We can be cramped by the troubles, by beggarly elements. A woman had a miracle son who died. She sought the man of God. She lived in the higher realm. The boy was brought back to life. Her faith was answered. (2 Kings 4:8-37; Galatians 4:3-4)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 11/20/2022
P. Schaller –
For an introductory word, turn with me to Galatians 4. We have had a great service this morning and now in
this one. Beautiful worship, huh? The band. Wow! This is like amazing. The band and the song
leading. The worship in the congregation. We are here in the name of Christ and the Spirit of
Christ is with us. We have Jesus Christ in our presence. Where two or three are gathered in his
name, there am I. We rejoice in Him in our learning.
I want you to see a verse. This is an introduction to our service. After this, P. Steve will take the
offering and say a few things. Hey, we’re going to eat good today after this service. After this
service, everyone is welcome to walk down the sidewalk and have a Thanksgiving dinner for
lunch today. Dinner for today. Amen.
Chapter 4:3, I’m going to make a diagram here. We were children in a state of mind and way of
living where we were children like in school when you are in third grade and you had to behave.
Put your feet under the desk. Come when the bell rings. Respect your teacher. Obey. Do your
spelling work. In a religious way, the Jews were subject to the rules of Moses, the laws of
Moses. I’ll just make this short. Moses taught the Jewish people what to eat, what not to eat,
what to wear, what not to wear, where to go, where not to go. Moses taught the Jewish people
when they were unclean because they touched a dead body or they ate some unclean food that
they had to sanctify themselves. They were subject to bondage and we would say that they
were elements of the world. Elements of the world. Do you see that?
Let’s read vs. 3. If you have followed us in our teaching through the years, we draw a house
with two levels, two floors. The first floor is where the natural life is. We live there. We don’t
make it upstairs. We live on the first floor. We don’t know the angels. We don’t know God. We
live on the first floor. We don’t know miracles. We don’t know promises. We don’t know the
Holy Spirit. We only have the elements of the world.
What were they? The elements of the world. I’ll put a couple of them down here in the Jewish –
they were curtains. Curtains in the temple. You can’t go through that curtain unless you are
given permission. You cannot go into the holy of holies without blood. It was the blood of
animals. The elements of the world. There was incense. There was smoke. There was a lot of
guilt. There was also fear, Hebrews 12. Elements of the world. We know this world this way.
Vs. 4. But when the fulness of the time was come. Christmas time. What happened Christmas
time? The Son of God came. He came into the world. He was incarnated. He became a man.
When that time came, when Christ came into the world to become the Incarnation of God to be
here with us. He promoted us from the elements of the world in another realm.
I’ll put here “realm.” Another one. He brought us to something else. He brought us to fulness. He brought
us to adoption. He brought to make us sons and daughters of God.
When did it happen? When the fulness of time. That means there was a time thousands of
years passed. It’s not ready. Christ is not coming yet. He is not coming yet. The time of Plato
and Aristotle. The time of Buddha. He is not coming yet. The time of Isaiah and Amos and Joel.
He is not coming yet. Malachi. Not coming yet. Four hundred, 350 years later after Malachi John
the Baptist comes and says I’m preparing the way. I am a voice crying in the wilderness. He is
coming. He is coming.
Vs. 4-5. I want to put that here. Adoption of sons and just say you are a fully – God has granted
you full rights to sonship. God has granted you full access to this new realm of the Spirit. This
new realm of God’s mind. To be like Christ. God has made a way by coming here so that you
and I would have full access to God. We would walk with God, know God, not based on the
elements of smoke, the blood of animals, clothes, frankincense, incense, curtains. Not where I
go, where I cannot go, what I eat, what I cannot eat. No, this is full access to God himself. God
has come into our hearts.
Now, I don’t know if you get it but I want to just try and say it a couple times just shortly,
because it happened to me recently. Saturday. No, Friday. I was all day in my house, in my
study. All day I was in prayer. All day and just the Holy Spirit was saying to me I have given you
sonship, adoption, a new realm. You have the Spirit. You are (have) the grace of God. Tell the
people. Tell the Body who they are. Help them understand. Break through this kind of internal
bondage that we have.
