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Not Can God? . . .
But God Can!

by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Not Can God? . . . but God Can!

by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149


II Kings 6:24-29
And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? And the king said unto her, What aileth thee?

And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.

Most of us have no idea what a siege really is, don't know what a famine is, don't even know what it is to be really hungry.

In this Scripture we find the city of Samaria was shut up. The Syrian army had been camped outside for a long, long time, waiting for the inhabitants to starve to death.

And, after a long season without any food, these people became so hungry that they began to eat their children! They were that desperate with hunger. This account is in the Scriptures to show us God's power to deliver His people in time of trouble, no matter how impossible circumstances may appear to be.

Can God get you out of trouble? He certainly can! And He can use the situation you're presently in to do it. Sometimes it turns out that, in the midst of our troubling situations, we finally realize we'd best get down to business and begin to seek the Lord and get hold of God while we can.

Here in II Kings things were really out of control. But there was one thing they had in their favor: there was a man in that city who knew how to pray and touch God.

When you're in trouble, that's the one thing that can really help — having somebody around who knows how to pray and get hold of God. I might emphasize this to you to make you understand there's a great need in your life to know how to pray. I don't mean reading to God from a book; I don't mean saying some fancy words to impress God. What I'm referring to is expressing the depths of your heart to the Lord.

You need to learn how to pray so that, when you're in trouble, you'll be able to get hold of God to help you out.

A Praying Man

Shut up in that city was a man who could pray and get hold of God. His prayers probably had something to do with the whole problem to begin with, and now his prayers would be meaningful in bringing forth an end to the problem.

Yes, Elisha knew how to pray — after all, he had spent much time with that great man of faith Elijah. Elijah certainly knew how to effectively touch the throne in prayer and bring down the power of God.

James 5:17,18
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Trouble often causes folks to be forced into the place of realizing the need to talk to God.

II Kings 6:32
But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?

There was a praying man in the city, and there was a price on his head! The king was blaming Elisha for the problem that prevailed. He knew Elisha was a praying man who could move the hand of God — and he was out to get his head!

Isn't it strange how, sometimes, when you're doing what's right, doing what God would want you to do, somebody is out to do you in?

Elisha recognized this: He knew the king was after his head.

Now, the king had been told how bad things were getting. This woman had just told him how they'd eaten her baby because there wasn't anything left to eat! The king got his ears full — and put the blame on Elisha. And it seems Elisha had told him to believe God and give Him time to do something.

Impatience

I want it . . . RIGHT NOW!!!

That's one of the things that so often hinders. People get so impatient, wanting everything to get straightened out RIGHT NOW! You tell them to pray and hold on to God — but they don't want to wait. You encourage them: Don't give in! Give God a chance! Don't turn aside too quickly! Give God a chance to really move and work things out for you . . . But they can't wait!

If you're impatient, there's that thing in you that says, I want it — and I want it right NOW! I don't care! I'm not waiting any longer! If God isn't going to do something right NOW, then I'm going to do something myself!

Listen, are you bigger or greater than God Almighty? Are you more of a match to the problem than God is?

The king seemed to have this kind of a spirit. He wanted to take the matter into his own hands and not wait any longer for God to work things out. And his solution? Get Elisha's head!

Believe God's Word

II Kings 7:1
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

Elisha had a message right from God! The famine was about to end; their troubles were soon to cease. That should have been welcome news — but it was unbelievable to them. It just couldn't happen!

Tomorrow about this time! Tomorrow about this time food will be sold at the city gate. And what a sale! It will be so cheap.

The prophet was letting them know what God intended to do and told them to be ready for this answer from God.

When God says He's going to do something, rest assured, He will do just as He said.

In the midst of this awful famine, things had to come to a climax. Things had to get about as bad as they could get before this message of great deliverance came — but they just couldn't believe the famine could end that quickly!

Everybody would want to believe it — to believe that they only had to suffer it through one more day before the answer came, suffer one more day and the siege would be broken, suffer one more day and the trial would end — but it sounded too good to be true.

This is the way we react when we're going through one of those trying times in our lives. Lord, how long? How long do I have to bear this? Lord, how long do I have to endure this pain?

We're always questioning the Lord as to how long our trials will be: but we should realize that there is an expected end . . . if we but hold on to the Lord in faith believing.

Our Attitude is Important

II Kings 7:2
Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.

This lord wasn't just commenting that God was going to have to make windows in heaven to bring this to pass. No, he was saying this sarcastically, arrogantly. He was talking against God when he said this. He was downing God and His ability to supply. He was downing the prophet and what he had declared God would do.

We need to be careful that we don't allow bad attitudes in us.

There are many examples in the Scriptures of what someone said because of a rotten attitude, such as the children of Israel when they questioned God's provision:

Psalm 78:19
Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

Can God? That was tempting God. CAN GOD?

The thing that's in my mind, and should be in yours, is not, can God? but God can! That's the way to put it. Not, Can God . . . but GOD CAN!

The Scriptures would teach us that all things are possible with God — Mark 10:27. God is the Almighty God and there is no might greater than Him. Yes, He possesses ALL might, and He doesn't hesitate to use it to the advantage of His children.

The promises of God, as found in the Scriptures, all bring us back to the reality of His power. His great promises show us there are no limits with Him.

Our Part

Jeremiah 33:3
Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

This promise puts you on the spot: If you want God to fulfil this promise in your life, you can't just stand around, waiting for it to happen.

