Will You Pour Water?
2 Kings 3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel’s servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.
Intro: This verse of Scripture, as seemingly remote and disjointed as it appears, is a key revelation into the character of Elisha and provides us with a small window into the amazing relationship he had with the prophet Elijah.
Three things we can conclude about this statement:
A. Elisha’s Occupation
Elisha had a ministry. That ministry was pouring water on the hands of Elijah.
Let me get this out of the way. A real man of God will be a servant to his people.
I am a firm believer in Servant Leadership. I live it, I teach it, I preach it, I deal with it in staff meetings.
Jesus set the ultimate example of servant leadership by you guessed it – pouring water!
- John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
This message is not about the man of God’s servant leadership. I have multiple messages on that topic.
This message is about Elisha’s ministry of serving the man of God by pouring water on his hands.
God’s man having clean hands was important to Elisha.
- Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands,
It’s a blessing when the pastor can come into the service and there are some people that are willing to pour water.
Sometimes, pastoring is dirty business.
It is not all Rolexes and Rolls Royces.
It means getting your hands dirty and doing tasks that nobody else wants to do.
- He has blood all over his hands where he’s been killing wolves all week to protect the flock.
- He’s got the muck and mire on him where he’s been dragging Christians out of the hog pens of the world.
- He has dirt and grime on him where’s he’s been building walls of separation.
- He has soot and ashes all over him where he’s been burning bridges to keep people from going back.
- He’s got spit-up and vomit all over him where he’s been burping spiritual babies all week.
It’s a blessing when there’s a few people that will go out of their way to pour water on the hands of God’s man so he can break the bread of life and feed the flock of God with CLEAN HANDS!!!
B. Elisha’s Reputation
I find it fascinating that this was Elisha’s reputation.
You don’t get a reputation as one that poured water over the hands of Elijah if you only did it once.
Notice who it was that knew Elisha was a servant – it was the servants of the king!
Servants recognize other servants!
I also find it interesting that after all these years of laboring with Elijah, he didn’t have a better title.
Today, men want a title. Assistant pastor, associate pastor, assistant to the pastor, co-pastor, senior pastor, lead pastor, children’s pastor, music pastor, you name it – we have all of it.
You know what Elisha’s reputation was? You know what was on his business card?
Elisha, the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.
I can’t think of a more noble occupation and a more noble reputation than to be known as a man that pours water on the hands of the man of God!
When your name comes up in a conversation, what do other men say about you?
C. Elisha’s Preparation
The fact that Elisha spent years pouring water had an unusual way of preparing him for amazing things.
It’s no coincidence that many of his miracles involved water.
- His first miracle was parting the water of Jordan. II Kings 2:14
- Then he healed the water in II Kings 2:22
- In our text, II Kings chapter 3, they brought Elisha in because they had no water.
- He had them dig ditches and God filled them with water.
- The Moabites saw the ditches of water and thought they were blood.
- It was Elisha that had Naaman dip 7 times in the waters of Jordan. II Kings 5
- It was Elisha that performed the miracle of the ax head swimming in the water. II Kings 6:6
- It was Elisha that prophesied that Benhadad would die and he was murdered with a cloth dipped in water. II Kings 8:15
So the question of the hour is – what does it mean in 2018 to pour water on the hands of God’s man?
Or better yet – once you discover what that means, will you be willing to be known as a man that pours water?
The message title today is simply this: Will You Pour Water?
I. Pouring Water Proves Your Loyalty
Let us not forget – in our text, verse 11, they were looking for a “PROPHET OF THE LORD”.
In verse 12, Jehoshaphat said “THE WORD OF THE LORD IS WITH HIM”.
There is no doubt that Elisha was loyal to the God of Israel.
There was no doubt that Elisha was loyal to the Word of the Lord.
But – sandwiched right between those two statements, was this seemingly remote reference to the fact that he poured water on the hands of Elijah.
This proves to us that his loyalty to God and to the Word of God was demonstrated by his loyalty to the man of God.
Elisha’s loyalty is unquestioned.
In I Kings 19:19-21, Elijah found Elisha plowing with 12 yoke of oxen.
Elijah cast his mantle upon him. Elijah LEFT THE OXEN AND RAN AFTER ELIJAH.
He literally burned his bridges. And the Bible says he went after Elijah and ministered unto him.
From day one, Elisha’s relationship with Elijah was one of loyalty.
- He went after him. He ministered unto him.
- He made the needs of Elijah his priority.
- He made the care of Elijah his priority.
- He made the ministry of Elijah his priority.
Pouring water on the hands of Elijah was a trivial thing, but he made it his job to do it.
- If we could get the men of our churches to be as loyal to their pastor as they are to their favorite quarterback, we could turn our community upside down. (Imagine wearing a jersey with your pastor’s name on the back, how crazy people would think you are!)
- If we could get the men of our churches to be as loyal to their pastor as they are to their favorite football team, we could turn our community upside down.
- If we could get our men to be as loyal to their pastor as they are to their favorite NASCAR driver, imagine the impact it would have on our services.
- When you defend your pastor to the gainsayers and backstabbers, that is pouring water.
- When you unfriend and unfollow those on social media that run him down, that is pouring water.
- When you make it public that you aren’t going to listen to people criticize and slander him, that is pouring water.