I want to say it just like this maybe. Here you are and in your life you have a tendency to turn
inward. We get cramped. I’ll put that here. We get cramped by myself by the elements of the
world. Your boss doesn’t like you. You have problems with your wife. Your kids are unhappy.
The elements of the world that cramp us and we turn inward. We turn inside. We get very
discouraged. Maybe depression. Maybe some kind of internal reflection that bothers you. It’s
so common cause we’re people. We’re going to talk about that this morning. When we finish
today, I want you to go out of here believing me. Believing the Bible anyway. Believing it and
anticipating that God will help you understand who you are.
Now, a short story. In our family, we had our family when I was 12 years old as a young boy. My
dad had a butcher shop. We had our own little store. My dad made German sausages and
Polish kielbasa in a little city called Rome, New York. About 35,000 people life there. And then
Utica area, Syracuse. People would come to buy the sausages. My dad did it by himself. He had
hired a high school student and the family. We all worked.
He wanted me to also be with him and work with him standing next to him. So, he put an apron
on me. I’m little. I’m 12, 13. I don’t remember. We started when we were 8 years old. I was
always doing something. Sweeping the floor or something. It was a big deal. It was a big deal
when he put an apron on me. A white apron. A butcher. And gave me a knife and told me to be careful with it and showed me how to sharpen the knife and how to work next to him. I was
starting to feel like I was intimidated by the environment and by customers and adults.
But when you are young and you start to relate to the adult life, I think there are many phases
of this in your life. When you graduate from high school and you are so excited to get out of
there, but what are you getting into? You got to grow up, right? You got to get up in the
morning. There’s no school to go to. You got to go out and make your life.
When God says to you, you are not any longer under the elements of the world and the
bondage of the world, and he says to you, you are a grown up son. You have these privileges. I
want you to understand this realm where God is with you. God is your Father. You are his child
and you have authority with God. He has honored you with a knife and an apron and you’re
growing up and you’re learning responsibility.
He’s saying to you, I am with you. You are my
son. You are my daughter. I am for you. I have not called you to be subject to the elements of
the world though that is real. Death and disease and failure and sin and personal problems.
We’re not denying it, but we’re saying we need something more while we are in it. We need
God to speak to us and lead us in who we really are.
We’re going to tell a story from 2 Kings 4 this morning from our message to help us understand
that. Would you turn to your neighbor and say you’re looking good today. Happy Thanksgiving.
We are not subject to the bondage of the world. Jesus loves you. God is with us. God bless you.
We have a wild group here today. Alright. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Kings 4 for our message. Have
you ever wondered why the world doesn’t grow weary of its trouble? Have you ever wondered
why people don’t turn to God when they run into trouble? I have. I think our country is like
that. It’s time to turn to God. Trouble is not going to go away.
Individually, in our little sketch up here the person turning inward and they have a cramped life.
I think it can be seen many ways where jealousy disturbs me. Death. Burying a loved one and
walking away from the cemetery crest fallen, heartbroken. Why don’t I turn to God. Why not? It
seems people have a portion in this life, Psalm 17. Their portion is in this life. Maybe it’s verse 14.
They have this life that seems to be enough. That’s all they want, nothing more. They don’t
want to be bothered with anything else.
In this story, this woman recognizes Elijah as a man of God. Chapter 4:8, great woman means
she was an important woman. Significant. Weighty in terms of her status. She was an important
woman and she constrained him to eat bread. As often as he passed by, he turned in to eat
bread. She was offering him food. Come on in and be with us, my husband and I. That’s like
point #1. We have five points here.
#1. Need. You, she saw. Somehow she perceived this is from God. We were in a little church up
in Maine many years ago, 45 years ago. You look at the church and maybe it doesn’t seem to be
much, but being there like this one. Like this church. What’s going on in this church? What’s
going on? I like to be here. The preacher seems to really be saying something. What is he
saying? Does it mean anything to my life? I got my life. I’m living in Dundalk or Rosedale or
Pikesville or some other, Annapolis or some other place. I got my life that I’m living and should I
go here? Should I be in the church? Should I listen? Does it mean anything? Does it mean
anything in my life? Why would I go there?
