OPENING THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN
Haftarah Portion 2 Kings 7:1-19
This morning I want to talk about the blessings of God that he wants to give everyone no matter what the circumstances are.
When I was growing up, we sang that chorus-“The windows of Heaven are open, the blessings are falling tonight, there’s Joy, Joy, Joy in my heart since Jesus made everything right. I gave him my old tattered garment, He gave me a robe of pure white, I’m feasting on manna from Heaven and that’s why I’m happy tonight.
There’s a lot of truth in that little chorus because the windows of Heaven are open, but many are not experiencing the blessings in their lives. So this morning, I want to give you three things you must do in order to open the windows of Heaven in your life.
Our Haftarah portion begins with verse one of Chapter 7, but we really need to go back to Chapter 6, Verse 24 to set the stage.
2 Kings 6:24-33
Now it came to pass after this, that King Ben-hadad of Aram gathered all his army and marched against Samaria and besieged it. (25) Now there was a great famine in Samaria, since they were besieging it, until a donkey’s head was sold for 80 pieces of silver, and the quarter of a kav of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. (26) As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him saying, “My lord the king, help!” (27) But he said, “If Adonai doesn’t help you, how would I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” (28) Then the king asked her, “What’s the matter with you?” She answered, “This woman said to me: ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ (29) So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I told her: ‘Give your son that we may eat him’—but she hid her son.” (30) Now it came to pass when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes—as he was passing by on the wall, the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth underneath upon his flesh. (31) Then he said, “May God do so to me and even more, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today.” (32) Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king had sent a messenger ahead, yet even before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see, this son of a murderer was sent to take away my head! Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?” (33) While he was yet talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him. So the king said, “Look! This evil is from Adonai—why should I wait for Adonai any longer?”
Jehoram was the king of Samaria and of course we are talking about the children of Israel who were its inhabitants.
Apparently King Ben-Hadad had decided to starve them out rather then attack there and he was being successful for the scripture goes on to say that a donkey’s head sold for 2 pounds of silver and a half pint of pigeon poop for 2 ounces of silver. Things were really bad. Not only that were also eating their own children.
The king became so disturbed about what was happing in the city that he threatened to kill Elisha who was the prophet there. He felt like it was God’s fault they were in this predicament and killing the prophet would help. So he sends a messenger to cut off his head then changes his mind and follows the messenger to Elisha’s house and confronts him there and says this famine is from the Lord. He’s right about that. It was because of their sin and then he says why should I wait any longer the Lord to help us and this is where we pick up the Haftarah text, for Elisha says:
“Hear the word of Adonai. Thus says Adonai: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will sell for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.”
Which brings me to my first point on opening the windows of Heaven in your life and that is:
POINT #1 BELIEVE THE WORD.
This is quite a word Elisha had to say and there was no reason for anyone to believe given the circumstances that were surrounding them. As a matter of fact verse #2 says that the King’s servant or his right hand man – probably his most trusted servant because the King was leaning on him, said to Elisha – Look, even if Adonai should make windows in heaven, could this thing happen? Or in other words, are you kidding? How could this possibly happen. Well we know it did happen when they were in the wilderness when God rained down manna from Heaven.
Elisha’s reply was it will happen and you will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat of it.
This is such an important step. We know that the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword and we know that the word of God is true for it is backed up by God Himself and we know that every promise in this book will come to pass if we will just believe what it says.
But today we are too prone to look at circumstances. If the doctor or the lawyer or the banker says this is how it is, then we believe that’s how it is.
What ever happened to believing for a miracle? Is that in the distant past? Do we think God can’t do that anymore, or do we believe he just does that for other people?
Do you Agree?
If you don’t believe the word then you have no basis to believe for a miracle. What’s happening today is many people believe it with their head, but not with their heart.
Nothing is impossible with God. Let me repeat, “nothing is impossible with God.” (Pause)
I don’t care how good or how bad things look, God is still on the throne and he can do anything if you will just believe.
If you don’t really believe, then that means you have unbelief and that will stop God from working in your life. That will keep the windows of Heaven closed for you.
