Greater With Us
Pastor Darryl Bentley
Midland SDA Church
July 31, 2010
Homiletical Idea: No Christian is ever outnumbered when they stand with the armies of heaven. God rallies with us through every trial to fight with and for us.
During the Revolutionary War the name Benedict Arnold became a byword for treason. Arnold military career was one that saw scrutiny and reproach. He was often accused of various wrong doing, but was never convicted. However, the litigation wore on Arnold and he became embittered toward his fledgling nation. In fact he was so hurt by the ordeal that he plotted with the British to hand over the fort at West Point, NY that was in his command.
Arnold’s plot was discovered and foiled by the Continental Army, but he managed to escape to England where he lived out his days.
Have you ever felt betrayed? Have you ever felt as if your best laid plans were being torn down from an inside force? Have you ever felt as if no matter how you turned you could not win? Ben-Hadad, king of Aram or Syria knew these feelings intimately.
Ben-Hadad was not a friend of Israel. In fact, he allowed bands of Syrian raiders to plague the Israelites for years, but the Lord had not forgotten His people. God was still with His people and He had a man in their midst who spoke for the Lord.
God began to communicate the plans of the Syrian raiders to Elisha the prophet. So much so did the Lord do this that Ben-Hadad thought there was a traitor in his midst. He thought that one of his loyal warriors or counselors was selling or giving secret information to the enemy.
Time and time again their plans were foiled. The king would make plans to lie in wait for an ambush and God would tell Elisha who would in turn tell the king of Israel. Each time the ambush was averted, and with each failed attempt Ben-Hadad became more and more suspicious of his own people.
In the King’s Bed Chamber
Finally he had enough. He calls his people together and wants to know who is selling him out. Ben-Hadad discovers that the flow of information was not coming from his house. It was coming from a man of God in Dothan. The king’s servant spoke up and told him that it was Elisha who was informing Jehoram the king of Israel. Ben-Hadad’s servant knew that Elisha was being powerfully used by God. That’s why he told Ben-Hadad that even the things said in his bedroom were known to Elisha and the Lord God of Israel.
Immediately the king wanted to know where Elisha lived. After discovering he was in Dothan the king mustered his army enough that they were able to completely surround the city.
Alas, My Master!
The next morning when Elisha’s servant awoke he went out and saw the Syrians surrounding the city. His heart fell into an instant panic. He cried out, “What shall we do?” Can you imagine waking up one morning, going outside for your daily walk and discovering that your town is completely surrounded? Would your heart sink a bit?
That would be scary prospect to consider for sure unless you have God’s eyes and Elisha did. God had allowed him to be able to see things hidden from the eyes of the rest of us.
What are You Facing?
Today, there are many who are facing what seem to be insurmountable forces. There are times in our lives that we feel completely surrounded and we wonder who we can face tomorrow.
I can tell you from experience that feeling surrounded is not a happy time. I have had the bill collectors calling. I have wrestled with addiction on some levels. But today I praise God that God has always come through and opened my eyes so that I can see that there are more with us than against us.
On May 30th of this year we were blessed to receive 9 “Bib Book” colporteurs who have been diligently working to spread the gospel in Midland through literature ministry. As I have shared with you before, I was a full-time colporteur for 2.5 years in Carolina Conference so I know the trials they have faced this summer.
Prayer of Consecration: Elders