Vs. 9. Isn’t it amazing that we can miss it? He’s passing by us all the time. Who cares. The
church is there all the time. Who cares. Isn’t it amazing we could miss Christ. Christ was here
2,000 years ago passing by, passing by and nobody seeing it. I think it’s the same all the time in
life. I am in bondage to the elements that are beggarly or are very shallow, the ABC’s of life.
That’s how people life. The ABC’s.
But is there another realm? Is there more? Is there faith? Is there God? Is there Spirit? Is there
truth? Let me find it. God, where is it? And she said to her husband let’s make a place for him,
vs. 10. You know what it means? It means let’s make room for him. Let’s have him in our life.
He can even come into our house. No, he can even come into our hearts. He could even come
into my spirit. It could be in my life, in my mind, in my heart.
That’s why when you have Jesus in your life like this and you have a room. Don’t lock the door,
cancel it out. Don’t have home improvement excluding God. It’s not an improvement. Don’t
exclude God out of your life. Make room for him because he’s real and you need him. You do.
You need him.
So, I will abbreviate the story. This is for your Sunday afternoon reading or through the week.
Read this chapter a couple times. I want to shoot up to vs. 27 and show you something. This is
why I’m preaching on it today because the Spirit spoke this to me on Friday afternoon I believe.
Vs. 27. Here’s a picture of a person and in the heart, in her heart is some trouble cause her son
died. You could say like us we might have something in our hearts that really bothers us and we
are troubled but the man of God doesn’t know that. He said the Lord has hid it from me. Maybe
Thanksgiving, you are going to be with relatives and they’re going to say, how’s everything?
Great. How are you doing? Great. Everything is good.
But in the heart, there is something troubling them. It might be your place to talk. It might be
your place just to be quiet and pray. Because this is all way beyond our pay grade, way beyond
our capacity. We don’t know what is happening in each other’s lives exactly. Sometimes the
Lord will show you.
By the way, the pulpit ministry, this is what you are exposing yourself to today. Words from
God’s Bible that you are listening to, and the Bible says that the Word of God is like a knife, a
sharp sword that pierces and is a discerner of my thoughts and my heart. I don’t know what is happening in the lives of people. I don’t need to know because it’s God that does know. It’s this
book that can speak to you. I don’t need to know in this context. Sometimes it is good. I mean
as we see in this story.
But I want to make a point. When she was asked, is everything okay? What did she answer?
This phrase, all is well. That’s what she said. Shall we look at where it is? A few times she said it,
vs. 23. Her son has died. Her son who was a miracle son, born. Elijah had prophesied that within
a year she would have a son. She had no children. Her husband was old. They had no children.
Elijah said you will have a child in a year. She said don’t play games with me. Don’t mess with
me. Don’t tell me about the thing I desire in my heart. Don’t disappoint me. Just don’t tell me
I’m going to have a son unless it will really happen. And it did.
So, we can make a list here. She turned to him and had a need. Made a room for him. She was given a promise. The boy was born. She had faith after. She had faith undoubtedly before but now it’s even stronger. She has
really – I had a son. Elijah told me. I had a son. Now she has trouble because he dies. In the story
it says the boy said, my head! My head! He went to his father in the field. He said, my head! My
head! Then the father brought him home and there he died on his mother’s lap. Maybe a brain
aneurysm. We would have medical terms for whatever happened. But he was a young boy and
the mother carried him.
Where did she carry the dead body? Where did she carry him? What was in the house? The
man of God’s bed was in the house. Where did she put the dead boy? On Elijah’s bed. Wow.
You know why? Cause she knew it wasn’t over. She knew it wasn’t over. She knew there was
something deeper. There’s another realm in your life.
Please hear me and understand what I’m trying to say. It’s real. There’s another realm in your
life. When trouble comes, don’t just say I knew he was messing with me. I had this son and now
he’s dead. I knew this would happen. I knew God is like that. I knew he would let me down. I
knew that – these are beggarly elements that we were in bondage to.
