FBCWest 544 | There Are More with Us than Against Us
Recorded On: 02/26/2023
Hymn # 4226 “Follow On”
SCRIPTURE READING – John 10:27 - 30
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Love Is War”
“Only King Forever”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Resolved to Obey and Worship Only the Lord, God”
“There Are More with Us than Against Us”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“Another in the Fire”
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
2 Kings 6:8 – 10 Elisha, the man of God, gives secret information to the king of Israel
2 kings 6:11 Syrian king thinks someone is a spy
2 Kings 6:12 – 14 King told it’s Elisha who reveals secrets and an order is given to seize him
2 Kings 6:15 The attendant to Elisha sees the army surrounding them – wonder what to do
2 Kings 6:16 Elisha states do not fear there are more with us than against us
2 Kings 6:17 Elisha prays that the eyes of the attendant be opened and he sees the mountain filled with horses and chariots of fire
2 Kings 6:18 & 19 Elisha prays the enemy be blinded and he leads then to Samaria
2 Kings 6:20 – 23 Elisha orders a great feast for the enemy instead of their death. They leave never to attack again
Romans 8:28 – 39 Nothing separates us
Transcript of Service
Bibles turn to second Kings Chapter six Being outnumbered brings a plethora of emotions and responses to people much of it is based on who we are and what the situation is. And sometimes, even though when we may have faced overwhelming odds on one occasion, we may find ourselves depressed and demoralized on a separate occasion. So, for instance, as we took a look the last time Elijah challenged because God had him do challenge 850 prophets, a bell to a fire off, if you will.
And he did so with great confidence. And he marked the other side and he won a great victory because apparently bear, who doesn't exist at all as he marked them, is either on a trip or asleep and just never paid attention to them. But the God that we serve and we we worship, He brought fire down and consumed them all the offering.
And then the prophets were were killed and shortly after that, because a queen had ordered his death, he hid out in a cave and was depressed, even though he had just won a great spiritual, an actual victory. But he felt like he was all alone, that he was the only one left and and God told him and I still small boys that, no, he wasn't all alone.
And there were 100 prophets who had not bothered to bail. We're going to see another situation where there appears to be an overwhelming situation where the enemy is is so large and vast in numbers that it seems all but imminent. And so and so. John King, chapter six, started with verse eight. It says, Now the king of Aram was warned against Israel and he counsel with his servants, saying in such and such a place shall be our camp.
And the man of God would send word to Israel saying, Beware that you do not pass this place, or the army means are coming down here. The King of Israel sent to the to the place about which the man of God had told him. And thus he warned him so that he guarded his home there more than once or twice.
Now, the heart of the King of Aram was enraged over this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, Will you tell me which of us is for the King of Israel? So basically the king of Aram Amin's was warned against Israel and he had planned to move his army to certain places to strike the army of Israel when they were unaware.
But Elijah knew exactly where the movements were, and so he would warn Israel and they would move their armies appropriately. And so every time this happened, and as the Scripture says, it happened more than once or twice, so it kept repeatedly happening. So the king then there is a spy in the camp. Somebody is telling the king of Israel to move his troops.
Who is it? Who is this spy? And one of his servants said, No, my Lord or king. But Elijah, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.
He's saying that.
Elijah know so much about what you're planning it even your confidence in your own bedroom, where it would be entirely private and there wouldn't be any spies. He tells it to the king of Israel. So it's not a spy. It's the man of God who is telling him these secrets. So he said, Go and see where he is, that I am a sin and take him.
And it was told him saying behold he is and done with them. And he sent horses and chariots and a great army there. And they came by night and surrounded the city.
So I want you to see this. The city is like down in in a valley type situation.
And there are mountains run. And he has sent his and his army there to capture one man. That's how important this king.
Consider Elijah to be. And he sent his.
To capture one man.
And to make sure he didn't escape. He surrounded them so that he would make sure.
We captured Elijah.
Now, the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out. Behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city, and his servant said to him.
Alas, my master, what shall we do.
Now? I'm going to come back to this question for you and me. But his historian goes.
We are outnumbered. We are opposition.
We're not men of war.
They are. They have chariots. So in our day, it'd be.
Like having the infantry and tanks.
You're going to lose that battle. So the man. And what are we going to do? It doesn't seem like there's any possibility of escape. Notice what Elijah says. So he answered, Do not fear those who are with or those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Notice, Elijah didn't pray that God would send an army.