The king’s servant did not believe. I can imagine his response was a taunting reply – “Just who do you think you are telling us what will happen tomorrow. That’s why Elisha said, “It will, but you won’t partake of it.” The same thing happened in Yeshua’s hometown when he came to minister to them. They said is this not the carpenter’s son. Just who does he think he is to claim to be the Son of God? If they would have accepted him and received him warmly and believe his word, they would have seen mighty miracles. But instead, very little happened because of their unbelief.
You have to believe what God’s word says if you are going to receive anything from him.
POINT #2 – Step Out in Faith
Now the second way to open the windows of Heaven in your life is to DO SOMETHING. Verse 3 says there were 4 lepers at the entrance to the city gate and one of them said, “why are we sitting here waiting to die.”
If we go into the city, there is famine and if we stay out here we’ll die so let’s go into the Syrian camp. Surely there is food in there. Maybe they’ll have compassion on us. If they give us food we will live. If they kill us, we are going to die anyway so let’s go. There are too many people today waiting for God to do something for them while God is waiting on them to take the first step.
I’ve heard of people who when the doctor tells them they only have 6 months to live, go home and get in bed and wait to die. Every time someone was healed in the scripture, they had to do something. “Rise up and walk.” “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.” “Go show yourself to the priest.” Do something.
I know that the popular saying, ”God helps those who help themselves”, is not scripture, but it sure makes a good point. We can complain about our situation and tell ourselves how bad it is and find others to agree with. Misery loves company, but none of this is going to do you any good.
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing! He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
The lepers decided to do something. Verse 5 says they rose up at dusk and went to the camp of the Syrian and when they came to the edge of the encampment, no one was there. What a shock.
So what happened? The word of the lord was being fulfilled. When Elisha said tomorrow God was going to do something, then that’s exactly what he meant.
God does stand by his word and he will do what it says he will do. He will heal your body. He will supply your needs. He will set you free from sin and all bondages the devil tries to put on you. If you will take the first step and desire to see God working in your life.
So what happened to the enemy? Verse 6 says:
2 Kings 7:6
For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army.
Who caused them to hear a noise? The Lord and it was such a great noise that it scared them to death and they weren’t even thinking straight.
“Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us.”
Kings of the Egyptians – they only had one king and verse 7 says:
2 Kings 7:7
So they got up and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents, their horses and their donkeys—the entire camp just as it was—and fled for their lives.
They were so scared they didn’t even take time to saddle up their horses; they had to run on foot.
Isa: 59:19 says:
So from the west they will fear the Name of Adonai, and His glory from the rising of the sun. For He will come like a rushing stream driven along by the Ruach Adonai.
The KJV says it this way: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him
God is the one who will fight your battles for you. So then because the lepers decided to do something. They were rewarded for their effort. They ate and drank and carried the gold and silver and hid it.
POINT #3 – RECEIVE BY FAITH
But what about the rest of the city? Well they decided they should tell the king what had happened that night. So they went into the city and told one of the kings servants to wake him up, which brings me to my third point on opening the windows of Heaven in your life and that is to ACCEPT GOD’S BLESSING BY FAITH.
When the king hears the news he starts rejoicing right? – wrong!
He doesn’t believe it. He says it’s a trap and they know we are hungry and they have gone out of the camp to hide in the field saying when they come out of the city we will capture them alive and get into the city.
Wait a minute what did Elisha say was going to happen the next day? They were going to have plenty of food. What is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
I can tell you that the Lord is your Healer, your Redeemer, and your very present help in time of trouble. I can tell you what he will do for you. But it won’t do you any good unless you accept it by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Rather than just accept God’s blessings, we too often have to analyze it, scrutinize it, categorize it and we have to see it to believe it.
Sort of like doubting Thomas. When Yeshua appeared to His talmadim after His resurrection, Thomas was not there and so when Thomas came back Yeshua was gone. But they told him He had been there and he said, “I don’t believe it and I won’t until I see it. Eight days later when Yeshua appeared to them, Thomas was there and saw and Yeshua said, Now that you see you believe, blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe.
The king did not accept by faith what he heard, but thank God one of his servants said, “Well let’s go see if it’s true and sure enough it was.
God always honors his word. You can trust what the word has to say. But you must take a step of faith and do something if you want the windows of Heaven open for you.
Body, Soul, Spirit?
Accept by faith what God wants to do for you, for he wants to minister to the whole person body, soul and spirit. Will you let him?