nobody there! Absolutely nobody! I mean, every animal is tied up. Every…all the food, all the stuff…they have just…it’s like they’ve vanished into thin air! They’ve gone!

And so man, they start…the natural reaction, of course, is boy, we’re hungry…and not only that, look at all this gold and silver here. Let’s just grab some and hide it, put it away for a rainy day. And so, they’re just having themselves a big time. And all of a sudden, their conscience begins to bother them. They say, look, we’re not doing right here. This is a day of joy! This is a day of provision! We need to tell people about this!

But anyway…so, they go back and they tell…this is the middle of the night now and they holler, hey, the enemy’s gone, there’s plenty out here. And the king wakes up and, of course, being a man of faith that he is, he figures it was a trick. And so, he says, let’s send out a couple of chariots and check this out. And the chariots followed a trail of clothes and stuff that had been cast off all the way to the Jordan River and they came back and they said, it’s true, there’s nobody there.

So, anyway, they finally realized, hey, what Elisha said is true, there’s plenty out there. But what was interesting was that the king now dispatches this same officer who had made that statement of faith…if God opened the windows of heaven or opened the floodgates of the heavens, in this translation, I think it is, could this happen? He was the guy that was posted at the gate, presumably to keep order.

Well, they trampled him to death! And that was part of what Elisha had said to him. “You will see it with your own eyes…but you will not eat any of it!” And so anyway, that was the final thing. They all went out, and exactly what Elisha said…God brought a provision that was, seemingly, impossible.

And this is kind of where my thinking was going and what I feel like the Lord wants to help us, every one, with, because there are things in every one of our lives that, to us, no matter how much general faith we might profess, to us they seem like, that’s impossible! This thing is impossible!

And you know, there’s two things…there’s two areas here. One of them is the natural provision. And it comes down to the what-ifs of life. What if I lose my job? What if I get sick? What if this or what if society breaks down? What if…all these things that can happen, will God be faithful? How will I get through?

Situations that are totally impossible…and the scriptures are so abundant with their testimony of how God can do anything, at any time, under any circumstance. And He’s never—He’s never unable to handle the situation. It’s never beyond His power, no matter what He allows the Devil to do, God is in charge!

( congregational amens ).

He is our hope and He is the one in whom we are called to trust, even when situations do seem impossible! And even when they truly are, from a human standpoint! And you know, you go through the whole scripture, from Sarah not being able to bear a child and laughing when the Lord said, you’re gonna have a child in a year, and then lying about it…but I’ll tell you, God’s purpose was bigger than all of that. And one of the things the Lord says is, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”

And that’s a question we need to be asking ourselves. Is anything too hard for the Lord? And you know, last year…last week, I should say, we looked at the scripture in Deuteronomy, chapter 8. And one of the things there was, here’s a bunch of people out in the wilderness, with no natural supply train, no provision, and complaining about being hungry and going to Moses saying, feed us. We should have stayed there, and we’d have been better off as slaves in Egypt than we are out here. Folks, I’ll tell you, we’ve got a lot of that in us!

( congregational amens ).

You know, we may not like where we’re at but it’s something we’re used to. And the idea of change is fearful, and it’s terrifying. But I’ll tell you, God proved Himself, didn’t He?

( congregational amens ).

And they had no frame of reference. They had no way of saying, well, look what God did back there. He can take of…they had no frame of reference to say how God could do it. You ever suffer from this idea of, well, this is gonna be tough but here’s how God could do it?

( laughter ).

We make up our own prescription and we’re looking for that and here’s the answer coming from someplace we’d never imagined. We’ve got a God who’s got a sense of humor, I think. I know He does. He made you, didn’t He?

( laughter ).

And me! But I’ll tell you, I believe it delights God to bring things to pass just because He demonstrates His love, He demonstrates His power, He demonstrates His goodness, because He just blows our little minds all to pieces with the way He does things!

And He has a way…we love formulas. We want to look at a scripture and say, look what God did! Praise God! If we just…we line it out, do our part, then God’s obligated to do His. We found a formula for getting God to do what we want. Well, it’s not that way, folks! We are dependent upon a God who is working out an eternal purpose, who is well able to do it, willing to do it, and He’s not dismayed by any circumstance that could ever happen.