He didn't pray that God would deliver him. He already knew God had delivered. He goes, There are more with us than against us. Yeah, there's the army circling this city with chariots. But there are more with us. Notice what he then says. Then Elijah prayed and said, Oh, Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. He didn't say God, deliverance.
He goes, No, God, I already know you have. But he doesn't see it. So God opened his eyes and he may see and the Lord opened the servants eye and he saw and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elijah. Now, this is not the first time Elijah seen Chariots of Fire. This is this the second time?
For the first time. Elijah saw them. Was He was passed to be the successor to Elijah. And Elijah's request of Elijah was that he wanted the double portion of what Elijah had just said.
I don't know why.
Again, but the only way you're going to get this is if you see me depart. And so Elijah was moving around at his last days, going to place a place, and he would keep telling Elijah, Stay here. And I should know, I'm not staying, I'm going with you. And no matter where Elijah went, Elijah followed. And then came a time when Chariots of Fire came and ushered.
Elijah and Elijah took Elijah Mantle and became the prophet. So he had seen Chariots of Fire, but he saw it as a, if you will, a mover to heaven. He took him to heaven, and Elijah became that successor who received that double portion. So now he's seeing Chariots of Fire again. Now chariots, pretty impressive. Chariots of Fire, much more impressed.
And so he sees this. And finally the servant eyes are open. When they came down to him, Elijah prayed to the Lord and said, Strike this, people with blindness. I pray. So he struck them with blindness, according to the word Elijah. Notice Elijah responses not only, Oh my, what do I do? What do you pray? Praise God. My servants eyes were blind.
Now they're open. I want you to blind the enemy. And God does. When they come. Elijah said to them, This is not the way, nor is this the city.
Follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you see.
And he brought them to Samaria. So not only did he not blind them physically, he blind them in the sense of they just followed what Elijah told them to do, that you're lost. You're in the wrong spot. Let me take you to where you need to be. And he then he says. And when they had come to summary, Elijah said, Oh, Lord, open the eyes of these men that they may see.
So again, Elijah prayed one, he prayed to open his servant's eyes, that he prayed the blind, the enemy. And then he prays again to open the eyes of the enemy. So the Lord opened their.
Eyes and they saw and behold.
They were in the midst of Samaria.
Which means they're in enemy territory. Then went to sees one man and now they find themselves in enemy territory and the midst of the people of.
In a very disadvantages place. Then the King of Israel went and saw them and said to Elijah, My father and my father. Shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?
It's like I.
Have this perfect opportunity to get rid of my enemy. I will kill them and decimate his army.
Notice what Elijah's.
Responses. He answered, You shall not kill them. Would you kill those who have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? He's going, Wait a minute. If we had engaged in the rules of war and this is well before all the treaties and what but human existence says when somebody surrenders and when you capture somebody, you don't kill them.
You're supposed to save them because they become your captive. And so Elijah's response is, they are your captives in a war. You didn't have to use your soul or your board bow, but God has given them to you in your hand. So, so instead of that is says said bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.
Not only are they going to feed them and give them drink, they're going to release them to their master, which you would think, Well, wait a minute, we've captured them. They've been a problem all this time. Why would we release them? We would at least keep them as as captives of war. Prisoners of war. And we will just hold on to them.
But instead, he says. So he prepared a great feast for them. And when they had eaten and drunk, we sent them away. And when they went to their master and the marauding bands of Romans did not come again into the land of Israel. God turned this situation from being outnumbered armies and chariots and a man and his servant to a situation where not only was the army captured, but they never.
Had to fight them.
Again. Outnumbered. And yet they weren't.
There were more with them than against them.
And so often in our Christian experience, we feel like, Oh, woe is me, that nobody understands me and nobody understands how difficult it is to be a Christian. All these and and.
We we feel like we're alone and we're not.
Each of these stories that I.
Shared with you over the past several weeks.
Have been victorious stories. We've seen where three Hebrew young men were thrown into a fire and the fire did not consume them, did not affect them, not.
Even the smoke or the singe.
We saw where Daniel was thrown into a lion's den and he was safe. We saw where were disciples were thrown into prison and then beaten and came out rejoicing, having considered themselves worthy.
To suffer for the name of Christ.
