The God Who Provides

Scripture Passage: 
2 Kings 4:1-44
Attached audio files: 

  1. 10 MB

INTRODUCTION: This chapter has four examples of God using His prophet Elisha to provide for the needs of His people. They are illustrations for us to show us the wonderful supply that God gives to those who are His own.

  1. THE STAYING OF THE OIL (2 Kings 4:1-7)
    1. The Problems She Suffered (2 Kings 4:1)
      1. Widowhood
      2. Debt
      3. Slavery for her sons
      4. But she showed true wisdom:
        1. In laying a solid foundation – “thy servant did fear the LORD.”
        2. In coming to the right place – “unto Elisha”
    2. The Possession She Forgot (2 Kings 4:2)
      1. Elisha’s request – What shall I do for thee?
        1. Elisha stood in the place of God.
        2. God is willing to help (Jeremiah 33:3; James 4:2).
      2. Elisha’s reminder – What hast thou in the house?
        1. She answered, “not any thing.” This is often our first reaction in a trial.
        2. She had a pot of oil.
          1. God starts with what He has given you (1 Corinthians 4:7).
          2. God asked Moses, What is that in thine hand? (Exodus 4:1-5)
    3. The Plan She Was Given (2 Kings 4:3-4)
      1. Go (2 Kings 4:3) – don’t sit (Genesis 8:16; Deuteronomy 2:3; Mark 16:15).
      2. Borrow vessels (2 Kings 4:3).
        1. A vessel is a type of man (2 Corinthians 4:7).
        2. These were unowned vessels – of all thy neighbours (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
        3. These were empty vessels (2 Timothy 2:21).
        4. She was to get many vessels – not a few. We must make sure that we do not limit God (Psalm 78:41).
      3. Come in (2 Kings 4:4) – to receive from the Lord (John 10:9).
      4. Shut the door (2 Kings 4:4). Compare this to prayer (Matthew 6:6).
      5. Pour the oil (2 Kings 4:4).
        1. Receive God’s blessing (2 Corinthians 3:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
        2. Set aside that which is full.
    4. Her Performance of God’s Word (2 Kings 4:5-6)
      1. She followed instructions (2 Kings 4:5; Romans 6:16-17).
      2. She ran out of vessels (2 Kings 4:6).
        1. Her vessels were the measure of her faith (Luke 6:38; compare 2 Kings 13:14-19).
        2. Then, the oil stayed.
    5. Her Provision from the Lord (2 Kings 4:7)
      1. The value of the oil – compare to God’s indwelling Spirit.
      2. The cancellation of her debt – compare to forgiveness and cleansing.
      3. The power of a victorious life (Ephesians 1:17-18; Ephesians 3:16)
  2. THE RESTORING OF THE SON (2 Kings 4:8-37)
    1. The Gift (2 Kings 4:8-17)
      1. She gave of her provision (2 Kings 4:8).
        1. She fed Elisha compassionately – though she was a “great woman.”
        2. She fed Elisha compellingly – she constrained him.
        3. She fed Elisha continually – as oft as he passed by.
      2. She served the Lord by serving the man of God (2 Kings 4:9-10).
        1. She made plans for a room (2 Kings 4:9).
          1. She approached her husband.
          2. She perceived Elisha to be a holy man.
        2. She made a little chamber on the wall (2 Kings 4:10).
        3. She furnished the chamber (2 Kings 4:10).
          1. A bed
          2. A table
          3. A stool
          4. A candlestick
      3. She asked for nothing in return (2 Kings 4:11-13).
      4. God gave her a special blessing (2 Kings 4:14-17).
        1. The absence of a child (2 Kings 4:14)
        2. The promise of a son (2 Kings 4:15-16)
        3. The provision of a son (2 Kings 4:17)
    2. The Grief (2 Kings 4:18-28)
      1. The child died (2 Kings 4:18-21).
      2. The Shunammite hurried to Elisha (2 Kings 4:22-26).
      3. She fell at the feet of Elisha (2 Kings 4:27-28).
        1. The Lord had hid this thing from Elisha (2 Kings 4:27).
        2. She reminded Elisha of her initial reluctance (2 Kings 4:28).
    3. God’s Grace (2 Kings 4:29-37)
      1. Elisha sent his staff to the child (2 Kings 4:29-31).
      2. Elisha prayed unto the Lord (2 Kings 4:32-33).
      3. Elisha stretched himself upon the child (2 Kings 4:34).
      4. Elisha paced and then repeated his action (2 Kings 4:35).
      5. The child revived and was returned to his mother (2 Kings 4:35-37).
  3. CLEANSING OF THE POT (2 Kings 4:38-41)
    1. Pottage Prepared for the Prophets (2 Kings 4:38-39)
      1. The setting for the meal (2 Kings 4:38)
        1. In a time of dearth (2 Kings 4:38)
        2. When the sons of the prophets were sitting before Elisha (2 Kings 4:38)
        3. By the commandment of Elisha (2 Kings 4:38)
      2. The obedience of the servant (2 Kings 4:39)
        1. He gathered herbs and wild gourds.
        2. He prepared them for a meal.
        3. They did not know what was in them.
    2. Poison in the Pot of Pottage (2 Kings 4:40)
      1. The meal was served.
      2. The pottage was poisoned.
      3. They cried out to the man of God.
      4. They could not eat of the pottage.
    3. Poison Removed from the Pottage (2 Kings 4:41)
      1. Elisha cast meal into the pot.
      2. The people ate of the pottage.
  4. THE FEEDING OF THE PEOPLE (2 Kings 4:42-44)
    1. Food from Baalshalisha (2 Kings 4:42-43a)
    2. Food Enough for the Hundred Men (2 Kings 4:43b-44)

CONCLUSION: Elisha, as a man of God, ministered to the needs of those around him. He spent and was spent for the sake of others (2 Corinthians 12:15). Oh, that we could be as useful in meeting the spiritual needs of those around us!

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 26:11

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.