Mothers Day, 10 May 2020
We have been preaching through the First Letter of Paul to Timothy. Paul commanded Timothy, who was pastor of the church in Ephesus, to correct the false doctrine that was being taught in the church and then teach them the truth, setting the church in order, knowing and obeying God’s Word.
We have also seen that Paul instructed Timothy in preparing for the work he was to do. He told Timothy –
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
We have learned the importance of supplications as part of our communication with God.
Today we will learn why Paul exhorted Timothy to remember that prayer, every form of prayer, is foundational to our life in the Lord, to know and do His will. Today we will turn from our study of the letter to Timothy, but we will learn how God’s people have been encouraged and influenced by those that have lived before us. We have been given little information about the home life of Paul as he was raised in the city of Tarsus, but we have been given some insight into the early life of Timothy. We know that his father was not a follower of God, but Timothy’s grandmother and mother were Jews and loved the Word of God. They brought up Timothy to know and do God’s will –
2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
This grandmother and mother determined to bring Timothy up in the faith. They lived their faith before him and made a difference in his life. There are many mothers today who are doing all they can to bring up their children unto the Lord. They love God and want their children to know Him, love Him, and serve Him.
Today, mother’s can look into the Bible and be encouraged by the testimony of Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois. When we think of them, who did they have to encourage them to raise up their son to know God? They were not in the best situation to accomplish this – and unsaved husband living in a city of unsaved people. We thank the Lord with them that He gave them encouragement through the lives of women, mothers, in the Old Testament. Let’s take one example this morning –
Turn to our text in the book of 2 Kings, chapter 4, verses 1 through 7.
We are given the account of a family that were serving God among an ungodly people. They were in Israel, the Northern part of the divided kingdom. The people had turned away from God but He had not turned away from them. In the darkest days of their sin, God sent them the prophets Elijah and Elisa. God also called men to declare His Word to the people. The men were unnamed prophets who were of a school that had been established. They were known as the sons of the prophets.
We want to see three things about a mother in Israel. We are not given her name, only her situation – We are first informed of –
I. Her fear.
2 Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
Among these prophets, the servants of God, was a family consisting of a man, a prophet, his wife and two sons. They were serving God in land and at a time that the people did not want the things of God. They were following their own ways. We do know how the prophet died, but we are told that he was faithful in his service to God “…thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord…”.
We do not know why the prophet died. His wife did not know why – they were trying to do what God wanted them to do and now he was dead and she was in trouble. Her husband had debts that he was able to pay, but when he died, his wife could not keep up the payments. Her husband’s death did not clear off the debt and she was responsible to pay. She probably sold all that she could, but it was not enough and now the man was going to take her two sons to work for him and pay off the debt. She was desperate!
We have been preaching about prayer and last week we learned of supplications. This woman experienced the prayer of supplications – crying out for help.
This leads us to –
II. Her faith.
A. Her accusation. There was no accusation against God nor man about her situation. We have no record of anger or excuses.
B. Her admission.
2 Kings 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
She had nothing, no property, she had nothing precious – oh, she did have a pot with some oil in it. The only thing that she had did not even come to her mind at first. “Oh, I do have a pot of oil”. Can you imagine her thoughts as she admitted to Elisha and to herself that all she had was a pot of oil!
She needed help and there was nothing she could do to help herself. Do you think that she may have broken down crying when she admitted this “Just a pot”!
C. Her amazement.
You want me to do what? You heard me –
2 Kings 4:3-6 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
She trusted God and she exercised her faith in Him by obeying the instructions of Elisha, the prophet of God.
She could have said “Why should I trust you? Why should I trust God any longer? My husband trusted God and now he is dead, leaving me to try to care for our two sons? She did not let the bitterness of disappointment in life become bitterness in her soul. She was the mother of two sons and needed to provide and protect them. She would trust God to help her.
She obeyed the instructions given by Elisha and we see –
III. Her fidelity.
2 Kings 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
She used the blessings of God as directed, paying off her debts and caring for her children.
God was her help when others thought she had not help nor hope. Can you imagine the man’s surprise when he went to her door to take her sons, and she gave him money instead? She had become a testimony of God’s faithfulness and goodness to her community, and to all who read God’s Word. She has become an encouragement to millions of mothers over the ages – teaching them to trust God.
Just think for a few moments about the blessing she was to her sons –
She did not accuse God in difficult times, she sought His help.
She did not trust her own wisdom and understanding, she trusted God.
She did not waste the blessing of God but used His blessing for the purpose that He gave them.
I am sure that Timothy saw these characteristics in his grandmother and mother.
As a mother, will you teach your children to trust God and love Him?
If your mother taught you these things, will you thank her today?