He said, Call unto Me! That takes an act on your part: Get down to business and take the challenge to heart, and begin to call on God. If you need an answer, call on God. If you take it on yourself to reach out and call on Him, He will show you great and mighty things which you know not.

The promises of God are all conditional: If you . . . I will: if we would call, if we would believe, if we would ask in Jesus' Name. There is nothing too hard for God in answering, if we do our part.

Darkest Right before Dawn

Now, back in II Kings 7, the victory was nigh at hand. It wasn't time to get upset. It wasn't time to look at the circumstances and worry. They wanted to take Elisha's head — yet the victory was only one day away!

Now, the picture is this: You might often be in the same situation they were in and not even realize it. You might quit just one day short of the answer! If you had waited just one more day, the answer would have come! If you had stood still and prayed one more day, the victory would have been there! But you gave up one day too soon!

How can you know when the victory is just around the corner? I don't know. But I do know that you shouldn't be quick to give up when you start to seek God for something. You shouldn't be quick to throw the towel in, assuming it's not God's will because the answer didn't come right after you prayed. Because you gave up one day or one week or one month too quickly, you may have missed the answer you had prayed for.

The Need for Patience

Hebrews 10:36
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Now, one thing we find in God's promises is they are not based upon a time schedule. They give no indication of time. They don't say that if you pray, God will answer in five minutes, or in one day, or even in one month.

God just said, Call unto Me, and I will answer thee. There's no mention of time in that promise. If He answers next week, that would be great: but if He doesn't answer for six months, that still would be wonderful. He answered, didn't he?

Do we need to hurry God? No! Our obligation is to pray, to stand firm, and to believe — letting God bring the answer . . . in His time! Yes, He will bring it just in time, and in the manner it needs to come. He won't be too early, nor will He be too late! But He will be right on time! Believe that in your heart.

Rise up!
Act upon Your Faith!

How are these people going to believe that there is going to be food in the gate in the midst of this famine?

The Lord on whose hand the king leaned made light of Elisha's declaration of faith. He disbelieved it; and Elisha let him know that it would come to pass, that he would see it, but that he would never get to eat any of it.

Wouldn't that be awful: going through a great famine and finally food is provided, but you never get to take even one bite?

II Kings 7:3
And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?

These lepers couldn't get into the city because they were lepers, and lepers were not allowed in the city. They had to live outside the city wall. The only thing that protected them during the siege was their leprosy. Finally, it dawned on them: Why just sit, waiting to die out there? Why not take a chance and do something?

II Kings 7:4
If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

If we go into the city, we'll probably get killed. But if we just sit here, we will also die. Let's take a chance and fall into the hand of the enemy. If they keep us alive, wonderful. And if they kill us — well, the famine will kill us if we stay here!

A lot of times in our experience, that's the kind of thing we might find ourselves doing in tough situations — just sitting there, killing time. We sit right there and don't do a thing. We forget that the way to move the hand of God is to rise up and do something! We need to start praying, start seeking God, start turning the problem over to Him, start getting down to business, and not allowing bad attitudes to creep in: I've prayed and prayed about it — and I'm tired of praying!

Listen, when you're facing bad circumstances you need to seriously seek the Lord, looking for an answer.

These four lepers may not have been looking to God for help, but they realized there was no point just sitting there, waiting to die. They realized they should try something.

Victory

The marvelous part of this story is that these lepers went out there and entered the camp — and nobody was there. The enemy was gone, scared off by a great noise.

II Kings 7:5-7
And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

The adversary didn't want to get caught by that big army they heard coming — that big army that wasn't there!

Now, these lepers were hungry. They were looking for food; and when they entered the city, they found the enemy had fled and left all their goods behind! Those circumstances turned out to be a blessing. And it was now in the power of these four lepers to help their people with all this food they came across.

II Kings 7:10-12
So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.

And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now show you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.

The king didn't believe it. It was too good to be true. So he sent to check the situation out and see if the enemy was hiding someplace.

II Kings 7:15
And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.

It was getting towards evening; and they brought all the food to the city gate, selling it for hardly anything. Can you imagine the stampede? Everybody was hungry. Everybody, including the lord who had doubted:

II Kings 7:17
And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.

Elisha had told this lord that he would see food provided: He wouldn't get to eat any of it, but he would see it tomorrow at this time.

Don't Worry. Believe God!

Now, the words of God have to come true. God is not a liar. When He says something, how prone you ought to be to believe it. Recognize who it is that said it.

The prophet said that, by tomorrow, food would be for sale in the gate. Who were they going to believe: the circumstances, or the man of God?

Are there some circumstances in your life today that you're looking at, mulling over in your mind and worrying about? Are there circumstances that you're vexed and troubled over, where you just don't know what to do? Do you find yourself sitting around thinking about it all the time? Does it have such a hold on you that all you think about are your problems and your troubles?

Mark 4:18,19
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Jesus warned us that there is the danger of being bogged down by our cares — but He also told us the way out:

I Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.

Do you see where you've failed? Where is there any source of help in your circumstances? What circumstances are going to rise above the other circumstances to help you?

Well, there is no such thing! So you have to recognize that you've got to keep your eyes on Jesus; keep your heart fixed on Him. You've got to be strong in faith, giving glory to God — putting your faith to work to believe that He will take care of everything.

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?

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