One time I was in Europe with a brother and he shared with me in confidence, just talking. He
said bad things happen to me. I said, what do you mean? He said, I don’t know. I feel like I’m
under a curse or something. I go, what do you mean? Bad things happen to me in my life. Give
me an example. He said there was a drunk man in the street and he just ran in front of my car
and I hit him and killed him with the car. And I feel like those kind of things happen to me in my
life. I go, no. It’s not true. It’s not true.
That may be true but there’s another realm. You are an adopted son. You have something more
going on but we have to find it. We are called to something higher. I cannot interpret my life by
beggarly elements. It would be like a little boy never becoming a man. It’s like somebody in
school never getting out of school and living their life. This is what the story is about. When she is disappointed and hurt, she could turn inward and disappear in her own misery, cramped life
and live in despair and sadness. And say I knew it wouldn’t happen. I knew it couldn’t happen. I
knew that. But she didn’t.
She takes the dead boy to his bed, puts him there, and now she goes out the door. And
everywhere – and they say everything okay? All is well. All is well. She said it when Gehazi, the
servant of Elijah said everything okay? All is well. But when she came to Elijah now she’s
meeting reality. And that reality is what you and I need in life. And she said, I told you not to
play with me, not to deceive me.
Let’s look at it in vs. 28. Meaning, was it my idea that I would have a son? Did I ask you for a
son? You see what she’s saying? She’s saying did I not say do not deceive me. Don’t play around
with me. This is beautiful because God does not play around with us. This is beautiful because
this God is more serious about you in your life than you are. God is loving you more than you
love yourself. God cares more about your life than you know. He’s not playing tricks. He has no
delight in our pain. He is developing us. He is teaching us who he is.
To be honest, we often choose to be subject to the beggarly elements. I’d rather hate than love.
I’d rather accuse God than be rejoicing in the presence of God and saying he is so good. He is so
awesome. I’d rather feel guilty and judgmental.
Let me write it this way as a little picture here. I would rather let’s see live with my pain, turn
inward and become a judge and be angry and just say life is not fair. I was always fascinated
with that statement people say sometimes. I never chose to be born. I think what is that
supposed to mean? That means nothing. Who do you think you are? I didn’t choose to be born?
I never thought you were asked. I don’t think that’s the point of reality. Reality isn’t asking you
if you want to be born. Reality is you are born now show up. Now learn about life. Come on.
This is the way it is. Do you think you got an out by making an excuse? Or living in negativity,
angry, hate God, hatred?
That happens to believers by the way. But not to this woman and not to you. No, not to you. It’s
not going to happen like that because you’re going to remember this message or some other
reason. You’re going to understand I’m not going to take my dead boy and put him in the grave.
I’m going to take my dead boy and put him in Elijah’s bed because Elijah is the one that told me
I would have a son. Elijah is not playing around. Elijah can come and raise him from the dead in
the plan of God. This is the idea.
You have a sequence here. We have four words here: trouble and then she has Elijah. Okay. So,
let’s finish up here and read the text. Vs. 29. He sent him first. Vs. 30. Meaning she went with
Gehazi. She traveled with him. He arose and followed her. She went ahead. Vs. 31. Gehazi went to Elijah and said he’s not waking up. In a way, you could say it’s not working. I put the staff on
his face. I came. I went there like you told me but it’s not happening. Vs. 32.
By the way, if the church somehow lays the staff on your face and it doesn’t work, don’t give
up. If you have had troubles in churches in the past, do not give up. Cause the church is the
most awesome thing in the world. It is.
When the church is right, when the Spirit of God is
moving, when God’s people are praying and worshipping, it is so powerful. It is so healthy. It is
so valuable for us, our kids, our grandkids. It is so meaningful. It has so much value. Don’t judge
it. Don’t judge it. It does what it does. It might be Gehazi doesn’t have the authority. It doesn’t
happen. I don’t know why. I know Christ does it. Christ can do it. Christ is God. Christ will do it.
And so, this is how we read it.
Vs. 32. Could we say that he was more of a man of God than Gehazi? It looks like it. Does it
mean that he was the one that God had appointed and maybe there is somebody in your life
that will help you go to this – not go there, but you are in that other realm but will somebody
else help you discover it and live in it to find it in this world?