- When you refuse to fellowship with anybody that refuses to fellowship with your pastor, that is pouring water.
You are pouring water on your pastor’s hands when you do anything that demonstrates a biblical loyalty to him.
NOTICE Paul’s words in II Timothy 4:
- 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
- 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
II. Pouring Water Proclaims Your Love
For Elisha to be that close to Elijah to see about his smallest needs throughout the day, he had to love him.
That love is pretty much proven in II Kings 2 when he refused to leave his side.
He insisted on a DOUBLE PORTION of his spirit (not capitalized – see verse 16 Spirit of the Lord…)
- 2 Kings 2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
The ratio of those standing by God’s man is usually 50/1
For every man that goes all the way with God’s man, there are 50 standing afar off to see what is going to happen.
Standing afar off doesn’t prove love as much as pouring water.
Being on the fringe to witness what happens is not the same as being a part of what happens.
- The 50 were close enough to watch him, but Elisha was close enough to touch him.
- The 50 were close enough to see what was going on, but Elisha was close enough to know what was going on.
- The 50 were close enough to witness the commotion, but Elisha was close enough to witness the communion.
- The 50 were aware of what was happening, but Elisha was a part of what was happening.
Having a close relationship; being close enough to know your pastor’s heart is pouring water.
It might not seem like a big deal remembering the pastor’s birthday, but that is pouring water.
It might seem small to remember his wife’s and children’s birthdays, but that is pouring water.
It might seem overboard to make sure he has a nice vehicle to drive, but that is pouring water.
It might seem to be a given that he makes enough to live comfortably, but that is pouring water.
When you take him out for a cup of coffee just because – that is pouring water.
When your wife takes his wife out for lunch just to fellowship – that is pouring water.
When you tell him how much you enjoyed the message, that is pouring water.
When you let him know how much you missed his preaching after the guest preacher leaves, that is pouring water.
When your kids want their pastor to sign their Bible, that is pouring water.
When you brag on the preaching to those in the community you’re inviting to church, that is pouring water.
When you go the altar and make a commitment after the message, that is pouring water.
When you bring your Bible, listen and take notes from the message, that is pouring water.
III. Pouring Water Provides Liberty
A. Provides him Liberty to Pastor
If there is anything that every single pastor desires, it is for their hands not to be tied.
The man of God should have perfect liberty to fully implement God’s will and God’s plan for the church.
The pastor should have liberty from the moment he walks onto the platform.
He should have liberty to:
- change the song in the middle of a song service
- change the special music
- change the choir song or add a choir song or forego the choir song
- change his message, or not preach, or preach twice!
- call people to the altar to pray
- take up an offering for someone or something
- call for testimonies
- preach whatever God has laid on his heart
- discuss problems or issues with the church
- appoint a leader over a class or ministry without fear of fallout
- dream big dreams for the church
When you give God’s man liberty – when his hands are not tied, you are pouring water.
Anything you do that doesn’t tie up the hands of God’s man is in essence pouring water.
B. Provides him Liberty to Prioritize
We would all agree that overseeing the welfare of the flock is true New Testament pastoring.
We would all agree that pastoring involves caring for your people and seeing about them.
HOWEVER – The pastor has a list of things that only he can do – no one else.
When he gets finished counselling, and visiting hospitals, and solving problems, he still has that list of things that has to be done that only he can do.
The objective of pouring water is to free up the man of God from having to do something that you can do.
- Making your marriage and your relationship with your wife YOUR priority so he doesn’t have to.
- Making your children and their training a priority so he doesn’t have to.
- Making your walk with God a priority so he doesn’t have to
- If he is losing sleep trying to figure out how to salvage your marriage, you’re not pouring water; he is.
- If he has to go out of his way to help keep your kids from going into the world, you’re not pouring water; he is.
- If he has to try and figure out a way to help you pay your bills, you’re not pouring water; he is.
- If he has to go around behind you and do damage control, you’re not pouring water; he is.
- If he has to keep an eye on your wife’s Facebook page to keep her from splitting the church, you’re not pouring water.
- If he has to bring in double and triple chaperone’s when your teenager is at a youth activity, you’re not pouring water.
- If he has to dispatch his deacons to your house to calm you down or explain his point of view, you’re not pouring water.
- If he looks out during the service and doesn’t see you and has no idea where you are, you’re not pouring water.
- If you’re never there for soulwinning or work day or special events, you’re not pouring water.
- If you vocalize your criticisms of the pastor to those in the church, you’re not pouring water.
- If the only time you ever want to sit down with the pastor is to tell him what you don’t like, you’re not pouring water.
- If you let your wife gossip and sow discord in the church among the ladies, you’re not pouring water.
The act of pouring water over the hands is to help God’s man do what God called him to do.
There was only one man of God – but pretty much anybody could pour water, if they had the mind to.
NOTICE Elijah in I Kings 18:31
- It was Elijah that took twelve stones – vs. 31
- It was Elijah that took the stones and built an altar – vs. 32
- It was Elijah that made a trench around the altar – vs. 32
- It was Elijah that put the wood in order – vs. 33
- It was Elijah that cut the bullock in pieces – vs. 33
- It was Elijah that laid him on the wood – vs. 33
BUT – he asked someone else to pour the water! – vs. 33
QUESTION: Will you pour water?