We've seen a woman who is promoted as queen, who took risk to save her people.
And she survived.
We've seen people who were discouraged because of our position.
And they succeeded.
We've seen over and over how God has accomplished things, how Elijah called on fire and defeated prophets of bail. And now in Elijah situation in each of these cases we would say miraculous and we would hope for such a thing. But I want to share a couple of other stories.
Neither story in the Bible, both historical one with me is not a part of the history, but a part of the observation.
There was and my wife.
Is going to enjoy this story because she's from Texas.
There was a and as a matter of fact, she and her sister took their cousin to a Christian concert. Very close to the story that I'm going to share about. There was a group of of people who.
Were fighting for independence of that place, and they were held up. In a Small Adobe mission And they didn't have very many men. And they found themselves Surrounded by an Overwhelming army And the commander. Of that place named William Travis, wrote a letter.
To his superiors seeking additional troops to defend this place. And the letter went on describing their situation and how it was bleak and how they were overwhelmed with the number of opposition. And he asked for, again, like I said, additional troops. But he said that his intention was to defend this place and that it would be his duty and honor to die for the cost.
And as you probably know about the story, the opposition stormed all four walls at the same time and took that place. We know men like Travis and Bowie and others, most of our other people we don't know Davy Crockett and others who who gave their lives in. And we know that the last of the combatants died in the chapel.
Much of what we know about that battle was because a noncombatant whose name was Joe, who was a slave, was allowed to be gone. And there's two different versions of what happened. One was that the combatants died in the chapel. And the other version is, is that the prisoners were taken and the general that I thought I gave orders that no captives be taken and they executed whichever version.
No one survived. Yet they considered it their honor and their duty to do so. When I was a Florida high school, I wanted to go to college. And so in order to go to college, you had to take these college courses so you could go to college. And so you had to take at least two years of a language.
Well, in seventh grade, I take an order of Spanish, and it didn't work out well because I could never roll my eyes. So I decided because I wanted to be a lawyer, to take Latin, because after all, it's a dead language and nobody speaks it. So I get off the hook there. I just have to read and write it.
And so I took four years of Latin, and as a part of that four years, the Latin I, I grew to appreciate.
And, and not appreciate.
The Roman Empire. It's good, it's bad, it's ugly, whatever. And some things in life. And so I had the opportunity twice to go to Italy, one on a cruise and whatever. And one we drove around. When you take tours, they oftentimes take you places you don't necessarily want to go. But as part of the tour.
So, for instance, on one cruise, we were in Malta and I wanted to see where the island where all was shipwrecked. They spent all the time either shopping or taking you to churches, which were generally Catholic churches, and nothing wrong with Catholic churches. But I wasn't interested. And after seeing one or two churches and how they talk about, well, this dome is the second largest dome in the world, and this is the third largest.
No, I just got tired of and I didn't know I had just briefly saw the island, the whole reason I went. And so every place you go, they would talk about these churches. And even in Rome, there is a temple called the Pantheon. And in the pantheon is where Rome decided to worship all the gods. So whether you worship Zeus or Diana or whoever, you could come and worship that God there.
And and it also had this really great dome, and it had a hole in the roof. And it's a it's an awesome. And my sister in law went with us and it tells you you're not supposed to. She lays on the floor and she takes a picture of the ceiling and she was supposed to do that. But, you know, she got away with it.
But this is a immense thing. But they turned this place into a church. Okay. So they have services there on Sunday. I went and got to go inside the Coliseum. To me, no one told me this, but to me that was the most holy site I've seen in my entire trip in Italy. Why? Well, yes, people who were called gladiators fought and died, and they would go before the ruling people and the rich.
And they would say in Latin, we who are about to die so much and they would fight for entertainment, but they would also take Christ because Christians were considered to be atheists, because they didn't believe that the emperor was God. So they were accused of being atheists and for entertainment, they were killed by either gladiators or lions or other beasts.
Men, women and children died for their.
I'm not saying I want this because I don't think I'm that bright, but I would much rather echo the words of Travis. It is my honor and my duty, if all, to die for the one who died, for you. See, we worship him not because there are more with us than against us, but because he's worthy. Yes, there are more with us than against one angel decimated Egypt, and they didn't put blood on the door post The valiant one angel.
When the end of time comes. When it's time for Satan to be bound to hell. We'll take that what we consider all powerful evil do. One angel will take him from there.
