2 Kings 8

Prayer

Almighty God, Thy Word is cast like seed into the ground; Now let the dew of heaven descend and righteous fruits abound. Let not the foe of Christ and man this holy seed remove, but give it root in every heart to bring forth fruits of love. Let not the world’s deceitful cares the rising plant destroy, but let it yield a hundredfold the fruits of peace and joy. AMEN

Today’s Hymn

Carl C. Boberg

Words: Carl G. Boberg, in Mönsterås-Tidningen, 1886 (O Store Gud); translated from Swedish to English by Stuart K. Hine: This hymn took a circuitous route to reach its present form in English. A generation after Boberg wrote the Swedish original, the words were translated into German in 1907, and quickly became popular in Germany. In 1927, the German version was translated into Russian, and Hine, a missionary in the Ukraine, heard it. He began the English translation some time later while in Carpathia, later adding the second and third verses, which contained much of his own original thought. Verse four came from Hine's pen in 1948, and, in leaf­let form, the hymn came to the attention of George Beverly Shea during the Billy Graham Crusade of 1954. After that, it became a favorite through­out the English speaking world.

HOW GREAT THOU ART
Click here for tune.

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Refrain

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Refrain

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!”

Refrain

Optional extra verses:

3a. O, when I see ungrateful man defiling
This bounteous earth, God’s gifts so good and great,
In foolish pride God’s holy name reviling
And yet, in grace, his wrath and judgment wait:

3b. When burdens press, and seem beyond endurance,
Bowed down with grief, to him I lift my face,
And then in love he brings me sweet assurance,
“My child! for thee sufficient is my grace”

Thought Provoker

Ask each of the family to think of two different titles someone might have, e.g. Sir, Your Majesty, and to think of a title by which they would like to be addressed.

Dad’s Study

In this chapter we have Elisha described as ‘the man of God’ on five different occasions (vs. 2, 4, 7, 8 and 11). What grander title could we want than that? Throughout the centuries Elisha is known as a man of God. In contrast to that, both Jehoram and Ahaziah are known throughout the centuries as those who did “evil in the sight of the LORD” (vs.18 and 27). By their actions and by their words a different description is given.

Perhaps it is a good idea to stop and think for a moment, in the centuries to come, God willing, what would we be described as? I trust that each and every one of us would want to be known as a man or woman of God?

What makes a person a man of God? Well Paul used the same term to describe Timothy (1 Timothy 6:11ff), and mentions four things in connection with this term.

A man of God is marked by what he flees from (1 Tim. 6:11). A man of God flees from, and keeps on fleeing, from those things which are harmful to them in their walk with God; Immorality (1 Cor. 6:18), idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14), false teaching (1 Tim. 6:20) and youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22).

A man of God is marked by what he follows. Paul tells Timothy to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Tim. 6:11). Righteousness speaks of our outward conduct and godliness speaks of our inward attitude. These two are closely linked because right behaviour comes from a right attitude. A man of God seeks to have right thoughts and right actions before God and before others. Faith speaks of the man of God living in complete trust of God despite the circumstances he is in. Daily he is trusting God for all things. Love speaks of the man of God’s love to God, other believers and the non-believer. The man of God seeks after a greater love for God. Patience speaks of an unswerving loyalty to God when under pressure. A man of God follows after a true and proper view of himself and is not full of pride and boasting.

A man of God is marked by what he fights for. He is a soldier of Jesus Christ. He is aware of the spiritual battle that he is in and “earnestly contend(s) for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). He is aware of the enemy of his soul and puts on the whole armour of God so that he may stand against the devil and see him flee.

A man of God is marked by what he remains faithful to (1 Tim. 6:13-14). The man of God remains faithful to the Word of God. That requires him to read the word, meditate the word, memorise the word and apply the word. He is to know the word so as to defend it against false teachers. He is to know the Word so as to see error and avoid it.

Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Truth in Practice

Is there something we are aware of in our lives today that we know we need to flee from? Is there something we know we need to get away from before it does us any harm? Do something about it today.

For further study on the subject of being a man of God I can heartily recommend “Rediscovering Expository Preaching” by John MacArthur and the faculty of the Masters Seminary, chapter 5 from which the headings were taken.

Charles Collins – Kettering, UK

Catechism

Question 37

Q. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection

A. At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory (1 Cor. 15:43), shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment (Mt .10:32), and made perfectly blessed both in soul and body in the full enjoying of God (1 John 3:2) to all eternity (1 Th. 4:17).