By the way, I wrote down a couple verses for you during Thanksgiving if you want to know how
to behave during Thanksgiving. Huh? Here’s a couple verses. You can jot them down and read
them later. Don’t take notice of all the words that are said. Eccelsiates 7:21-22, Proverbs 15:1, “a soft
answer breaks the bone.” Proverbs 26:4-5, “answer not a fool according to his folly lest you be like
him.” Vs. 5. “Answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
Why do I say these verses? Because when families get together, we are very well known for
hurting each other’s feelings especially if – here’s a little formula here. When you have a hard
heart, you have a sensitive skin. True? What’s sensitive skin? You’re sensitive to the
temperature, to touch. You’re sensitive to pain.
You’re sensitive to somebody provoking you, needling you. Throwing a spear or an arrow at you. You’re very sensitive to what is said. But when you have a soft heart and Job said God makes my heart soft, then you have a skin of a
hippo. Hippopotamus. Four inches thick their skin of a hippo.
What does that mean? It means at Thanksgiving, don’t be overly sensitive about what people
say. They tell a story and make fun of you. Something you did in the past. Don’t worry about it.
Come on. Are you kidding me? Are you going to ruin a holiday by getting offended and then
fighting with each other. Come on. It cannot happen. Just be quiet and prayerful and loving. The
food is good. The weather is amazing.
I have a great sister, a great brother. Mother is amazing.
Remember how much dad and mom loved us. We are so thankful. What a heritage we have.
What a good day. Thank you so much. Everything is perfect. Everything about the holiday.
Can we talk like that? I mean is it real? I mean, I mean it is. If I choose to say and think in terms
of God and his great love, this is really what is happening in the story that the woman is really hurt but she finds when she puts the boy on the bed and then Elijah comes and he ministers.
Let’s put that word down here. Elijah ministers. Beautiful word. Ministers.
Why do I say this? I was in trouble, not seriously, but in my soul on Friday. I spent the whole day
in my house in my study. I went out for a little run just to get some little moving a little bit. I
was so happy to be reading my books and praying and the Lord was speaking to my heart and
saying this to me. I got upset about something. I got troubled about something that was
important to me. Actually, I have a lot of those things to be honest. I have a lot of things if I
think about them, there’s a lot of things to be worried about and be troubled about.
But then God is saying to me, you are not subject to the bondage, the elements of the world. I
have made you an adopted son.
You have something more. Keep your eye on that. Focus on that. Make a big deal about it in your spirit and in your heart. Be quiet before me. Humble yourself before me. This is the closing part, chapter 4:32-35. I like that picture. He’s back in the house. He shut the door. The mother and Gehazi are outside but he is walking back and forth. Maybe in that other realm we are talking about he is focusing on that realm of the Spirit. Maybe he has to focus on
it. Concentrate on it. He’s walking back and forth in his house. In his heart, he’s saying God you
gave this boy to this woman and you cannot take him. She wants that child. That’s your will. I
believe this. There you are in another realm. Not the beggarly elements of death and hatred
and judging and anger and frustration. But another realm of the Spirit and of faith. He’s doing
this business with God. He’s making business with God.
Vs. 35-36. Take up your son. He’s yours. Take up your son. Who could do this? That’s that realm
of life I want to encourage you in and say to you it is present. Cause in the fulness of time, God
sent his Son so we would have this. This is how we would now live. We would be in it. We
would stir up ourselves in it.
By the way, let’s pray for P. Scibelli this morning as he has some digestive problems. Lord, heal
him in Jesus’ name we pray. Heal P. Scibelli. Take it away. Heal him in Christ’s name we pray.
We ask Jesus. Thank you, God.
Vs. 37. There it is. She’s got a story. There it is. This is my son. He was dead. Now, he’s alive. I
am so happy I made a room for Elijah. My life is not the same because I made a room for him. I
want to say have a place in your heart for the church. It’s a place. It’s a place. Have it in your
heart. I want to say have a place in your heart for your Bible and don’t become a critic of it or
ridicule or make fun or play games in life. It’s too serious. Make room in your heart for Jesus
Christ. Say in your heart, Jesus I need you. Would you pray with me now. (Prayer)
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.