Sunday School Material 7-22-12: A King Acts On A Widow's Behalf

(II Kings 8:1-6; 7/22/12)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School Material is that God moved in a mysterious way in the life of a woman who had living faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on having living faith, in God.

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Body:

Read II Kings 8:1-2

I. Woman's Departure. In this section of the Sunday School material Elisa told a woman to relocate. God was sending a famine. The woman relocated to the land of the Philistines for seven years.

Applications -

- From favor to famine. Notice in vs. 1 that the woman who experienced favor with her son, now experiences famine. In like manner, rain and shine is likely to come into all of our lives.We should never think that we are so favored by God that famines and hard times will not come our way.

Let’s make sure we have the faith needed to deal with famines. It is easy to deal with favor. But it takes a deeper and stronger faith to trust God in the times of famine.

- Hear, obey, and share. Notice in vs. 2 that the woman followed godly advice in dealing with her famine. She trusted that God was moving through the man of God. She acted upon what she believed was the will of God.

Too many don’t behave as if God is speaking through those we have declared to be the men and women of God. Too many hear but don’t act upon what they hear. And unfortunately, too many who claim to be used by God do not give practical advice about how to handle real famine issues.

The church ought to be a place of learning how to handle the famines and troubles of life in godly ways. Let’s work on hearing, obeying, and sharing godly wisdom.

Read II Kings 8:3-6

II. Woman's Return. In this section of the Sunday School material the woman returned to “her” land, after seven years. She appeals to the king to get her land back. In a rather miraculous way, it appears that God laid on the heart of the king to grant her both her land and profit that had been made over the seven years.

Applications –

- Earthly leaders. Notice in vs. 3 that God is working through the king. There is grave danger in thinking that God only uses Pastors, Deacons, and choir members. Romans 13:1 teaches that every power that is, is ordained of God.

Let’s work on being respectful and receptive to what God is doing through Earthly leaders. It seems that we are easily distracted by the sins of the Earthly leaders. However, God is able to use the weakest elements for His glory.

- Letting God use us. Notice in vss. 4-5 that Elisah and the woman had conducted themselves in a way that the king had something godly to talk about. Because they obeyed God’s will and because the servant was a witness, in spite of his lot in life, God gets the glory.

In like manner, we should live such obedient lives that stories circulate about how God has done great things in and through our lives. Like the servant, we should be a witness for the Lord, no matter what state we find ourselves in. Let’s work on letting God use us on a regular basis, not just special occasions.

- Working faith. Notice in vs. 6 that even though God worked things out for the woman, it took working faith on her part. She did not simply sit back and pray for God to give her the land. She went through the available channels. We hope that the king was just.

I am not sure this situation would have worked out as favorably for the woman today. The king would have probably been accused of showing favoritism or mixing church and state.

Let’s work on having a working faith that prompts us to use proper channels and that prompts us to do God’s will, if we are the decision makers.

- Succession. Notice that in the background that Elisha was the successor of Elijah. In order for there to be similar succession today, there is a need for some Elijahs who are willing to train the next leaders and release leadership to them.

And there is a need for some Elishas to prove themselves faithful. Let’s work on much better succession in our churches, so God’s work can continue at a high level, after we are off of the scene.

Conclusion: Let's work on having living faith. God has much for those who obey His will.

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