Bible Study for November 2002:
FAITH THAT CANNOT BE DENIED
2 Kings 4:17-37
The christian walk is started by faith and continued in faith. Without faith we never can please God (Hebrews 11:6). God honours faith, and real, trusting faith is never denied (Mark 1:41; 2:5; 5:34; 7:29; 10:52; Luke 7:10; 17:14; John 4:51; 9:7; Acts 14:9). God has prescribed that the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) and there is only one royal route to developing the kind of scriptural faith that cannot be denied ó Godís word nurtured in the heart (Romans 10:17; Colossians 3:16; Hosea 4:6).
The contemporary church is beset with so many definitions and explanations of faith, the bulk of which turn out to be dross. They are essentially fake substitutes that fade into insignificance in the heat of spiritual battles. However, scriptural faith that cannot be denied is defined in Hebrews 11:1 and illustrated in many passages in the Bible of which tonightís study is an example.
THE TRUST (2 Kings 4:20-22,24,25)
Genesis 32:26; Exodus 33:14,15; 1 Samuel 1:9-19,26-28; 1 Chronicles 4:9,10; Matthew 14:34-36; 15:21-28; 8:1-3,5-10; 9:1-6,18-35; 12:22; Romans 4:18-22.
There is an element of self-abandonment in this kind of faith manifested by the Shunammite woman. The faith that refuses to bury a dead child believing rather for resurrection. The faith that has the courage to travel miles to seek Godís prophet amidst all the discouraging suggestions of the devil. An Abraham-like faith that believes in hope against hope (Romans 4:18-22), a Jacob-like faith that will not let go until the blessing has been given (Genesis 32:26), a Moses-like faith that refuses to shift base until the promise of Godís abiding presence has been given (Exodus 33:14,15), a Hannah-like faith that will tarry in Shiloh till victory is won and Samuel received by faith (1 Samuel 1:9-19,26-28), a Jabez-like faith that stays put until a name and fortune reversal has been effected (1 Chronicles 4:9,10).
The Shunammite woman had a trusting faith.
THE TESTIMONY (2 Kings 4:23,26)
Genesis 22:8; Joshua 14:12; 1 Samuel 14:6; 17:37,45,46; 2 Chronicles 20:12; Job 19:25; Daniel 3:17; Acts 27:25; Numbers 13:30; 14:8,9; Romans 4:17.
"It is well" is the testimony of the faith that cannot be denied. It calleth those things that are not as though they were.
The Shunammite woman manifested self-control in her bereavement that even the husband could not detect what happened. She was not angry and hypersensitive, her confession was not one of murmuring, complaints, cursing or throwing questions at God. Her confession was positive.
Her heart was full of faith and her mouth was full of the testimony of faith. She was strong in faith counting that the same God who gave the child could bring him back to life.
Her persuasion was like that of Job: "For I know that my Redeemer liveth!"
THE TRIUMPH (2 Kings 4:36,37)
Matthew 8:13; 9:29,30; 17:20; 21:21; Mark 9:23; James 1:5,6; Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 11:32-40; Luke 7:10; 17:14; John 5:41; 9:7; Acts 14:9; Mark 1:41; 2:5; 5:34; 7:29; 10:52.
Victory and triumph are always the crowning outcome of a faith that cannot be denied. The Shunammite woman received her son back to life.
The walk of faith around Jericho walls will always result in a miracle. The journey to Jordan done in faith and obedience will result in cleansing. The prayer of faith can shut and open heavens, bring down fire, and heal the sick as manifested in the lives of Elijah and Elisha. Christís word clarifies it better:
"YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL AND IT SHALL
BE DONE UNTO YOU" (John 15:7)
Next weekís Bible Study is a Special Study Ė THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD.
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