Module 8 – Study Material

Precis:

Point out the superiority of walking by faith; trace the life of Elisha, one who walked by faith; encourage a reckless trust in Jesus.

Text: Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Introduction:

Faith is incompatible with reason. The first is a godly dynamic of the spirit; the latter is a sensory function of the mind. The first trusts in the Lord, the second assesses circumstantial evidence. One is the motivation of spirit while the other is a reaction of the soul. Reason cannot comprehend faith, not because faith is incomprehensible but because reason is impotent. Faith offers the highest form of understanding for it is divine. It is not confined to the limitations of human intellect and because it is not contingent upon sensory perception, it transcends every circumstance. Reason is limited to finite human prowess.

Why then do I doubt thee? I have trusted in you on many occasions and have found you faithful. I have never been without your guidance and you have never failed me. I have always benefited when I have been obedient to you. Then why now, is there this obsessive compulsion to weigh every move in the scales of my understanding? Why then is there this need to query your wisdom? “Is it feasible? Is it economically safe? Will I maintain public respect? How much discomfort will it create? What losses or benefits can such a choice bring? Perhaps I’d better not, lest I lose the measure of security I now possess?” These and many other voices mill through my mind relentlessly. They loudly call for my attention like some courier, all but drowning out the still small voice of faith. 

Should I then listen to the din of reason? The choices will be faltering, inadequate and inferior. If I hear your voice and by faith obey your leading, then the choices I make will have your divine favor. Lord; forgive my distrust. 

Lord, hear my prayer: I submit my intellect, my talents, my goals and aspirations to you. By faith I shall rely upon your divine wisdom and will respond with obedience to your prompting. I ask this in Your Name Jesus,  – Amen.

We are encouraged to count the cost. This requires a measure of analysis, but once the alternatives are examined, a choice must be made in favor of faith. Because faith is not confined to human reason, personal resourcefulness or circumstances, it is not dependent upon limitations. God can do anything but fail!

Knowledge humbles a great man. It admonishes a common man. It only serves to inflate a little man.      

LESSON:

8.1 WHERE IS THE GOD OF ELIJAH – 1 Kings 19:19

1.1    Who Is This Man Elijah 

      1.   He stepped on the stage of Old Testament history as a full-grown man

      2.   He was a man of like passions (weakness) as we

      3.   Jezebel, the daughter of Hell led Israel’s deep apostasy 

      4.   The Glory of the Lord had departed; Darkness filled the land

      5.   God called a man: Not a committee, club, denomination, angel – Elijah

      6.   A man with whom the miraculous was the norm – Rain, fire, strength

      7.   Picture him on Mt. Carmel and Ahab’s false prophets – Enjoy his victory

      8.   See him fleeing from Jezebel – Understand his weaknesses and failures 

      9.   The faithful, fearless servant of the Lord is now aged  – Man’s work is done

      10.  Pass the mantle to a successor – Elisha

1.2   Where Are The Elijahs Of God

     1.   There is only one Elijah – Many came after him

     2.   We cannot have his person but we can have his power

     3.   We cannot have his identity but we do have his identification

8.2 ELISHA’S CALL BY THE PROPHET – 1 Kings 19:19

     1.   Note his class – He was wealthy 

     2.   Note his character – He was industrious, modest

     3.   Note his call – He understood his calling

8.3 ELISHA’S RESPONSE TO HIS CALL – 1 Kings 19:20-21

     1.  He straightway followed – Left his oxen and ran after Elijah

     2.  He said farewell – said good-bye to his loved ones

     3.  He served faithfully – submitted to serfdom – became a servant

8.4 ELISHA’S MINISTRY AS A  PROPHET – 2 Kings 2:1-11

     1.   His ministry was menial – 20 years he cared for Elijah

     2.   His designs were honorable – I shall not leave thee – v:2,4,6

     3.   His desire was holy – Selfless desire to serve the prophet – v:9

     4.   His demonstration was heroic – Elijah translated; the mantle fell 

     5.   Where is the God of Elijah? 

     6.   Elisha became twice as powerful as Elijah

8.5 WHERE ARE THE ELIJAHS OF GOD?

     1.   We love the old saints, missionaries, martyrs, and reformers

     2.   We read their biographies, reverence their memories and erect their monuments 

     3.   We quote their messages and extol their characters

     4.   We will do everything except emulate them

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. – Ezekiel 22:30