Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes For Sunday’s Message; 10 August 2014; 2 Kings 7:3-9

Sunday, August, 10, 2014 the Scriptures will be 2 Kings 7:3-9

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV and ESV

Hymns

UMH 557 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

UMH 395 “Take Time To Be Holy” verses 1 & 3

UMH 546 “The Church’s One Foundation”

This Sunday we will continue with the series of messages on Commitment and what it mean to live lives of commitment to God and to each other and what it means to be in a covenant relationship with each other.

{Click Me} Message # 1 From July 13 based on John 11:1-3, 17, 38-44

{Click Me} Message #2 from July 27 based on Joshua 2:1-24

{Click Me} Message # 3 from August 3 based on Genesis 39:2-5

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Today we will continue with the sermon series about commitment. Commitment to God is what keeps us connected to God and to each other. Commitment is what translates into action. That is why, as we try to figure out what our church will become in the future and how we will continue making disciples for Jesus for the transformation of the world, we need to look at examples of commitment in the Holy Scriptures.

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Last week we took a look at the life of Joseph, the Patriarch. His life is fertile ground for many sermons with many different lessons. Some day I hope to write a whole series of messages based on the lives of the Patriarchs, and “Joseph” sermons would get the lion share of time.

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Last week we looked at Joseph’s life from the point of view of commitment to God, and we learned that as a young man, Joseph’s understanding of God was in the term of “I.” He had a prophetic vision (which I really think was his call to ministry) in his early teens. That angered his brothers, because the way that Joseph understood that call was “Joseph”-centric [“I saw a dream and God put me – Joseph – above you, you were bowing down to me” {Genesis 37:1-11}]

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Because of that anger and because Joseph acted as an arrogant so-and-so, his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. God was with Joseph through this ordeal, and because of Joseph’s recognition of God, he was an able administrator and a conscientious servant. The Bible explicitly states that this was because “The Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2). Joseph started learning that God is not about “I”; Joseph started learning that God is about “we,” or “team,” or “group.”

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In terms of commitment to God, the lesson that we can learn from Joseph is that growth in commitment goes from “I” to “We.”

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Today we will look at the story of four lepers found in Second Kings. King Ben-Hadad of Assyria besiged the capital city of Samaria in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 6:24). The result was severe famine.

It is in this context that we meet four outcasts, four men who had some kind of skin disease that resulted in them being cast out of the city. {EXPLAINATION of Biblical Term “Leprosy”}

The were forced to live in a “no-man’s land” because their own people were scared of infection. Today we have a similar scare with the Ebola Virus.

These four pariahs/outcasts could not escape into the countryside because of the Assyrian army that surrounded the city.

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So they did something interesting. They had a “summit” or a “conference” or a “meeting of the minds” and looked at their options. From their perspective they saw three options (2 Kings 7:3-4):

1) Enter the city, be shunned and humiliated, and starve

2) Sit at the gate and starve

3) Go the camp of the enemy on the slim chance that the Arameans would spare their lives for fear of contact and infection, and let them pass into the open country.

You have to admit, these are pretty bad options. Only the third option gave them a glimmer of hope. So they waited until sunset and then walked into the enemy’s camp.

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They found an empty camp. God spooked the Assyrians and they ran away leaving everything behind (2 Kings 7:6-7). The four men took care of their most pressing needs first: they got some food. After eating, they looted and hid valuables that they could pick up at a later date (2 Kings 7:8); they made sure that they had a means of survival in the future.

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And that brings us to the most important lesson that we can learn from them. That lesson has to do with commitment to God. Look at their words found in verse 2 Kings 7:9:

9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

Even though they did not harbor any warm feelings towards the people inside the city walls, even though they were outcasts, shunned and humiliated for something that they had no control over, they recognized God’s presence in the situation. They also recognized that they had a responsibility to share the good news. Commitment to God went from “I” to “WE.”

Today I want to suggest that although they had some sort of skin disorder that kept them separated from their own people, they did not have an emotional “leprosy” which kept them separated from God.

Today I want to leave all of us with one question: do we have emotional leprosy that separates us from God. When God tugs on our sleeve, do we put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign? Are we keeping the Good News to ourselves? How willing are we to respond to God’s call as individuals and as a community?

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2 responses to “Approximate Notes For Sunday’s Message; 10 August 2014; 2 Kings 7:3-9

  1. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday Message; 17 August 2014; Jonah 3:1-5,10 | Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

  2. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday Message; 17 August 2014; Jonah 3:1-5,10 | Christ United Methodist Church in Chestertown, MD

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