And so, they found out that they could eat in the wilderness just fine. Later on they complained. You remember how they complained to Moses. They said, we’re tired of this bread. And, I mean, they’re eating angel’s food, and they’re bored. Isn’t that human nature? So they complain. They want meat. And the Lord says, I’ll give them meat. I looked this up. I think I’m getting this straight.

But anyway…and Moses just throws up his hands. He displays his own unbelief at that point. He says, Lord, if we ate all the flocks and herds and all the fish in the sea, would we have meat? How can I give them meat? Well, the Lord had an answer for that, didn’t He? He drowned them in quails.

But, that’s just human nature, folks. What lessons we have of God’s provision for situations that we have no natural answer for. I mean, you just back up to the Red Sea…and there they were backed up to the Red Sea! And, what would your answer be? I mean, you get a committee together, could you come up with one? No! There’s no possible answer except divine intervention.

And you know, we’ve got brothers and sisters in the world today, who are in extraordinary, difficult, way beyond anybody’s power to fix, situations. And we have a God who’s faithful to His people! We have a God…that doesn’t mean He fixes everything and nobody ever suffers loss, or nobody ever suffers anything. But I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who’s got every one of His children in the palm of His hand!

( congregational amens ).

And who knows how to do what He has set out to do. But you follow on through the scriptures and you see…well, in the life of Elijah, right before Elisha. He was running from Jezebel. He was in a state of fear and unbelief at the time. And yet, God didn’t just throw him out. Thank God! He knows what we’re made out of. He puts up with us in all of these things because He is leading us. He’s not demanding that we measure up at every point. It doesn’t mean we just throw caution to the wind. But I mean, He knows what we’re not! He knows what we are!

And His heart reached out to Elijah and he went so far into the desert and into the wilderness, on his way back to Mount Sinai…called it Horeb there…to find out what was going on. And all of a sudden, he went to sleep and he woke up and ravens came and fed him. I mean, you think about a God who can…he’s got somebody out there, there’s no natural provision, and all of a sudden, some birds fly up and give him food! God is not limited by our imagination! And he ate that and he went back to sleep, and woke up and there was some more. And He said, go in the strength…you don’t have the strength, and I’ll give you what you need. Isn’t that an awesome God that we serve?

( congregational response ).

He’s always got exactly what we need! And so, he went on to the mountain and he met the Lord there, and the Lord spoke to him through the still, small voice.

But you think about…I think it was in…was it Elijah or Elisha? I think it was Elisha. Where there was a famine going on and he went to stay with this lady, and she was about to cook their last meal. And there was no possible way that she could see…it was her and her son…just poor. And they were going to eat their last meal and die. That was her plan.

I mean that’s pretty serious…you know, coming to that stage of your thinking. I am going to eat and we’re going to die and that’s the end of it. There’s just no hope here. But he says, go borrow everything you can. Borrow all the containers that you can find. She goes out to her neighbors and she borrows everything she can find, and he said, pour out…take the oil and pour it. Take the meal and pour it. Whatever it was…whatever it was, she had everything that she needed until the end of that time.

And then she was tried, yet again. Her son died. And she called for the prophet. And the Lord raised him from the dead. I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who just simply is not limited! We’re the ones who limit Him, with our unbelief! And I have to raise both of my hands! But anyway, you go on and you think about the three Hebrew children. I mean, what did they have to look back to in terms of God’s provision where somebody was tied up and thrown in a raging furnace and survived?

And the truth is, they went into that circumstance, where they were challenged, either you bow or you burn, and they said, we don’t know whether our God will deliver us. We know He can! But we don’t know if He will.

So, here was a situation that was a little different than where we started where there was a definite word of God, this is going to happen. They didn’t have that to go on. But what they did have was a conviction in their hearts that we are going to trust God if it means we burn! We are better off burning than bowing to your idol! Praise God! Have you got that kind of conviction in your heart? We’re gonna need it! We need it to live in this kind of a world!