How to Get Help from God
2 Kings 4:1-7
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Nov. 11, 2012
*I once heard on TV that a mosquito can pick up the scent of a human from 40 miles away.
I’m not saying that to cast aspersions on the way anybody smells.
But just to say that trouble has a way of tracking us down.
Whether it’s big trouble or small, trouble will track you down.
And there will be times when you need help.
*But I’ve got some good news for you today: God wants to help us!
-And in these verses we see how to get help from God.
The first thing to do is simply ask for God’s help.
*This Old Testament widow is our example.
Verse 1 tells us that: “A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD.
And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.’”
*This lady had a terrible problem.
She was a good, Godly woman, but her husband had died.
And she was deeply in debt, so the creditors were coming.
And they weren’t coming to take her car or her house.
They were coming to take her sons!
*She needed help, so she asked for it.
And that’s exactly what we should do.
*You could say, “Well, I don’t have any needs like that.”
But you have no idea what you might need tomorrow.
And what are you going to do when the need arises?
-- Sometimes we just need to swallow our pride and ask for help.
*But you need to be careful who you ask.
This lady asked one of God’s servants for help.
And though we don’t see it spelled out here, I am sure that she also asked God Himself for the help she needed.
And that’s what we should do.
*When King David was in the latter years of his reign, his son Absalom rebelled against his father, and set himself up as king. 2 Samuel 15 tells us that David had to flee Jerusalem.
He was running for his life!
*And out of that great distress, David wrote this prayer we find in the 3rd Psalm:
1. Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2. Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God.''
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4. I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill.
5. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
7. Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8. Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people.
*The Lord helped David.
And He will always help His people at just the right time, in just the right way.
*Whenever we need help, we can ask God to help us.
-- Why? -- Because He wants to help us!
-In Jeremiah 33:3, the Lord said: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
-In Matthew 7:7, Jesus gave His followers this promise: “Ask, and it will be given to you.”
-And in Philippians 4:6&7, the Apostle Paul tells Christians:
6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
*How do we get help from God? -- Ask for it!
2. And then allow God to choose the best way to help us.
*This is the message to us in vs. 2-4: Allow God to choose the best way to help us.
2. So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you?
Tell me, what do you have in the house?"
And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil."
3. Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors -- empty vessels; do not gather just a few.
And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones."
*When this lady went to Elisha in vs. 1, what do you think she was hoping to get? -- Money.
She had no idea how God was going to choose to help her.
And this thing with the oil?
-- She couldn’t have guessed that in a hundred years!
*But our God is a creative God.
He created the whole universe and everything in it!
The Lord knows the best way to help us.
And He has amazing ways to do it.
*The Children of Israel were backed up against the Red Sea.
-- Pharaoh’s army was on the way.
Who would have thought that God would miraculously part the Red Sea? -- But He did!
*The Children of Israel were wondering in the wilderness for 40 years.
Who would have thought that the Lord would send manna, food from Heaven? -- But He did!
*In the next chapter of 2 Kings, Naaman the Syrian was dying of leprosy.
Who would have thought that the Lord would heal him, if he would only dip in the Jordan River seven times? -- But He did!
*Who would have thought?
-That the Almighty Son of God would come to earth on the first Christmas and be born as a man?
-- But He did.
-That Jesus would allow Himself to suffer and die on the cross to take the punishment for our sins?
-- But He did.
-That Jesus would rise from the dead?
-- But He did.
-That 10 days after Jesus went back to Heaven, God would send His Holy Spirit with tongues of fire and rushing wind.
-- But He did.
*Who would have thought that Jesus would give eternal life to everyone who receives Him as Savior and Lord? -- But He does!
*God knows the best way to help us:
-Always through His Son Jesus Christ.
-Sometimes through His people, like Elisha.
-Sometimes through miracles, like this oil.
*Sometimes the Lord helps us through our circumstances.
It can be good circumstances, like bumping into just the right people at just the right time.
But God can even help us through the bad circumstances in life.
*One of the most impressive people I ever met in Ukraine was a young man named Vladimir.
We met in the summer of 1997.
Here was a man who seemed to have it made under the old Communist system.
Vladimir’s father was the Commander of a group of Soviet nuclear submarines.