Our God, his awesome one is still more powerful than all the opposition in our God is even more powerful than that. And the Scriptures tell us in Hebrews that we are supposed to eliminate the burdens and the obstacles and the encumbrance that so easily entangles us that we might run the race set before us, that there is a cloud of witnesses.
Now, I don't necessarily think that cloud of witnesses that they're watching us. I think the cloud of witnesses are saying, yes, Daniel escaped the lion's den and yes, Shadrach, Misha could have been to go escape the fire. God can do that. But yes, the person you don't know about who died in the Colosseum is still here. And he is worthy of that.
Is worthy of my life and your life. Because he's given you eternal. And you finish with Romans and it says this. And we know that God causes all things work together for good. To those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. Now, he doesn't say all things are good. He says everything works out for good.
Now, to give you the example of the history, yes, those men died as combatants in that little place called Alamo, but because of their sacrifice, it encouraged and emboldened the rest of the army to say, Remember the Alamo? They won their independence. Maybe our difficulties, maybe our defeat, maybe our death will embolden someone else. So maybe God will use that seemingly defeat to cause greater victory because God causes all things to work together for good.
To those who are called, to those who love for whom he or new, he also predestined to become conform to the image of his son. Hallelujah. I don't have to keep being Joe. Eventually I'm going to look like you so that the he would be the firstborn are many many brother and these whom he predestined. He also called and these whom he called he also justified and these whom he justified.
He also bore. He's going to take us from where we were to where we are, where he wants us to be like you. What shall we say then to this? Then if God is for us, who is against it? Does it matter the number doesn't matter whether we outnumber it doesn't matter whether the situation, just as the attendant said, What shall we do?
Trust God honored the He committed to the worship. That's what we are to do, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of whether we see or don't see that there are more with us than against us or who he did not spare his own son, but the liberation of over for us all. How will you not also give with him freely?
Give us all things? If God gave Jesus what's going to hold back? Have you ever thought about that? I mean, if you gave your only begotten son, you don't hold back ten bucks. You know you're going to hold back blessings. You going to hold back? Thank God. If he wasn't, who will bring a charge against God? Elect God is the one who justified.
Who is the one who condemns why Jesus is he who died? Yes. Rather, who was raised? Who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for Jesus down. He died for you. But he is currently sitting at the writing of the Father saying, My blood covered. That my blood covered that he or she is justified, not just excused, justify.
You are innocent. We will separate us from the love of Christ. The question who we outnumber people of the world will tribulation, you see. And in Christianity Day, there seems to be this idea that if God is blessing you, that means you have a perfect life. You're living the best life today. Everything's wonderful and hunky dory. No one will dislike you.
No one will will criticize. You know, you'll be rich and famous and influential and all these things. If that's the case, why is Paul having to write? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? He lists a whole bunch of all those bad things that none of us want to have because we all want cushy, nice lives when these things happen, not think God is against you.
God is full. Yes, it is written for your sake. We are being put to death all day long. We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. You notice no one ever reads this part. It's always the good stuff. How much God loves us and how much and whatever. And he won't hold them. But we are considered to be slaughter.
But here's the good in all these things. We overwhelmingly conquer through him. Do not? We did. We don't we by we don't get by by the skin of our teeth. We overwhelmingly conquered those who were against not because of us, but because of him. What shall we do? Mashed honor, worship, trust to pay for it is my honor and my duty to do so.
Or I am convinced. I'm not just persuaded. It's not the preponderance of. I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, are things that come, nor power, nor height or depth, nor any other creative thing will be able to separate is from the love of God. Elijah had an army of angels, Chariots of Fire.
We have something even more the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Our these events that are revealed in the Bible give us hope and strength for those who have been successful and their standing in their faith with God. But they're also those nameless men and women. I've had the privilege of giving their life. And Jesus says, Blessed are those who were persecuted for his attention.
Notice it and say, Woe is the blessed or says Jesus is. Economy is different than all you see in Jesus is economy. A widow gives a penny and it's more than everybody else gave. In total, Jesus is economy, not the person who has the most for the person who understands who owns it all, and to not fear those who could take our lives.
But the fear, the one who can take our soul in place to help understand that we serve a God who is all powerful and whether the entire world is against us. We are outnumbered six and a half billion to one. There's still more with us than against because we worship and serve our how God.